“The Monday MOVE Idea”
Each Monday until the launch of my upcoming book MOVE, I’ll be sharing an important idea from the book.
This Week: Support or Sabotage? Reduce Your Personal Risk
“Am I the only one who cares about this?”
Make sure you are never the only one who cares about whatever program, strategy or transformation you are leading.
Always ask yourself, “Who else cares about this?” If there is no one at an equal or higher level than you who actively cares about what you are doing, there is too much risk.
I have seen this happen to leaders too many times and it is a real shame. Here’s how it plays out:
The leader is brilliant, well liked, and generally well respected. They launch a new strategy or transformation initiative which they are personally very excited about and invested in. They get their team on board. But then they make the mistake of thinking that only their organization needs to stay informed and involved throughout the long Middle.
This thinking is indeed a mistake. You need to make sure you are not the only one who cares by securing genuine sponsorship, and maintaining it throughout the project.
It’s not about politics
Some leaders are comfortable building bridges and securing sponsorship and others are not. I’ve worked with executives who see no value in communicating outside their organization at all. They think it’s a political game, without value, and even somehow morally wrong to focus on communicating instead of working.
They try to stay on the high ground and say, “I don’t play politics. I believe that my results will speak for themselves.”
It’s not just about results, it’s about effectiveness
And it’s about the harsh reality that your results seldom ever speak for themselves without some shepherding of the communication about them from you.
If you don’t invest the time and effort to build sponsorship, as soon as your initiative gets attacked, you by definition are personally under attack, because there is no one standing with you.
In that moment you will not have high credibility because your strategy, what you alone are doing is called into question.
At that point the powers that be will be looking for others to validate what your strategy. If there is no one eagerly stepping up to validate what you are doing — you will lose.
I’m really excited to share all the tools I put in my upcoming book MOVE to help you get your organization to execute your strategy or implement your key initiatives more decisively — Including ideas to build sponsorship along with building your own confidence and courage.
MOVE will be available in February, but you can download a free preview now.
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Patty Azzarello is an executive, best-selling author, speaker and CEO/Business Advisor. She became the youngest general manager at HP at the age of 33, ran a billion dollar software business at 35 and became a CEO for the first time at 38 (all without turning into a self-centered, miserable jerk)