Influence – or Crash and Burn

The Marketing Director stared at me, hard.
He wasn’t buying the perfect logic of my first-ever corporate strategy board presentation. In fact, he looked positively hostile.

I could see my boss nodding encouragingly. And the Finance and Personnel Directors looked convinced. But the Marketing Director always sat next to the CEO, with the Ops Director on the other side. Without positive signs from those three I knew this was crash and burn.

As a recently-minted Accountant, plucked-out of Finance for a Strategy job half-way through my qualifying studies, I was so surprised by that boardroom reception!

Why hadn’t my logical arguments won the case?

My analysis was deep and thorough. My slide deck was good. The conclusions were inescapable – and expensive for us if we didn’t act as recommended.

I knew as I was watching the Marketing Director’s face that I’d missed some crucial way of getting my point across. Something maybe less about logic and more creative than usual. Click To Tweet

The board sent me back to “do more work on the analysis”. My ego took a real battering, but it was such a useful lesson for a keen young manager.

The next week I found an old copy of “How to Win Friends and Influence People” on a stall in Borough Market and that opened the door to a whole new world for me.


What’s your view – how crucial (or not) is it for managers and leaders to be good influencers too?

Please leave a comment below if they’re still open at the time of reading, or send me a tweet @nickrobcoach

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