How to Gain Executive Support for a Leadership Program

Jeni Nichols

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I'd start by asking the following questions . . .

What is the business context? What are current business issues driving the need? Tie TLC to the specific business objectives. For example if the company is losing ground, point out that a leadership culture is more innovative. A study of the Financial Times 1000 found the #1 factor in determining innovation (defined by revenue of new product in last three years) is management trust, "I feel trusted more."

What are the expectations? What results are you looking for? Set goals and measurements, establish success factors. What will success look like when we have implemented TLC? If, for example, your organization is concerned about succession planning (by the year 2015 the present ranks of management will be thinned by one third, simply by retirement) then establish success factors based on the expectation that you will be developing leaders to replace those that are leaving.

What is happening in their business world that's affecting their role as leaders? Only 2.4% of the top three levels of executives spend their time thinking about the future. Probe for areas where future thinking could positively impact the business.

Jeni Nichols of FlashPoint is an Authorized Public Workshop and Facilitator Training Provider

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