Informational support is the provision of advice, guidance, suggestions, or useful information to help others solve their problems.
—V. P. Tilden
As with any significant initiative, you need support from the top of the organization to achieve success. Don’t be naïve. Clearly, organizational life is a power game. Success depends not only on what you know and can do but also on your relationships with the people above and around you. From your peers and immediate supervisor to the C level, you need support to do anything beyond your assigned tasks.
Relationships are built on trust, common interests, personal compatibility, and shared goals. Why do you think executives play golf together? Those elements are different with each of your contacts. We are not suggesting that you become a sycophant. Quite the contrary. No one, other than egomaniacs, respects or wants to spend time with weak, misdirected, acquiescent individuals. The Bible may say that the meek shall inherit the earth, but in our experience, the powerful won’t leave much behind to inherit. You need to have a clear image of yourself and your goals before you can build constructive relationships with anyone.
Once, we were talking to the head of human resources (HR) at a medium-size hospital in southern California. As we reviewed her department, it became clear that it was woefully understaffed. We pointed this out to her, and her reply was “I know, but we don’t mind.” Goodbye. Admittedly, ...