As the leader of an organization, you need resources to accomplish your mission. As you execute your daily mission, you may identify gaps or shortfalls that impede mission success.
How should you deal with these challenges? If your organization is nested within a larger organization, you are part of a larger mission; what you do impacts the overall results of the organization. One way to address these issues is to approach senior leadership within your organization to ask for support in accomplishing your mission. Senior leaders want you to be successful because their success is tied to your success.
Most senior leaders are happy to assist; if they can’t assist, they will do everything in their power to connect you with someone who can provide the necessary assistance. After all, this is part of their responsibility as a senior leader - to provide resources to subordinate organizations.
When you talk to a senior leader, you should be prepared to ask for help – tell her exactly what you need and let her know how she can help you. The senior leader may ask, “how can I help you,” or “what help do you need from me,”- it is extremely important for you to provide well-reasoned answers to these questions. Be ready to provide the senior leader your top 3-5 issues and/or challenges that he may be able to help you with…and follow-up.
How do you convince a senior leader to provide resources for you to complete your mission or to pursue an opportunity, understanding that it may be a zero-sum game, in other words, what you need may have to be taken from someone else?
First, you must understand the senior leaders’ priorities and objectives; this will help you to connect your requirements to what the senior leader is focused on. This could turn out to be a win-win situation, especially if you are able to link your requirements to the senior leaders’ priorities or to her most important concerns. Second, ensure the senior leader understands the situation, context, and challenges related to your request for support. Third, ensure you understand how the work you do contributes to the senior leaders’ priorities.
An added benefit, is that your request for support will also provide the senior leader insight into your thinking, instill confidence in your ability, make them aware that you are fully engaged in leading your organization