Preparing Your Internal Champion


People don't take action unless they're motivated and people don't get motivated unless they're emotional about something. Your job is to figure out how to get your internal champion engaged with your project, enough to burn some political capital and get the attention of a decision-maker. 

Preparing Your Internal Champion

Rapport is also important. Prove that you are a trustworthy collaborator.  Show them respect, give them your time and offer help along the way.  Above all, give them the tools they’ll need to get their projects approved.  A major part of your responsibility is making sure that what you give them will be enough for them to address a decision-maker on your behalf.  I’ve often quipped that your one-page proposal should be so compelling, a mime could deliver it to each decision-maker or influencer and secure their consent without having to say a word! 

I know this sounds comical; however, sometimes that’s how it plays out.  An internal champion might not be knowledgeable enough to address any questions or concerns that arise regarding your proposal.  Nonetheless, they are attending the meeting(s) where the decision is being made, and you’re not there to feed them answers to any tough questions.  I’ve often said that the whole process feels as if you’re being asked to deliver a baby with robotic arms while standing in a room on the other side of the world; however, that doesn’t necessarily mean the process is destined to fail if you’re not in the same room.  If you prepare your internal champion with a superior set of tools (e.g., a one-page proposal, one-page financials and your support behind them), your internal champion will feel up to the challenge and deliver that “baby” successfully!

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Posted by Mark Jewell