What can you do if you struggle to get heard?
Joanna was very passionate about driving a new, more sustainable agenda for her company. Her ideas were good, but she was way too intense for a very conservative boardroom preoccupied with keeping their company afloat. It didn't help that in her desire to be heard she had tried different approaches. Sometimes it was all about case studies and data and other times it was presented more as a visionary. Although her ideas would potentially make her company prosper, she was struggling to make an impact, and as a result, she was seriously thinking of leaving as she couldn't share the sense of vision of the company she used to like so much.
What could you do if were you to find yourself in Joanna's situation? You could undoubtedly consider leaving your firm and find a more suitable environment. If you like your company's values, there are ways to give you the right visibility without compromising on your authentic self.
Think like a marketer and study your audience. Ask yourself who they are and what triggers their reaction both positively or negatively. If the board of directors are mainly concerned about profit, the chance is they would warm up easier to propositions coming from somebody more factual in their way of reasoning. If they are change averse, they will clam up to anyone too passionate. To work towards a more executive leadership position, it is essential to pitch to your audience in the right way, with consistency and from day one. In fact, you could create a simple grid with four columns like my template above; (my audience; what I want to achieve; my strategy; feedback) and use it as a template for your conversations to keep yourself in check.