I walked from the parking lot to the office this morning with a co-worker I’ve known for 10 years. She shared with me a lesson that I believe can serve as a catalyst to you and I achieving our highest potential. This is what she said: “Shane, you’ve changed in the best way possible. You’ve always been nice. But, now I see you as someone who genuinely care about others in a way that is deeper than ever before. I don’t know what you’re doing but keep doing it because it’s working!” There it is- the difference maker between you and I adding growth in our organization and multiplying it! Buy-in to the leader precedes buy-in to the vision a leader has for growth.
I2 months ago, I set out to intentionally increase my leadership ability. Even though I’ve achieved success in terms of positional leadership, I believe that to achieve significance requires me to always be growing beyond my current capacity. In my journey, I have found that no one accomplishes anything great alone and that the roadblock for many who want to accomplish great things is their inability to gather enough people to do something great!
My coworker is someone who has experienced me introducing change into our organization many times. I couldn’t help but reflect on how much more efficient that change would have been to execute and how more effective the results could have been if she had wanted to follow me as the leader then the way she communicated she was willing to follow me now?
Here’s how it could play out for you. You’ve been thinking on a new opportunity. If you are successful it could significantly impact your business- maybe expand your customer base, open up a new market segment, streamline operations, etc. You’re convinced enough to move forward with getting your team to speak into the dream and see if what you’ve considered is possible. When you move the idea out of your thinking and into the thinking of others, that’s where your leadership ability is defined. How do people receive ideas you bring their way that require them to change? In my experience, if people haven’t bought-in to the leader first they won’t buy-in to the leader’s vision.
The message my coworker sent me today with her comments was that she was ready to up-level her commitment to follow me beyond where it had previously been. It wasn’t my smooth talking, ability to be nice, or my strategic plan. It was my growth as a person. Yes, you do need to be nice and you do need to be competent! But, what determines your team’s openness to explore new opportunities is largely related to the level of buy-in you’ve created prior to your asking them to try something new.
Lack of buy-in decreases the potential for your team to efficiently process through the opportunity you lay before them. There is a short window in which we can act to take advantage an opportunity. You don’t get extra time to “get the team on board”. Time is money and that means a lack of buy-in is costing you, literally! If you want to act on an opportunity quickly, you need people who are already willing and able to hear you when you sense the need for change!
When you ask people to consider a new opportunity, do you sense some are giving you the “glazed over” look? Are some high performers slow to consider the up-side potential of new opportunities? Do you butt-heads with key staff when you try to introduce change? If so, it could be you need to increase the buy in to who you are before you spend more time asking for buy in to your idea.
Three Ways to Increase Buy In To You As A Leader
Questions To Spark Your Leadership Transformation
How have these thoughts raised your awareness about your own leadership behavior?
What do you need to change so that your actions are more inline with your intentions?
Who can help you implement what you've decided? Share this blog with them as an introduction to what you're looking to change.
W. Shane McKenzie is The Leadership Transformation Coach. He helps leaders achieve greater effectiveness and become more fulfilled in their work by facilitating positive changes in their leadership behaviors. Join the Leadership Transformation Roundtable to get your copy of the questionnaire Shane uses to discover how close his intentions match the reality of those he leads.
What others are saying about W. Shane McKenzie
"I’ve worked with Shane for several years. He possesses a unique and highly effective combination of strategy, team leader and great communicator, a rare combination. He has a very strategic mind so he makes connections and sees disjointed paths where others do not. This allows him to both plot direction and execute the path to success. He’s truly committed to the greatness in others. He listens fully, asks the right questions at the right time, and gives us the space to both think and respond." - Linda Lindquist-Bishop, Strategic Facilitator, Speaker, Exit Planning for Business Owners, and World Champion Athlete
“Shane has the ability to frame a conversation in a way that brings a thought or concept full circle. He’s excellent at tying each session together, which helped me recognize a pattern of growth. He’s not a “teacher”; he’s a discussion facilitator…in other words these sessions aren’t built around Shane teaching concepts. This method of facilitation opens the door for personal application, which is critical to this development process. He asked questions that forced me to think with intention.”- G. Williams, Product Manager
W. Shane McKenzie is an Executive Coach and Mentor who specializes in helping successful leaders leave their job to own a business using proven strategies to minimize risk.