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Chris LoCurto


September 23, 2011

How To Influence Your Leadership

September 23, 2011 | By | 16 Comments">16 Comments

This question stemmed from the EntreLeadership Podcast:

I’m an employee in a firm of 25 and want to share information about culture and values with my boss and managers. Other CPAs are urging me to just get out and start on my own. I don’t want to quit (yet) but want to influence this company from within. How do I start, and how will I know when I’m fighting a losing battle?

The key to influencing leadership is by example. It doesn’t matter how much you want to make a difference. If you’re not living the culture that you want to see, nobody’s going to care when you present it as an idea. You have to show every day that you believe in a better way. If you want a culture of no gossip, then you need to tell people who are gossiping to stop. People need to be able to anticipate what, why and how you are going to do something, so they know where you stand.

Once you are living the culture, then you can sit down with your leadership and express a desire to implement it in the workplace. Start by letting them know you would like to share a problem that you have a solution for. Otherwise, they may just view it as a complaint. Let them know how you believe the company can be stronger, more productive and more profitable if ________. (You fill in the blank.) And then, lay out exactly how it can be achieved.

If the leaders are strong enough that culture will work, they will be able to accept and move forward with your ideas. (Assuming you give great input.) If not, they will feel threatened, offended or even insulted. That’s the time you follow the advice of the other CPAs. :-)

Question: How would you convince your leaders to implement new culture?

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  • Louise Thaxton

    I think you said it – If I want to create a culture within my team – I have to MODEL it first …….If I am gossiping – then they will gossip. If I am negative – they will be. If I am wanting to create a positive culture – or a serving culture – then I have to BE positive and SERVE!

  • misty

    You can continue to encourage and support leadership where you can. When asked what your ideas are in other areas, don’t be shy. They may not (and probably will not) like what you have to say, but deep down in their heart of hearts, they know you are honestly giving them your best and feedback they need to hear. I promise you, if they do not listen and implement, you will not last long because the war in your soul to work for people who do not have the same values and principals along with work ethic eats you alive. It did for me anyway. When the day came that my services were over for them, I was ready to move on because I knew God had prepared me to make the next step.

  • Uma Maheswaran S (@mahez007)

    Pitching in with our information of substantiation at the right time. When are able to put forth the pros and postivies stemming from the action, we can sell our ideas. It could work in our way.

  • Eric Speir

    You are definitely right in telling him to live what you confess. In our culture that is hard to come by these days. We know what to do but the cost of doing it often outweighs our will to perform it. It takes discipline on our part to be an example to those around us.

    • Chris LoCurto

      It’s like taking financial advice from broke people.

      • specializingintheimpossible

        HAHA! Sorry that just made me laugh :)

        • Eric Speir

          That is funny. I’ll have to remember that one. I always remind married couples to avoid taking advice from people with multiple divorces!

  • specializingintheimpossible

    Maybe this sounds weird, but…..I look at my objective as if I’m bringing a case to court. I’m not saying I argue. I get “evidence” and I look at it from every angle, for loop-holes, for an answer to every possible question before presenting. In other words, I try to be prepared ;)

    • Chris LoCurto

      Sounds right on to me.

  • Joel Fortner

    Before my current job I lead a team. I love being in leadership positions, but you can lead from any position. Leadership transcends job descriptions. I agree with your approach, Chris, and have followed it in influencing my leader. For instance, I tout the importance of team members understanding one another. I talk about personality style indicators like DISC, have shared info and regularly apply it openly with the team and my leader. Well, she recently cleared me to pursue having not just our branch take the DISC but every division! That exceeded my expectations. Fortunately there are other examples, too. I’m thankful to have her as a boss because its important to me to have a solid relationship with my leader.

    • Chris LoCurto

      I believe that to be a sign of a strong and mature leader. Would you agree Joel? Immature leaders can’t handle the push from team members.

      • Joel Fortner

        I totally agree, Chris. She hasn’t shown any sign of feeling threatened and supports my ideas and perspective. Related to this is on two separate instances, I made it very clear that her goals are my goals and I intend to help her achieve them. I could tell that went over well. While my intent wasn’t to mitigate her feeling threatened, I think it helped.

        • Chris LoCurto

          I love “I made it very clear that her goals are my goals and I intend to help her achieve them.” If that doesn’t help, I don’t know what will!