November 21

Leaders Who Influence Overcome Change to Achieve Buy-in


We’ve all seen it, the rallying cry by a leader that followers must band together in order to carry an organization forward to achieve its vision, or the speech that electrifies an audience while making them rise to their feet at the end for a standing ovation symbolizing agreement with what was shared. In each instance, feelings and emotions of buy-in were stirred due to motivation.
Dr. Jason Carthen: Influence

Idealized Influence

Research reveals that leaders who are able to enact idealized influence with their followers are able to not only achieve buy-in for their vision, but mobilize individuals who contribute to a positive culture and healthy organization. Idealized influence is a concept tied to Transformational Leadership theory and suggests that leaders who are able to instill a collective mission and a strong sense of purpose when engaging followers, are more likely to achieve success. Why is Idealized influence important to buy-in? Because in most cases, organizations need the support of stakeholders, whether internal or external, in order to implement new ideas and achieve success. 

Challenging Change

Now to be clear, in many cases establishing buy-in and achieving forward momentum is not going to be easy. People are often resistant to change, so buy-in is essential. Getting buy-in from affected parties will greatly improve a leader’s chances of success with their ideas, as well as save time in the implementation process.  So how do we get there? Clarity and communication are key elements in the buy-in process.  

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Articulating the Benefits of Buy-In

You must clearly articulate why the idea is necessary for the organization and individuals and be specific about the objectives and targets.  A leader must also be prepared to answer three questions:

    1. What are the benefits of the proposed change?

    2. Are there possible negative effects?

    3. What is the time-frame needed to implement the change?

Handling Objections

The leader who prepares responses to these questions stands a better chance of greater buy-in and a smoother adaptation to the proposed change which increases the likelihood of buy-in. It is a good idea to prepare rebuttals beforehand to other likely points of resistance to the proposed change.  Finally, be prepared to make modifications to the plan along the way. Followers that feel they have a voice in the midst of change are also more likely to buy into the changes that lie ahead.

Point of Clarity Quote:

“Was it you or I who stumbled first? It does not matter. The one of us who finds the strength to get up first, must help the other.”
― Vera Nazarian



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