To Get Buy-in – You Need to Buy In

Daniel Goleman, in his groundbreaking book – “Working With Emotional Intelligence” said it best: “A new yardstick is judging us: not just how smart we are, or by our training and expertise, but also by how well we handle ourselves and each other”. Productivity is still the name of the game, and that will never change. Your job as a manager or business leader has always been to minimize the input and maximize the output. Right-sizing has put added pressure on management to hold the line on the expense side of the ledger while still growing the profit side. To accomplish both – managers and leaders must change from being task-focused to being people-focused.

Worth Remembering … “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing – expecting a different result.” – Einstein

You need to decide whether the management style that got you here will be the same style that will get you to where you need to be to stay in business? I’m betting that it won’t because there’s been a dramatic shift in people’s attitudes. Their wants and needs have changed. For the newest generation, Generation Z, whose leading edge is just entering the workforce, life outside of work is just as important, if not more important, to life at work. Today’s managers and business leaders need to change how they lead to keep step with those changes. It’s no longer managing as usual.

Worth Remembering … “One of the most important things about being a good manager is to rule with a heart. You have to know the business, but you also have to know what’s at the heart of business and that’s people.” – Oprah

Technical skills are essential, but you can get those out of a book. What is needed to be successful managing and leading others today is someone who understands people. Managing and leading others is about them – not about you. They need someone who possesses exceptional soft skills, the ability to communicate and interact more effectively with others. Someone who spends time getting to know them for more than just the job that they do. How do they like to be managed? How do they want to receive information? Are they visual learners or do they learn by reading a set of instructions? If you can’t or you’re not willing to change your management style to be more in tune with how they like to be managed, you will have difficulty convincing them to buy in. Different folks = different strokes. To get them to buy-in – you need to buy in.

Copyright (c) 2021. Brian Smith – Power Link Dynamics. Not to be reproduced without permission. Find out more about Brian and what he can do for you or your organization by visiting his website. –

I’ve Just Been Promoted – What Should I do Next?

Congratulations on your promotion! Your management team believes you have the potential to take on a management or leadership role in your organization. Making that transition from worker to manager can be a difficult one. It requires a different skill set. It’s no longer about what you know – it’s now about your ability to teach someone else. It’s no longer about you – it’s about them and what you need to do to help them be successful. If your team succeeds, then you succeed. If they fail – it’s because you failed to give them the tools they needed to complete the task and accomplish the goal.

Worth Remembering … “You establish some objectives for them, provide some incentive and try not to direct the detailed way in which they do their work.” – David Packard, HP

I’ve spent over 40 years as a general manager for a major retailer, college professor and independent business owner, so I can tell you from my own experiences that managing and leading others is a learned behaviour.

Here is what I recommend you should do next.

  • Learn to communicate in a style that they like. No one wants to be talked down too.
  • Take the time to listen to what others have to say. You don’t have to agree with them, but you need to respect that they have an opinion and have a right to express it.
  • Be empathetic. See things from their point of view. There may be somethings going on that you aren’t aware of.
  • Be flexible and open minded. It doesn’t have to be just your way to complete the task. Allow others to have input.
  • Be patient. It takes time for people to learn new skills. Be there to offer your support. It would help if you were their biggest cheerleader.
  • Relationships are important. People like to work with people who make them feel that they are wanted and appreciated. Take the time to get to know the people you are working with.

Worth Remembering … “Desire for approval and recognition is a healthy motive but the desire to be acknowledged as better, stronger, or more intelligent easily leads to an excessively egoistic psychological adjustment.” – Albert Einstein

It’s important to know what you know, but I think it’s more important to acknowledge what you don’t know. You don’t have all the answers. How could you? You’ve just been promoted. Managing and leading others is all new to you. Soft skills, your ability to interact more effectively with others, are more critical to your success than your technical knowledge.

Copyright (c) 2021. Brian Smith – Power Link Dynamics. Not to be reproduced without permission. To find out more about Brian and what he can do for you and your organization visit:

Learn To Count To Ten

According to Wikipedia patience is the ability to endure difficult circumstances such as perserverence in the face of delay; tolerance of provocation without responding in anger; or forbearance when under strain, especially when faced with longer term difficulties. Patience is a much needed 21st Century skill. Some have it in spades, others have to work at it. Picking up a 2X4 and smacking someone on the side of the head may not be the way to go when you are frustrated. You need to learn to count to ten.

Worth Remembering … “Patience is bitter, but it’s fruit is sweet.” – Aristotle

Do you need to develop more patience? Here are some things to keep in mind.

1 – Expect challenges. Expect delays. There is no such thing as a perfect plan. Something will go wrong and when it does, work around it or climb over it.

2 – Go slow to go fast. You don’t want to end up doing things twice. Get all the facts before making a decision, but make a decision in a timely manner. Procrastination is a killer.

3 – Be empathetic. People will make mistakes, everyone does. When things go wrong, fix it, don’t dwell on it.

4 – See the big picture. Don’t get bogged down in the weeds. Keep your eye on the prize. A minor set back is just that. Keep moving forward.

Worth Remembering … “He that can have patience can have what he will.” – Benjamin Franklin

Those that know me best know that patience was never my strong suit. It’s something I have had to work at. I’ve had to bite my tongue on more than one occasion. If you want to be a more effective 21st Century manager or business leader then you need to learn to count to ten.

Copyright (c) 2020. Brian Smith – Power Link Dynamics. Not to be reproduced without permission. To find out more about Brian and what he can do for you and your organization visit:


Are You Asking The Right Type of Question?

Are you looking for answers? Not getting the answers you are looking for? Maybe it’s because you aren’t asking the right type of question. If you learn to ask the right type of questions and listen, really listen to the answers, chances are others will tell you everything you need to hear.

Worth Remembering ... “I listen to understand – not necessarily to agree” – Dale Carnegie

Depending on what you want to know, you have four basic types of questions that you can ask.

Open Ended Questions – If you are wanting to promote dialoge then you need to ask an open ended question. Ask a question that requires more than a one word answer from the other person. – Example: “What kind of options are you looking for?”

Closed Questions – When a one word answer will do. A closed question gives the person limited options as to how to respond to your question. – Example: “What colour?”

Clarifying Questions – A non-judgemental question when you want to verify what was said. – Example: “So if I heard you correctly you said …..”

Problem Solving Questions – Sakichi Toyoda, the Japanese Industrialist, inventor, and founder of Toyota Industries, developed the 5 Whys technique. If you are looking to solve a problem try asking “Why”until you discover what problem, or problems need to be solved before you get the desired results. Some solutions may be simple, while others may be more complex. You might uncover more problems then you think you had. – Example: “The shipment didn’t get delivered on time – Why?”

Worth Remembering … “I know you believe you understand what you think I said, but I’m not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant.” – Robert McCloskey

Are you asking the right type of question?

Copyright (c) 2020. Brian Smith – Power Link Dynamics. Not to be reproduced without permission. To find out more about Brian and what he can do for you and your organization visit: