Step 4: Getting buy-in from executivesNow that you have the support of both your peers and manager, it’s time to get the buy-in from executives. This doesn’t have to be difficult, but it does require some prep-work.
Remember, executives are busy—so use your meeting time with them as an endpoint of your buy-in, not the start. This means you’ll have to have already convinced the executive team of the merits of your initiative before the meeting.
First, take a look at the members of the executive team and identify the key influencers. This could be anyone, from the CFO to the CIO, but once you have identified who that person is, try to get some one-on-one time with him or her. The best way to get this arranged is through your manager—simply ask them to schedule a meeting for you directly or through their administrative assistant. Going over your manager’s head may be a one-way ticket to losing their trust and getting your initiative dumped.
Use your one-on-one meeting as an opportunity to learn what is bothering or concerning him or her, and then use your knowledge to improve your position—adjusting where you must to get the buy-in you need. Whatever you do though, don’t get discouraged by what may seem like a lack of progress—hang in there. Because once you’ve aligned your initiative with a goal that he or she is determined to achieve, you’ll be closer than ever to getting the buy-in you’ve been fighting for.
Bonus step: Getting the go-ahead!If you’ve reached this step then you’ve managed to gain the trust of your peers, managers and the executive team—not to mention, gotten your initiative approved. You were prepared, you knew the subject matter well and you had the conviction to see it through to completion—what an achievement!
But the job isn’t done yet—it’s time to get ready to implement this exciting new initiative and watch all your hard work come to fruition. Congratulations!