Encouraging an executive to participate in a leadership appreciation session – using Option Solving?”

As a professional association moves toward a change of leadership over the next year, its leader successor has already been chosen to prepare for the change-over. However, owing to the significant challenges ahead for the association to assume its full role within its field, continued effective leadership is going to be of vital importance. To give him a head start, it was proposed for him to work with an objective leadership expert as a means of appreciating his current leadership talents. From there he would be able to make whatever adjustments were necessary to bring the right association leadership to bear.

Unfortunately he didn’t bite at that moment in time, since he wanted time to think about it. So the designated leadership expert was left to ponder what options might be available to get him to reconsider. So the related question turned out to be: ““What would be the best argument for encouraging this executive to participate in a leadership appreciation session; considering the person has reservations about such activities, it’s not easy to arrange, it could have an important bearing on his forthcoming leadership stint, and his future team has high expectations?” These considerations were around 50% of the key ones that came to mind and clearly the most important ones.

With an appropriate question in place, the leadership expert put together the least likely Yin and Yang “bookends,” which would form a solid framework for this issue and stimulate more plausible options. These “bookends” came out as follows: “Break-off all contacts,” at one end, with, “Pay him to complete the session” at the other. If you now look at our Latest Example, you will realize why these two were least likely.

 

Our leadership expert now had to produce at least five plausible options so as to open up a range of the most creative options. Doing this really stretches the mind and possibilities that would never have been considered without the use of option solving. One of the options he produced was: “Provide a list of advantages for such a session”… which was Option C, which you’ll again find it in our Latest Example. Which one would you choose in the circumstances?

 

A few hours later, the leadership expert returned to the option solving “pictogram” created and allowed his intuition to pick the best option for moving his case forward. Over the next few weeks he will get an opportunity to test it and see if he can encourage the executive concerned to reconsider.

If you have an issue example of your own, please share it with this blogger, through the COMMENTS area.

Thanks Option Solving. (NOTE: Next posting in 2 weeks: “My best leadership option regarding myself and our company?”  We’re always interested in your COMMENTS or go to peter@ileadershipsolutions.com to connect with the blogger.)

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Assuming the Leadership: What should I Focus On – using Option Solving?”

Not so long ago, I was discussing with an executive his/her imminent assignment to assume leadership of a worldwide team. We were discussing what he/she would focus on at the outset to set the right leadership tone.

Once (s)he was fully briefed on the option solving approach, (s)he set about producing a rational question to prompt the right thinking and outcome. This turned out to be: “What would be one of my first activities to be focused on, as I take on the top leadership role; considering our organization is still finding its way, the leadership team is spread out, it still needs strong central leadership, and team members have strong ideas of their own?” The latter considerations were about 50% of the key ones listed. (S)He introduced positive and less positive considerations which were incorporated to take a balanced approach.

Now this question was in place, I encouraged him/her to create the least likely Yin and Yang “bookends,” which not only formed an outer framework for the issue but were sufficiently extreme to stimulate his/her imagination into producing more plausible options. These “bookends” came out as follows: “Take a passive approach ,” at one end, with, “Take a commanding position” at the other. Take a look at our Latest Example to compare why you think these were least likely.

(S)He was challenged to come up with at least five plausible options so as to consider the most creative options. Such an approach really stretches the mind to come up with possibilities that otherwise would never have been considered without option solving. One of the options (s)he produced was: “Work on building close ties with current top team members”… which was Option B. Again, you’ll find it in our Latest Example. Which one would you have chosen in the circumstances?

We then broke off for a couple of hours to talk about other issues in his/her new assignment and then returned to revisit the option solving “pictogram” we had created. Within a short space of time, (s)he chose the one that (s)he felt would work best in his/her circumstances. From there, I encouraged him/her to develop an action-initiative to implement it, while it was still fresh in his/her mind.

If you have an issue example of your own, please share it with this blogger, through the COMMENTS area.
Thanks Option Solving. (NOTE: Next posting in 2 weeks: “Encouraging an executive to participate in a leadership appreciation session?” We’re always interested in your COMMENTS or go to peter@ileadershipsolutions.com to connect with the blogger.)