1. Do you know what your leaders want?
If you don’t know, find out. Unless you’re delivering on the stuff that really matters, you’re probably not really delivering.
2. Could you, if asked, help them to get it?
This is about skills, understanding, time, organisation, quality – and delivery.
3. Are you credible in their terms?
Look at yourself from their perspective in terms of your behaviours, skills, presentation, habits, delivery. If you were them, would you trust you to get things done?
4. Do the risks of involving you in their challenges outweigh the benefits?
We all come with risks but do your benefits outweigh them. Be honest.
5. Could you get their attention in an appropriate way?
Think opportunities: passing remarks, conversations over coffee, walks in from the car park, beginnings and ends of meetings. Befriend PAs – they can help secure moments.
6. Could you deliver your pitch in 15 seconds or less?
A fifteen second pitch to a leader might take you a day to perfect but it could be worth the investment. The pitch, if successful, could create an opportunity to have a longer conversation. Time and attention are severely limited in leadership circles.
7. Are you ego-free?
The more you can allow leaders to take all of the credit for your hard work, the more you will secure influence.
8. Can you keep confidences?
Another potential risk when letting outsiders in the door. But if you can assure them you’ll stay schtum, you’ll get a second hearing.