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Ever wonder how to get people to do what you want? We all see leaders out there that make leadership look easy. Seems like every other day I see some new person pop up on my radar that has a huge following that apparently showed up out of no where.  How did that happen?

It might look like those people simply decided one day that they would all follow this person and do what was wanted of them, but in reality it didn’t happen that way.  Any time you want to get people to do what you want you need to follow some simple strategies.


How To Get People To Do What You Want

The first step is to know where you are going. You need to clearly define what your intended outcome will be. People don’t follow others that aren’t going where they want to go. You can’t be all things to all people. The more clearly and carefully you define what your intentions are the the easier it is for others to see what you are offering.

Step two is consistency. You must consistently present what you are offering in a way that makes you stand out from everyone else.

Step three is to  provide service (value) above and beyond what is expected and in a way that makes your service appear natural not forced.

Let me share a recent experience with  you. . .

We went to a new place for lunch the other day that specialized in serving buffalo wings. The restaurant opened in March (it is now July). It was a Saturday afternoon in a town that does a lot of business on Saturday as most businesses shut down on Sunday around here. The restaurant was a sports bar.  A restaurant is in business to provide food and beverages and a place to visit or enjoy a sporting event (well this restaurant is designed to offer a place to watch sports as it is a sports bar).

To begin with there were maybe two tables occupied when we arrived, yet the whole place was wide open. The menu was confusing and the wait staff flocked down on us without giving us a moment to figure out what we were doing, trying to explain their confusing menu, never offering water or beer for that matter (it was 1 – a sports bar and 2 – don’t most restaurants make most of their money from alcohol sales?). They confused us as to how the buffalo wings would arrive by the manner in which they shared the sauces – we had to pick several sauces for the wings we ordered.

The staff continued to hover around our table chatting with us as though we were there to entertain them! When they weren’t trying to engage us in random, unwanted conversation, they were cleaning. As in cleaning the fixtures, window sills, climbing on furniture to reach high places to clean.  I have to say the food was good, it was the whole experience that was odd to us. Because of the odd experience we will probably never go back.

This is an example of providing a service that is unexpected and while they might have believed that they were being helpful, they were just being annoying. That is not how to get people to do what you want.

Leaders rarely appear overnight. They often have developed a following,  helping others by encouraging their dreams, justifying their failures, allying their fears, confirming their suspicions and helping them throw rocks at their enemies. Through out history you can take any leader, whether political, religious, military or business and you will find that they garnered a following because they applied one or more of those principles.

What about you? Do you inspire people? Comfort people? Challenge people? Do you annoy people? Do you know how to get people to do what you want?

Action Assignment:

  • Define what you have to offer
  • Decide how what you have to offer can be presented in a way that satisfies at least one of those five principles


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