How to Get What You Want
It takes conviction, candor, and, most importantly, courage to push against the boss or the board.
Managers who can’t stand up and push back are inevitably pushed around and down.
Yesterday, I talked with the President and CEO of Hewlett-Packard Financial Services, Irv Rothman. He leads 1,500 employees in over 50 countries. His book, “Out-Executing the Competition” gave me the impression he was a great collaborator.
More than that, he’s great at standing up, pushing forward, and pushing back.
Getting what you want:
I asked Irv, “So, why is it that you are so successful at getting people to do what you want them to do?” He chuckled, paused, and said,
“ I’ve never been afraid to fail.”
Courage is the fuel that moves you and your organization forward. Fear is the snare that pulls you down and holds you back.
“Playing safe is probably the most unsafe thing in the world.
You cannot stand still. You must go forward.” Robert Collier
Roots of courage:
Courage is not a product of wishful thinking. It’s the result of careful preparation. Irv said, “If you want to be successful you have to be rational but you can’t be afraid to fail. The rational part of courage is preparation, testing assumptions, and proving your case.
“Present your case in a non-emotional, rational way.”
Irv continued by explaining that it’s not enough to make a rational argument. You have to get them excited by, “Showing them what’s in it for them.
“If you don’t manage up you get managed down.”
Before we left the topic, Irv added, “You have to be a consistent guy from the stand point of your behavior.” And finally he said,
“You have to give respect to get respect.”
All profits from, “Out-Executing the Competition” go to: Room to Read.
How can managers and leaders manage up?
A great list… “presenting the case in a non emotional, rational way” really does make a difference. It helps others connect and not react to this as something personal that you are looking to achieve. That combined with the courage to go after it hard, even when others have doubts, and look for ways to draw them it, is a powerful combo. Sounds like an interesting conversation.
I like two suggestions- ready to fail/un-fear to fail and playing safe is the most unsafe game. And there is a history, trends and logic behind these two assumptions. Managers are not generally not willing to fail because of consequences. These consequences could be real, perceived or based on experiences or trends. Organizations where failing has cost than learning, manager generally avoid to take risk and decisions. So, it is more about culture that decides what manager do or do not. And this practices leads to playing safe. Playing safe actually rewards in such environment where failure has cost on employees. They know that in playing safe they will enjoy benefit. So, they do it just to safeguard their positions.
so, to encourage employees not to fear to fail and to take decision based on leadership and management practices. And such practices mainly depend on the individual attribute and belief of top management. Simply asking managers to not to afraid of failing and to take risk could be disastrous without knowing and analyzing the expected norms of the system.
There how managers should manage up depends- leadership practices, values encouraged and intention of top management.
I love this post. Thank you Dan
Thanks for including Irv Rothman’s views n accepting challenges without any fear to get ahead. One truly needs a courage to differ and bring conviction in a rational way with the required preparedness. My experience reveals that it takes time to make others agree on your views which require persistent efforts and effective communication. The big challenge is to change their perception about you and your capabilities for which the proven results are needed to get the due respect & recognition.
I loved reading each sentence and the every word of it to get doubly motivated and gain better self-confidence in marching ahead in advancing the career.
Once again thanks for inspiring the large section of potential leaders and professionals through your thoughtful postings. I still wait for the desired publicaion of the good compilation of your select good postings with 3-5 useful comments.
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Great thoughts to implement into daily situations.
If I believe I will win, plan & execution in proper way. Then success is sure.