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Leading with ideas over numbers

From: Management Tips

Video: Leading with ideas over numbers

The truth is most planned change fails. When the video ended, the team looked a little bothered.

Leading with ideas over numbers

The truth is most planned change fails. By failure, I mean the project did not finish as quickly as planned, it cost too much, or it failed to deliver the projected benefits. The main culprit however usually isn't poor decision making about the main parts of the project. Most of the time, the reason is poor communication and people-related skills. The importance of communication begins right at the beginning when pitching and selling the need for change. Here's where many leaders make a classic mistake. They lead with dry facts and figures.

The business case for change, and it's all logical and uninspiring. Nearly all successful change is launched with emotional appeals first, and then facts and figures to follow. Using emotional appeals is a powerful way to gain attention and makes the main points stick in people's minds, without actually using many words or bits of data. Let me make this point by using a quick story. There was a manager of a manufacturing facility, a facility that produces some type of industrial widget. Most of their customers loved their products, but over the last year, the president had received negative feedback from one particularly large customer.

The product they made didn't quite meet the customer's needs and that forced the customer to make modifications on their end. But their team lacked the needed expertise, causing all sorts of problems. One day the customer called and suggested he might take his business elsewhere. During the conversation, the president realized that changing how they made the product, just a little, will be all that is required to meet the customer's needs. After the call, the president shared this information with the team of employees who make the product in question.

Problem solved. Not quite. One month later, the phone rang again. It was the same customer dealing with the same problem. The president goes to talk to the team, and they explained they determined it wasn't worth the extra time. The customer kept buying, so why waste more time on our end? So all the president explained the numbers to them, how nice the margin is on the sale of this widget. How many widgets the customer in question has been buying, and so on. The team didn't seem to be moved. The president realized he could threaten them to do what he told them to do, but then he realized, there was a better way.

One month later, he called his team into the conference room between shifts. They didn't know why there was a meeting. In the front of the room sat a large television. When everyone was seated, he pressed play. On the screen, the upset customer appeared. Everyone knows who he is. He started by saying thanks for doing business with me for so long, but then he confided that he's not sure if he can continue. He told the group his business is growing and he'd like to increase the size of his order, but he's having second thoughts about doing business with them.

He then took the team on a quick video tour of his facilities and introduced the key players on his team. He took the time to show them exactly what happens when they fail to properly modify the part he purchases. It creates unneeded down time and gets into areas of expertise they don't possess. He finished by assembling his whole team. Then he looked into the camera and said he wanted to continue growing his business and supporting their jobs, but he needed help. He said, you guys can make the part I need. In which case, I'll be thrilled to continue supporting your jobs.

Or, I'll start next quarter working with your competition to find the exact product I need. When the video ended, the team looked a little bothered. They looked a small bit embarrassed or maybe ashamed. The president was about to make his latest positive plea to the team, but he didn't have to. The foremen in the group stood up and announced that moving forward, they would find a solution in the production schedule, to allow extra time to make that customer a special order. No one argued. The next quarter, they shipped precisely what the customer needed.

Examples like this happen all the time when enlightened leaders remember to occasionally use emotion as much as they use dry facts and figures. Take my advice and look over the projects you're running. Find a few opportunities to use video. A picture, or maybe a story, so that you can emotionally grab them. That's when real change is possible.

