Without Preparation, Your Will to Win Is Not Good

Published on October 23, 2002

Rudolph Giuliani, in his new book “Leadership”, talks about Ted Olson’s argument before the U.S. Supreme Court as he represented George Bush in the Florida voting fiasco. To win the necessary 5 votes he had to prepare a few arguments addressing different personal beliefs. One argument may have been strong enough to win 3 votes, but he had to have a couple of other arguments at his disposal in order to win over the two remaining critical votes. Guiliani claims “he gave the Justices exactly what they needed”.

As you are about to present your case to a customer, employee or any stakeholder, are you prepared with all the arguments you will need in order to win the necessary votes of approval? Not everyone will buy into one argument. All of us buy into ideas based on what is important to us. To insure your success in gaining the necessary influence to move forward, you need to make sure you have enough arguments to satisfy the majority.

It always amazes me how often people ask everyone else to buy off on one story for the same reason. The concept of coaching is not about having one process work the same way for all. Great coaching is about taking proven processes and molding them to the strengths of each individual. This is what Ted Olson did in his Supreme Court presentation. He took one central theme and presented tailored versions to address the different issues each
Justice was concerned about.

Remember, it not’s the quality of the idea that counts. It’s your ability to communicate the value of the idea and gain the necessary commitment.

The next time you come up with your brilliant brainstorm, remember to prepare your marketing of the idea by doing the following:
1) Ask yourself who you need to get to buy into this concept.
2) Understand the various interests that need to be addressed in order to win the necessary support.
3) Prepare the different layers of arguments you will need to present in order to cover all your bases and win the game.

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