10 Ways to Stand Up for Your Great Idea

Shooting down

Your idea got shot down. Give up, play safe, or push forward?

Courage and boldness create your future.
Cowardice solidifies your past.

Leaders don’t give up quickly.

Boldly advocate.
Courageously stand up.
Tenaciously push forward.

How to stand up for your ideas:

Courage and boldness don’t have to be rude, irritating, and adversarial.

Jerks aren’t courageous they’re fearful.

  1. Build alliances. Boldly support the ideas of others as much as you support your own. Stand with others if you expect them to stand with you.
  2. Forget defending. Adversarial relationships emerge during defensive conversations. You defend and they shoot down. It’s lose – lose.
  3. Explore. Defending pushes away; exploring invites in. “I’d like to explore an alternative outreach program. What if …”
  4. Choose private first. Don’t put people on the spot in front of colleagues. Introduce and explore ideas in one-on-one conversations.
  5. Align with current circumstances and organizational values. When values collide, conversations move from pros and cons to who’s right and who’s wrong.
  6. Be firm and nice. Weakness gets angry when it doesn’t get its way.
  7. Listen if you want to be heard. Don’t dismiss counter-points, say, “Good point,” instead. Go slow to go fast. Patience is courage not cowardice.
  8. Suggest pilot programs. Say, “I’d like to test this in our marketing department,” for example. All or nothing often ends up with nothing. A small piece of pie is better than no piece.
  9. Ask, “What are the benefits of staying the same?”
  10. Ask, “What are the dangers of staying the same?”

Bonus: Never make your ideas about you. Always pursue what’s best for your organization.

Successful leaders find reasons to step forward,
not stay the same.


New ideas meet opposition. You’ll hear reasons it won’t work before reasons it will. Listen and understand, but don’t play dead.

How can leaders stand up for their ideas without unnecessarily pushing others down?

What strategies work well for exploring innovative concepts?