Leaders Have To Create Buy-in

Last night I watched a video by Brendon Burchard titled – What Leaders Really Do. Brendon made a point that stuck out to me because it is a leadership fundamental that is very seldom discussed.
He said,

“I think the most important leadership lesson in the world is that people support what they create.”

One of the things that every leader and influencer needs to learn is how to facilitate the co-creation process. When people are heard they will be helpful. When people are involved they are empowered. When people collaborate they will be committed.

I recently watched this process backfire. I am a member of The National Speakers Association. It is a fantastic organization that has benefited me and my career greatly. At the national convention in San Diego at the beginning of this month the association leadership introduced a rebranding for the association and a new name – Platform. The research and prep work for this rebranding was incredible. They had done some amazing research. The presentation to introduce it was impeccable (what else would you expect from The National Speakers Association).

Yet even with all of that in place – the membership was not on board. It quickly became a virtual lightning rod as blogs were written, videos and comments were shared online and it became the social media frenzy – Platform was not accepted. The leadership handled it situation with poise and cool heads and eventually decided to ditch the new name Platform and reevalute the rebranding process with a new approach. So for now we stay The National Speakers Association. – Watch HERE

So what was the problem?

Was it the need? – No – the research backed that up.
Was it the name? – No – many people still love the name.
Was it the presentation? – No – it was really well done. (you can see it HERE

So why didn’t it work? – It didn’t work because the membership was not included in the process and they wouldn’t support what they didn’t create.
There was no co-creation and in the case of Platform it lead to revolt.

So what do we learn from this as leaders? This post is not an attack on the board or anyone involved in this process. I am good friends with many people on the National Board and respect their ideas and leadership a great deal. But I believe there was a major mistake made in that they didn’t involve people in the process and therefore never got buy-in.

One of the tenets of leadership and influence is co-creation. When people create it – they support it.

So how do we become better at involving our people? I am starting to see examples of it in many creative ways. I recently worked with a restaurant chain who used social media and feedback from their customers to shape their menu. Brilliant!
I was recently brought in to speak at a conference where they used surveys to help create the conference theme and the content the attendees wanted to learn and the audience was engaged and energetic – why? because it was truly their conference.

You see as influencers and leaders it may be more than involving our team. We may need to create buy-in and co-creation with our customers, vendors, managers, colleagues, or within our industry.

There are a million great examples of how leaders facilitate co-creation – but let’s remember the lesson from NSA – “People Support What They Create”


One Response

  1. Very true! I work for a dentist who recently built a new facility. He assigned us each a space to create for our particular job. He asked us for specifics, we coordinated with the contractors, and he respected our input. It is a collaboration of experience and functionality that is a wonderful work environment. We have to perform duties in spaces he never works in. He didn’t have a hands on clue what works and what doesn’t. Our collaboration makes for happy employees!

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