5 Tips for Managing Your Boss and Selling Your Ideas Upward

Document Sample
5 Tips for Managing Your Boss and Selling Your Ideas Upward Powered By Docstoc
					5 Tips for Managing Your Boss and
Selling Your Ideas Upward
There is one problem we've all encountered that can be simultaneously frustrating and
disappointing. As an innovative leader and team player you present a great idea to your boss. But
the boss doesn't accept the idea or promote it upward through the organizational chain of
command. Instead he or she is just indifferent, believes it isn't doable or realistic, and says "No."
To help you succeed at overcoming this kind of resistance here are five helpful tips and
guidelines. They are based on my own experience as both the person offering ideas and the boss
across the table responsible for evaluating ideas with the best interest of the entire organization
in mind.

   1. Alignment is the key - No idea will fly unless it fully aligns with your organization's
      brand and plan. But even if your idea doesn't appear at first glance to fit within the
      framework of those goals, if it is a good enough idea you can still sell it. You just have to
      present it in such a way that it conforms to and resonates with the objectives of your
      company - and your superiors.

   2. Perform due diligent research - To make a compelling presentation, you have to be
      committed enough to your idea to give it the attention it deserves. Do your homework.
      Crunch the numbers. If the budget is an obstacle, look for other ways to save or calculate
      specific value-adding benefits such as increased sales or higher productivity. Think of
      your audience - which means the key decision makers. Survey them. Get to know what
      they want. Then target them with pinpoint focus and show how your idea solves their
      problems and gets them where they want to be.

   3. Write up a solid business plan - For your ideas to be taken seriously, you have to take
      the presentation just as seriously. Don't just toss an idea on the table. You need to get
      people really invested in it, and that means you need to create a comprehensive business
      plan that you can present to your investors. In this case the "investors" are your
      teammates and your boss. To see your ideas implemented at work you have to be
      persuasive and convincing. That also means you cannot slack off on other duties to
      devote yourself to promoting your idea. If anything, you need to distinguish yourself by
      superior performance, teamwork, and productivity - because that will give you the
      credibility needed to get people to listen to and support you.
4. Cultivate strength through consensus -To get a big idea accepted you have to
   campaign and try to get support from a broader coalition of strategic allies. Maybe your
   idea will also help other teams, departments, or divisions. If that's true then dialog with
   them and use their input to help hone your idea while also articulating how it is valuable
   in a scalable way that can benefit others. But be careful. You do not want to risk being
   seen as someone who is going over your boss's head. That can be a big mistake, so you
   have to exercise diplomacy and not turn a fact-finding mission into a power play that
   could backfire.

5. Feed the fragile ego - If you are too attached to taking credit for your ideas, you'll never
   succeed at selling them - and you'll never be a really outstanding leader. The most
   successful leaders know how to let other people take credit for their own ideas, when
   necessary. That's how you get other people to become personally motivated about your
   idea and passionate to support it. We all want to know "What's in it for me?" and that is
   especially true for egotistical bosses who have a fragile lack of self confidence. Make
   your boss think the idea is their own and it will sail through every time. So solicit their
   help and feedback and try to get them involved in the process so they can also feel fully
   involved in taking some of the credit for a great idea.

Shared By: