homepage | The Big Ask of Leadership

March 1, 2024

The Big Ask of Leadership

by Pete Dulin

Shannon Swift

She brings a wealth of experience acquired from working with leaders.

“I have delivered communication skills training in the workplace for over 30 years, helping professionals grow their skills and achieve their potential,” says Swift. “Over ten years ago, I used the process we will cover in this session to help leaders at JP Morgan Retirement Plan Services position cost-saving solutions to their clients, resulting in approximately $5 million of savings. This process worked to help those leaders prepare to influence their clients and say the right things in the right way to get the results they wanted.” 

  • In most organizations, executive leaders are the ones who hold the purse strings, approving big dollars on resources that could help the business. 
  • Executives bear significant responsibility for the overall performance and direction of the company. They must anticipate market trends, identify growth opportunities, and navigate challenges and risks to ensure the company’s long-term success.
  • Just like all of us, these leaders are strapped for time and their attention is in short supply. 
  • We often use too many words to make our point, causing our audience to get confused and miss the point entirely. 
  • Putting ourselves in our audience’s shoes allows us to consider the pressures they face and strategize about how our solution might be just the answer they are looking for. 
  • Demonstrating our ability to analyze the problem, introduce an innovative solution, and anticipate potential obstacles will build our credibility and influence with those executives.

“This session is about persuading others. Honestly, it’s less about convincing leadership to spend money and more about us analyzing and researching a decision,” explains Swift. “Together, we will thoroughly analyze the pros and cons of taking an action, outline the research regarding those pros and cons, consider the risks of not taking action, and tie our actions back to the goals, strategy, and purpose of the organization.”

“Participants will learn about making a good decision and communicating it in a way that follows a logical flow. It is about convincing ourselves and others that this is the right next step and communicating it in a concise, memorable way,” says Swift. 

Certified Life Coach

We do often leave it to our boss to make the big ask, but why not feed him or her the words to say?  This process will help you (and your boss) position your solution as the right next step to take to solve that problem in your organization.

  • Asking for a new Learning Management System
  • Asking for a raise in pay
  • Asking for the company to pay for you to go to a job-related conference
  • Asking for a new claims processing system
  • Asking for another head count for your team 

Smaller asks might be: 

  • Asking for a process change to improve team productivity
  • Asking for funds to throw a party to thank another group for their support
  • Asking for funds for a personal coach to help you improve in your job

Ed brings decades of experience sitting with executive teams as they make financial decisions about solutions that will reduce risk and improve the functioning of their organization. He will provide feedback and perspective on what leaders consider in their decision-making process and how to get them to “yes.”

Taking this workshop with guidance in a group setting offers another valuable experience.

“The beauty of learning in a group is that you can use the power of your peers to improve your results,” says Swift. “In this session you will gather feedback each step of the way from your fellow session participants to improve your strategy, increasing the odds that you get the ‘yes’ you are looking for.”