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Decisions: Don’t ask for Permission November 2, 2007

Posted by Darth Sidious in Leadership, Sales.
1 comment so far

You’re working with an ally of the Republic to land a deal on a order of Star Destroyers, you present a great proposal, and at the end you ask “does that sound ok?”

You’re pitching a project to Management about some I.T Infrastructure that should be put into place; by doing due diligence you evaluate a few options, and document the options along with a recommendation. When presenting the document, you say “review the options, and let us know what you want to do?”

You’re in a team meeting and you feel a new process needs to be implemented to handle dealing with an issue. You mention to the team what you’re new process is all about, and at the end ask “what do you guys think?”

There are a multitude of such scenarios whether it’s in Project Management, Sales, and even within your team. By default, when you don’t have final authority your instinct is to get approval; and indeed that may actually be the documented policy.

But when you ask for that approval, you’re inviting the answer of no, which is not what you’re looking for. The approach you want to take is approval by default; people are welcome to disagree if they want, but if nothing is said you assume it’s a go.

After I got the separatists to attack the allied forces under the guidance of Count Dooku and General Grievous, I went to the Senate as Senator Palpatine and announced how it’s all going to go down. That in order to survive this assault, I’m going to take over and lead the Empire to victory. I didn’t ask if that would be ok, I just did it.

So if you want to be a Leader, just say what you’re going to do. If there’s any objections, they’ll say it and you can then discuss it. As a sales person, you go forward assuming the deal is on, unless the customer says no. Etc…

There’s a reason why this works so well. People don’t like making decisions, don’t like being accountable for decisions, and don’t like confrontation. You’re using this psychology to your advantage by making the decision for them.

Darth Sidious