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Management Tips

104 video lessons · 40931 viewers

Todd Dewett
Author

 
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  1. 3m 3s
    1. How to quit your job successfully
      3m 3s
  2. 31s
    1. Welcome
      31s
  3. 4m 56s
    1. Being a leader, not a micromanager
      2m 21s
    2. Managing your manager
      2m 35s
  4. 5m 11s
    1. Managing millennials
      2m 18s
    2. Managing a multigenerational workforce
      2m 53s
  5. 4m 48s
    1. Avoiding burnout at work
      2m 30s
    2. Learning how to say no
      2m 18s
  6. 5m 38s
    1. Managing poor performance
      2m 45s
    2. Delivering employee feedback
      2m 53s
  7. 5m 26s
    1. Cultivating future leaders
      2m 46s
    2. Hiring to fill gaps in your team
      2m 40s
  8. 5m 12s
    1. Networking within your organization
      2m 43s
    2. Understanding organizational politics
      2m 29s
  9. 5m 8s
    1. Retaining top performers
      2m 31s
    2. Engaging your high potentials
      2m 37s
  10. 5m 29s
    1. Getting your team unstuck
      2m 48s
    2. Coaching your team
      2m 41s
  11. 4m 54s
    1. Offering a needed apology
      2m 25s
    2. Fixing mistakes
      2m 29s
  12. 5m 24s
    1. Creating a lasting first impression
      2m 33s
    2. Reading body language
      2m 51s
  13. 5m 45s
    1. Becoming a change agent
      3m 0s
    2. Finding targets for innovation
      2m 45s
  14. 4m 41s
    1. Earning your next promotion
      2m 33s
    2. Planning for your next raise
      2m 8s
  15. 5m 23s
    1. Making work fun
      2m 43s
    2. Finding purpose in your work
      2m 40s
  16. 5m 0s
    1. Becoming a better listener
      2m 44s
    2. Communicating with candor
      2m 16s
  17. 5m 48s
    1. Assessing your organization's change readiness
      2m 51s
    2. Initiating change conversations
      2m 57s
  18. 5m 6s
    1. Building trust
      2m 32s
    2. Avoiding blame
      2m 34s
  19. 5m 39s
    1. Embracing failure
      2m 33s
    2. Developing your creativity
      3m 6s
  20. 6m 25s
    1. Making better decisions at work
      3m 9s
    2. Creating solutions, not policies
      3m 16s
  21. 5m 42s
    1. Motivating team members
      2m 35s
    2. Empowering through BHAGs
      3m 7s
  22. 6m 6s
    1. Breaking through with brainstorming
      3m 16s
    2. Embracing the devil's advocate
      2m 50s
  23. 4m 32s
    1. Storytelling at work
      2m 39s
    2. Building transparency into your work culture
      1m 53s
  24. 5m 22s
    1. Keeping a virtual team connected
      2m 27s
    2. Building a destination workplace
      2m 55s
  25. 5m 34s
    1. Surviving the loneliness of leadership
      2m 52s
    2. Developing work and life balance
      2m 42s
  26. 5m 22s
    1. Working with people you don't like
      2m 50s
    2. Knowing the difference between quitting and refocusing
      2m 32s
  27. 5m 7s
    1. Motivating by getting your hands dirty
      2m 17s
    2. Using persuasion at work
      2m 50s
  28. 5m 39s
    1. Planning your team-building retreat
      2m 50s
    2. Facilitating your team-building retreat
      2m 49s
  29. 4m 59s
    1. 5 Phrases to Avoid
      2m 39s
    2. The keys to great conversation
      2m 20s
  30. 5m 24s
    1. Giving a realistic job preview
      2m 30s
    2. Rethinking the job description
      2m 54s
  31. 5m 39s
    1. Surviving a bad boss
      3m 1s
    2. Making and recovering from mistakes
      2m 38s
  32. 5m 30s
    1. Discovering the problem with teams
      2m 39s
    2. Getting serious about autonomy
      2m 51s
  33. 5m 59s
    1. Managing creative talent
      3m 2s
    2. Managing technical talent
      2m 57s
  34. 5m 57s
    1. Three dangerous leadership assumptions
      3m 4s
    2. The danger of short-term thinking
      2m 53s
  35. 5m 47s
    1. Leading as an introvert
      3m 13s
    2. Are leaders born or bred?
      2m 34s
  36. 6m 3s
    1. Fighting bureaucracy
      3m 6s
    2. Not all best practices are best
      2m 57s
  37. 6m 40s
    1. Selling your ideas
      2m 30s
    2. Leading with ideas over numbers
      4m 10s
  38. 5m 56s
    1. Restarting a stalled project
      3m 15s
    2. Building a better meeting
      2m 41s
  39. 5m 5s
    1. Navigating common ethical dilemmas
      2m 31s
    2. Making tough decisions
      2m 34s
  40. 4m 22s
    1. Maximizing personal potential
      2m 16s
    2. Diversity’s real power
      2m 6s
  41. 6m 49s
    1. Thinking about hiring in a new way
      3m 18s
    2. Creative onboarding
      3m 31s
  42. 5m 33s
    1. Pushing your limits
      2m 57s
    2. Understanding strengths and weaknesses
      2m 36s
  43. 5m 58s
    1. Questioning competency models
      3m 17s
    2. Hiring a few originals
      2m 41s
  44. 5m 22s
    1. Developing executive presence
      2m 56s
    2. Earning respect
      2m 26s
  45. 6m 8s
    1. Building consensus
      3m 0s
    2. Speaking to be heard
      3m 8s
  46. 6m 19s
    1. Embracing personal evolution
      3m 25s
    2. The art of delayed gratification
      2m 54s
  47. 6m 4s
    1. Rethinking productivity
      2m 59s
    2. Understanding averages and exceptions
      3m 5s
  48. 6m 10s
    1. Using positive power and politics
      3m 8s
    2. Creating needed debate
      3m 2s
  49. 5m 14s
    1. So you want to be a leader?
      2m 39s
    2. Inspiration is a choice
      2m 35s
  50. 5m 5s
    1. Predicting challenges
      2m 23s
    2. Knowing when to engage positive conflict
      2m 42s
  51. 2m 56s
    1. Office etiquette
      2m 56s
  52. 2m 32s
    1. Understanding personality types at work
      2m 32s
  53. 2m 23s
    1. Using phone etiquette
      2m 23s
  54. 3m 3s
    1. Working with difficult bosses
      3m 3s
  55. 2m 32s
    1. Dealing with a public insult from your boss
      2m 32s
  56. 2m 14s
    1. The successful contrarian
      2m 14s

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