Don’t Waste Time Building Consensus

rebecca morganToday’s blog is written by Rebecca Morgan, President and CEO of Fulcrum ConsultingWorks LLC.

As the authoritarian “command and control” organizational structure has fallen out of favor, some believe that consensus is the replacement leadership model.

It is not.

In fact, finding consensus is best limited to innocuous situations. Working to build consensus can be helpful after a significant decision is made, but not before.

Do we really want to vote on strategy? On which bank to use? On pricing? On which markets to penetrate next?

Asking for input is one thing; waiting for consensus to build is just wasting time.

Come to think of it, what sense does it make to elect leaders? Can you think of an exemplar profitable business that schedules campaigns and debates, followed by an election for CEO?

Totalitarian governments have leaders. Unfortunately, their followers are often without free will. Legitimate leaders have followers that do so voluntarily. They may not always agree, but they are not being held against their will.

With common vision, mission and core values, supported by mutual respect regardless of position, leaders and followers can accomplish amazing things together. Leaders that listen, and that respect decisions made by followers. Followers that listen, and respect decisions made by leaders.

Sharing logic is valuable to learning. But voting? Getting everyone to agree before taking action?

Leadership is not a popularity contest. It is based on the confidence and support of followers. Spend your time building that, not consensus.

About The Author

Rebecca A. Morgan, President of Fulcrum ConsultingWorks Inc., is a manufacturing strategy consultant skilled at clarifying complex ideas, finding creative solutions to problems, and developing and leveraging operational strengths. She works with manufacturers to better position their operations to deliver their espoused competitive advantage repeatedly, reliably, and profitably.

Her ability to work as effectively with off-shift workers as with owners and C-level executives and her 30+ years professional experience combine to support both strategic vision and daily execution.

5 Tips for Manufacturers to Network Like a Pro

rob felber dave joyce

Rob Felber with Congressman Dave Joyce.

Networking is necessary for growing your personal and professional brand. Networking is a technique and competency that needs to be honed and crafted in order to be effective. Although it seems “easy” to many, the most successful business people have strategy behind their networking process. Recently my boss (Rob Felber) did a presentation on “Networking for Manufacturers”, which provided attendees with helpful tips as well as tools he has developed over more than two decades of networking. Below are 5 key takeaways from the seminar for you to use at your next networking event.

  1. Get There Early

When attending an event, it is best to arrive early and get to know the speaker before the event and build that relationship. By interacting with the presenter beforehand, you are creating a dynamic where you could be highlighted during the presentation. Also, talking with the speaker prior to the presentation gives you an advantage when it comes time for the Q&A portion of the talk. Being the first person to ask a question puts you and your company in the spotlight with your peers and colleagues.

  1. The Importance of the 10-to-30 Second Commercial

Crafting your 10-to-30 second commercial for networking events is essential in creating great first impressions. Practice it so that it becomes second nature.. Don’t bombard people with information. Keep it simple and to-the-point.  Start it off with a pain statement and leave it open-ended so that your prospect will be intrigued and want to know more.

  1. Get in with Key Influencers

When joining a networking group, it is important to get involved early. Volunteer on committees, or get in front of the board of the group. Getting to know key influencers in the group brings a level of ease to networking. Also, the more individuals you become close with, the more opportunities you will have for members to introduce you to prospects.

  1. Divide and Conquer

When attending a networking event with colleagues or peers, it is important to ‘divide and conquer’. Sitting with colleagues or friends is limiting and closes you off from making new connections. Unless you surround yourself with new people, you are not going to build relationships. Also, make sure and review the attending list prior to the event, looking up prospects on LinkedIn and trying to target and sit next to those individuals at the event. When researching your prospects prior to an event, see if any of your connects are able to make a personal introduction.

5. Don’t Underestimate the Power of Social Media

Social media is a great tool to enhance your personal and professional brand. When you’re at seminars and events, tweeting or posting about it on your other social media platforms gives you the opportunity to grow your social media presence and following. Using social media to talk about what you’ve learned also opens the door for further conversations with speakers and attendees.

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