Librarians – “Effectively Influencing Decision Makers”…06.20.09

20 06 2009

Here is an interesting and very useful piece of an opinion column from Business Week yesterday by Marshall Goldsmith titled Effectively Influencing Decision Makers:

“…Peter Drucker has written extensively about the impact of the knowledge worker in modern organizations. Knowledge workers can be defined as people who know more about what they are doing than their managers do. Many knowledge workers have years of education and experience in training for their positions yet have almost no training in how to effectively influence decision-makers. As Peter has noted, ‘The greatest wisdom not applied to action and behavior is meaningless data.’

The 11 guidelines listed below are intended to help you do a better job of influencing decision-makers…

  1. Every decision that affects our lives will be made by the person who has the power to make that decision, not the “right” person or the “smartest” person or the “best” person. Make peace with this fact…
  2. When presenting ideas to decision-makers, realize that it is your responsibility to sell, not their responsibility to buy…
  3. Focus on contribution to the larger good—not just the achievement of your objectives…
  4. Strive to win the big battles. Don’t waste your energy and psychological capital on trivial points…
  5. Present a realistic ‘cost-benefit’ analysis of your ideas—don’t just sell benefits…
  6. ‘Challenge up’ on issues involving ethics or integrity—never remain silent on ethics violations…
  7. Realize that powerful people are just as human as you are. Don’t say, ‘I am amazed that someone at this level…’…
  8. Treat decision-makers with the same courtesy that you would treat customers—don’t be disrespectful…
  9. Support the final decision of the organization. Don’t tell direct reports, ‘They made me tell you.’…
  10. Make a positive difference—don’t just try to ‘win’ or ‘be right’…
  11. Focus on the future—let go of the past…”


  1. “The Influence Pyramid 2.0″–Librarians and Others Can Choose to Be Powerful
  2. “Influence Pyramid” and the Solo Librarian
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One response

26 06 2009

Thanks for posting this.

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