Are you thinking about, planning, or investing in a key initiative?  Will it require bandwidth and capital resources (financial, human, time)?  Will the outcome matter – really matter?  If you answered yes to any of these, you’ll need relationship tailwind to help you get there.

In my experience, I often run into the 40-40-20 percent scenario:

  • If the idea is logical, straightforward, and presented clearly, it will be supported by 40 percent of your audience right out of the gate;
  • Another 40 percent may feel less enthusiastically about it or see it as the “flavor of the week,” but will still go along;
  • It’s the last 20 percent who will fight you all the way.  “I don’t need this, it will never work, we tried that last year, where will we get the budget from, how will the earth revolve if we try this,” are just some of the overt and covert negative push back comments you’ll get.

Here is your recipe for success:

1. Create demonstrable success with the 40 percent who are eager to jump on board as quickly as possible.  Huge value in positive inertia, small wins, success stories others can point to, speak about, highlight, and try to shoot holes at!

2. Get the other 40 percent engaged by appealing to their logical self interest – if they see what’s in it for them, how they’re better off, how will their situations improve, be enhanced, or otherwise elevated, they just may find slivers of support in their hearts and minds to get behind you or your project.

3. Defuse the remaining 20 percent – if possible ignore them.  Otherwise, to the extent possible, limit your interactions and investment of time, effort and resources.  You’ll never win everyone over and no one I’ve met has a 100% success ratio.  So don’t bother.

Never forget that most businesses are in fact, relationship businesses and that fundamentally, relationships don’t make sense as a stand-alone concept; they’re enablers of execution, performance and results.  If you are interested in leveraging relationships to accelerate your ability to get things done, it’s a lot easier to get there with relationship tailwind…

David