5 Strategies to Convince Reluctant Leaders to Move Forward

The end is near when protecting the past is more important than creating the future.


5 strategies to convince reluctant leaders to move forward

#1. Ask 3 questions:

#1. On a scale of 1-10 how prepared are you to move forward today? You might wish they were a 7, but they’re a 3. Don’t fight the 3. Accept it. “Thank you.”

#2. How comfortable on a scale of 1-10 do you need to be to move forward today? Don’t ask for a final decision. Ask for authorization to move forward. Suppose they say 7. “Thank you.”

#3. What do you need to get to your comfort number? Be as specific as possible. Focus on what they need to hear, not what you need to say.

Note: These questions assume leaders have been exploring an opportunity and have already committed to do something, but they’re reluctant to move forward.

#2. Tell a story:

Convince reluctant leaders to move forward by telling the story of an organization that’s doing what they’re considering. You’ve been talking for months about things others have been doing for years.

How might you instill confidence by learning from others?

#3. Run a learning-pilot:

  1. What do you need to learn?
  2. What are you willing to invest?
  3. Who will champion the cause?
  4. When will you evaluate the pilot?

#4. Set a big goal. Take a small step:

The greatest value of big goals is they embolden small steps.

Decide where you want to be in ten years. Make it about serving others.

Big goals capture the imagination, elevate self-worth, inspire courage, and set direction.

#5. Embrace imperfection:

Develop an imperfect solution. 70% is perfect enough. If the stakes are high, go with 80% perfect.

A conference table is the perfect venue to look like a leader while feeding fear and preventing progress. “Let’s talk about all the dangers we need to avoid.”

Which of these strategies might work best in your organization?

What convinces reluctant leaders to move forward?