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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