People do not at first follow worthy causes. They follow worthy leaders whose causes they believe in.
People buy into the leader before they buy into the vision.
One of my clients worked hard to raise money to fund his business vision. Investors were skeptical, but he persisted and was successful.
When the company scaled north of $100 million in revenues it suddenly attracted outside buyers willing to pay big multiples. At the investor distribution party, the most common question was, “when are you doing another deal?”
All the previously skeptical investors were suddenly excited to buy into the next one. These investors did not care what it was, they just knew they wanted to be a part of it.
As a leader, your success is measured by your ability to actually take people where they need to go. You can only do that if the people first buy into you.
Gaining buy-in is important, these 4 steps will help you get it done:
Focus first on those with the most influence. How can you identify these individuals? They hold court after your meeting. People look at them during the meeting to see how they are responding. They are the ones in your community whose opinions people seek out. Oftentimes getting one of these influencers to buy-in will cause others to automatically follow.
Craft your vision carefully and practice communicating it. It should connect with and inspire all stakeholders, including you. Influencing is a transference of emotion. You cannot convey emotion if it is not within you to convey. Make sure you have done your homework, are 100% bought in yourself and can communicate it with conviction.
Build up your trust account. When you make a commitment you create hope, when you deliver on that commitment you create trust. Always deliver. Do not find excuses, find a way. Remember, people often hear what they want to hear. Make sure your expectations are set properly and there is complete understanding. Credibility is currency for a leader. With it you have options and without it you are broke.
Leverage momentum. Momentum is magic. Without momentum the smallest obstacles can derail you. With momentum, the largest obstacles cannot fail you. Find opportunities to generate small wins. Get the team believing by achieving. There is no substitute for success when it comes to creating confidence and belief in the leader.
As a leader, having a great vision and a worthy cause is a start. But it won’t be enough to get people to follow you. You have to become a better leader in order to get others to buy into you and your vision. The work you put in to this is the price you must pay if you want to give your vision the best chance of becoming a reality.
What are your strategies for getting others to buy-in to you and your vision?