‘There are only two ways to influence human behaviour: you can manipulate it or you can inspire it.’ – Simon Sinek, Leaders Eat Last.
While you should expect an iterative process, it’s important to get support from your team about the plan’s direction and goals.
Simon Sinek teaches organisations how to inspire and lead, fundamental skills in conveying why your marketing plan deserves backing. Here, we explore Sinek’s top tips for how to influence your team and encourage their trust in your leadership.
1. Enable cooperation
‘If we create an environment where people feel safe amongst their own, the natural reaction is to offer trust and cooperation’, says Sinek. ‘These are feelings, not instructions. There is no pitch you can give that will make somebody trust you.’
According to Sinek, a positive working environment determines the level of trust between colleagues. The more comfortable your team feels, the stronger the rapport you can build.
With close professional relationships and a positive environment, staff will feel able to thrive. In feeling empowered, they will become focused on the company goals rather than self-protection.
2. Start with why
"People don't buy "what" you do, they buy "why" you do it" - Simon Sinek
Sinek explains that to get to the root of anything, whether it's a marketing plan or what you want to do with your life, you must first find your reason why. Why do you need this approval? Why have you put this marketing plan together?
To convince your boss to get on board with your marketing plan, you must convince them of the why. If you do anything with this blog post, be sure to watch this:
3. Encourage support of your ideas
‘Once people feel safe, two things will happen,’ offers Sinek. ‘One, they will give their energy to ensure their leader’s vision is realised. Two, they will start to protect their leader.’
When pitching a new marketing plan, the reaction from your team may indicate how safe they feel. Objections to targets or budgets may reveal a fear of high expectations or a lack of support.
Create a safe environment and empower staff to imagine what’s possible. Enabling your team to feel safe does not mean that every person will support every idea you put forward. However, they will feel secure enough to offer suggestions and trust your decision once you make it.
4. Communication isn't about speaking, it's about listening
Many companies have logos, but too few companies are able to apply meaning to their logos. For a logo to become a symbol, it must say something about who we are.
For example, there are people who tattoo logos onto themselves without even owning the product. In his book 'Start with Why', Sinek gives the example of Harley-Davidson. Why would a rational person tattoo a corporate logo on their bodies? It's because Harley Davidson is a culture; it's a belief system, not just another product that people buy into.
Communication isn't about preaching your product, it's about listening to your 'why' and about listening to what people want for themselves. In short, what does your boss get from this marketing plan? Understand that, and you'll be on your way to an approval.
5. Achieve approval from your boss
‘Worry about and concern yourself with the people that you work with, whether above you or below you', Sinek says. 'How do you inspire them? How do you put yourself out there to see that they are successful and how do you help each other?’'
When aiming for marketing plan approval from your boss, approach the situation from a position of service.
Senior management will need to know budget, targets and ROI. Go further; help your boss understand how your plan can benefit both the organisation and its goals.
The key to getting marketing plan approval lies not only in a well-considered strategy, but also the level of trust people have in your leadership. Make it easy for others to support your ideas by implementing.
Just be sure that your marketing plan is as strong as your leadership.