Getting The Executives To Talk
When you are kicking off a new project in your organization or supporting your clients in their initiatives, do you ever encounter resistance in getting the Executives to publically demonstrate their support? If so, this LeaderSnip may help you get past that resistance.
When we (at BBD Leadership) are beginning a new project with a client, and explaining the Project Initiation and Kickoff process, we include having the client’s Executive Sponsor express (either in writing or verbally or both) the commitment to the initiative. This includes why BBD Leadership was selected to support them. Occasionally, they may push back because:
- It seems like a “commercial” to them
- They don’t know what to say
- They aren’t committed to the project and didn’t want to pick us
It’s hard to know the truth, because they won’t express why they’re pushing back. The following will serve to get their cooperation or, at the least, help you figure out why they’re being resistant.
“Let me explain why this is important. During a project like this, in times of change, one of the most important success factors is the company’s trust in their leadership. They need to trust that the right decisions have been made, and that their top leaders are committed to the project. In some companies, the decision to go forward, or the decision to use (you or another as the project leader, or a consulting organization as support), may not have been universally agreed to. It’s important for the team and the company to hear that there were sound reasons for the decision and that you have confidence in your selection for support. This is one of the first steps to enhance their trust in YOU—and we want to be supportive of that trust-building at the beginning and all through the project.”
If they say okay, but hesitate—then it’s likely reason #2—they don’t know what to say. Offer to discuss how they’d express their support, so they’ll be more comfortable. This may include why they believe the project will benefit the company, how they intend to actively participate in or support their project, a thanks-in-advance for the team’s work, the reasons for the selection of the project’s leadership or consulting support.
If the top executive(s) still decline to publically state why you (or others) were selected to lead the project…then it’s likely reason #3—they are not committed to the project and didn’t want to pick you (or whomever is leading/supporting the initiative.) At least you know—and can watch your back!
If you want to know more, contact us at Team@BeyondBBD.com