Recently, I saw someone promoting that the secret of persuasion is to find people who want to go where you want them to go. To me, that sounds more like the secret of an easy (and boring) life. If someone already wants to do what you want them to do, little or no persuasion/influence is needed. Equally, you don’t need much skill or ability. Perhaps just mention a word or two to nudge them in the right direction.
Which got me thinking. In 2012, are you really stretching your influencing skills? Why bother with the “low hanging fruit” and the “quick wins”? Instead, look for those big influencing goals that will really make a difference when you succeed (BHAGs if you like).
One of the key stages in the Stakeholder Influence Process (outlined in Advocates and Enemies) is to get focus on what you want to influence. What’s missing from the book is looking beyond the here and now. The book is focused on what is in front of you right now. What it doesn’t do is really stretch your thinking to go way beyond what is currently realistic or believable. Yet, once you do that, the rest of the process is just as useful and practical and will help you move forward quickly towards your goal.
Now you need to consider what your BHAGs should be.
- If you could influence it successfully, what would have a transformational effect on your work (and/or life)?
- What do you want to happen which is currently viewed as impossible?
- What do you need to influence to make your life today almost unrecognisable in 12 months?
Take your time. These things rarely appear immediately. Usually, they take a couple of days, and a few friendly conversations to emerge. But once you have those big goals identified, you can start to develop a strategy and identify your stakeholders. Then you can begin to make it happen. And if you don’t, watch out because someone else may get there first!