Influencing people who don't report to you

Maybe the toughest thing in management to do is persuade others to go along with you when you have no authority over them.

If you find yourself in this situation, consider these five action steps.

  1. Do your homework. Find out what your colleagues in different functions think about the initiative.
  2. Make your case. Demonstrate how the initiative will make things better in the long run. Acknowledge short-term pain for longer-term gain. Argue the business case.
  3. Listen, listen, listen. Pay attention to what your colleagues are telling you.
  4. Push hard. If this initiative is important and if senior management is counting on you to drive it through, and then keep on it.
  5. Be there to follow up. This is critical. Make it known up front that you will be available to help implement the initiative.

John Baldoni is chair of leadership development at N2Growth, is an internationally recognized leadership educator and executive coach. In 2014, Trust Across America named him to its list of top 100 most trustworthy business experts. Also in 2014, Inc.com named Baldoni to its list of top 100 leadership experts, and Global Gurus ranked him No. 11 on its list of global leadership experts. Baldoni is the author of more than a dozen books, including his newest, “MOXIE: The Secret to Bold and Gutsy Leadership.”

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