The way you present yourself has created successes and lost opportunities. It has ignited defining moments and sparked internal conflicts.
Presenting is powerful, but not every presentation is a major one. Whether you’re in a virtual meeting, or physically in the room, you make an impression with every personal exchange you have.
If you want to increase your impact when you speak, you need a coach. The world’s top executives have coaches. The world’s top athletes have coaches. And if you’re dedicated to improving your work, you can have a coach too.
A business case provides three options to respond to the business issue. Each option is someones preferred. It’s possible that there are tens of options, each with a different impact, cost and duration that will be some stakeholders preferred.
How can that be? Because perspective matters. Everyone else’s priorities are misguided.
When a business analyst arrives and says, “This is the best way forward,” they’re misguided. They actually mean, “This is best for some stakeholders and it might be best for you.”
During World War II, the Allies reviewed bullet holes of damaged aircraft returning from Germany during the Second World War.
They wanted to strengthen the planes, to be able to withstand the battles even more.
What should they recommend to their superiors?
Their immediate decision was to rebuild and reinforce areas of the plane that had more bullet holes. Theoretically, this was a logical deduction as these were the most affected areas.
But Abraham Wald, a Hungarian mathematician, realised their data came from bombers that survived and that those that were shot down were not part of their sample: he saw that the red dots represented places where the plane could sustain damage yet still return home.
Wald’s brilliant thinking steered an alternative solution—and saved many lives.
The areas that needed to be reinforced were the places where there were no red dots because those were the places where the plane would not survive being hit.
This cognitive theory is called survivorship bias. And it happens when we look at the things that have survived when instead we should look at the things that don’t.
Are you making a logical error?
Where are you taking bullets and where should you focus?
Growing up, I fondly remember school holidays watching The Littlest Hobo.
The TV show was about a stray dog who travelled around, moving from town to town, befriending and helping people in need. And despite the wishes of the many people whom he helped to adopt him, he preferred to go his own way and would head off once the situation no longer called for his attention.
Each episode was a lesson in selflessness and individuality, in the face of conformity.
You’re a consultant, moving from project to project, building relationships and serving stakeholders. Offering expertise and objectivity, in the face of cultural norms and constraints. Doing your best work, before moving on to the next task once the assignment is complete.
Leave your stakeholders fully capable and remembering you fondly.