To get what you want, you have to first know what that is. Strong leaders have exactly that sense--they have a clear sense of what they want and it's specific.
Put these 6 techniques into practice to get what you want and to solidify others' impressions of you as a strong leader.
- Get clear in your own mind about exactly what it is that you want for the business. What does success look like? What are the implications for staffing and hiring? What new products need to be developed? How will your marketing change? What kind of resources are required to pull it off?
- Write down the vision for what you want. Don't let perfect be the enemy of good. Too often, people get hung up honing their message before sharing it with staff (and potentially customers and partners) for input and feedback. Ron Ashkenas describes the problem with perfection in this Harvard Business Review article. Time is wasted here. Don't let that happen to you. Write it down, maybe sleep on it for a night or two, and then push it out with an invitation to comment or engage with you.
- List every action you can do within your current span of control. Sometimes good ideas are crushed because you ask for permission too early or for something you have the power to execute on your own. Doing everything you can within your current role and resources is a smart way to further the business's interests through your vision. Don't squander the authority you've already been granted by asking.
- Steer into adversity--not away from it. If you're doing everything within your power to further your vision, you want to engage with people who have differing opinions and visions early in your process--not late when there is a chance that good work will be undone. Divergent perspectives fuel the creative process. Openly and enthusiastically engaging with adversity leads to a better result. Truth-testing your ideas early makes them stronger.
- Remember that persistence is key. If you're effectively engaging a diverse set of perspectives and opinions, seeing your vision through will immediately become more challenging. This point in the engagement process is precisely when persistence is needed. If you believe in your vision, you have to stick with it. Cyrus Massoumi elaborates on the importance of persistence in this short video.
- Learn to fight fair. Fighting for what you believe in--and how you want to carry out your vision--becomes necessary. Your ability to fight fair is a leadership differentiator. Fighting fair is sticking to the facts, rejecting manufactured drama (and it's all made up), keeping emotions in check, avoiding personal attacks, and being willing to accept alternate paths that lead to the same end goal.
These techniques, when taken together, will help make you a stronger, more capable leader.