The Complete List for Getting Buy-In From Senior Leadership

Senior leaders have authority to authorize action and provide resources.

You’ll go further with buy-in from higher-ups.

The complete list for getting buy-in from senior leadership:

#1. Rash requests don’t impress.

Don’t rush in all breathless with a brilliant new idea.

Your great idea will be even better after careful reflection.

#2. Develop a reputation for excellence and loyalty.

  1. Get on their team before asking others to get on yours.
  2. Serve the interests of others if you expect them to have interest in your ideas.
  3. Help others succeed before asking them to help you succeed.

#3. Don’t let others present your idea for you.

#4. Suggest projects that serve interests beyond personal success.

Ambition is useful when it rises beyond itself.

Senior leaders want to know how you’ll make life better for teams, organizations, and customers.

Self-serving projects generate friction in organizations.

How does your great idea serve the interest of others?

#5. Create your moment.

You may end up waiting longer than you like. Senior leaders are often rushed and distracted. 

Your great idea is worthy of attention. Be patient.

Don’t make your request a life or death moment, if possible.

Create curiosity. Make small suggestions. Watch for interest. If you don’t see interest, pull back. Try a new approach another time.

#6. Seize your moment.

  1. Don’t begin with complaints. Complaining doesn’t impress senior leaders.
  2. Act and speak with respect.
  3. Align with their interest. “I’ve been thinking about how to reach new customers.”

#7. Plan before presenting your idea.

Senior leaders don’t have time to brainstorm ideas with you.

  1. Tell a brief story of how others are struggling, disappointed, or frustrated. Describe the problem or opportunity briefly, simply, clearly, and with compassion.
  2. Describe a solution.
  3. Define specific deliverables.
  4. Explain timelines.
  5. Request resources.

What suggestions might you add to the ‘complete’ list of ways to get buy-in from senior leaders?

What should we avoid when trying to get buy-in from senior leadership?