January 7, 2019 at 6:28 pm #2570JeffAltmanCoachKeymaster
Here’s another one of those tough interview questions that shows up.
“How did you sell an idea to your management team?” Of course, they want you to go into detail about what happened.
So, most people are trained with the star acronym and this is an example of why it doesn’t work as well as the SOAR acronym.
Situation. Task. I’m not a big fan of tasks for senior level professionals.
I want you to think of the objective, the bigger picture which is the “O” in the acronym SOAR. The action that you proposed, and the result that you got.
Now, obviously, you want to, depending upon your level, you want to be thinking in terms of enrolling others in this process. So, the missing ingredient from many people in the stories that they tell is how they looked at the the strategy of the firm and, thus, in looking at the strategy and looking at the business, displayed financial acumen and knowledge that could pull this off.
That’s because it’s not just simply about performing better, or doing a process 3% better. They want to hear big stuff, especially if you’re a C suite executive. So, how did you engage the senior leadership in the organization by looking at the strategy that the firm employed, working on creating alliances.
Now, if there was a senior leader that you’ve interacted with in this process, you want to make sure that you didn’t go around them in the story, because that sends a message to the people that you’re interviewing with, that you’ll gone around them. Not exactly an ideal thing to do.
But you want to be talking about the situation, objective, action, result, looking at the strategy of the firm, the overall business that they were in, and how you would improve it and, thus demonstrate the financial acumen, the amount of revenue that you drew in as a result of this improvement or as a result of this new business that you proposed, and how you enrolled others in this.
For example, if you got an okay to develop a prototype as an initial step, and it’s okay to talk about failures. Failures is a tough word for a lot of folks to hear. What I discovered was I missed in a couple of areas, and, thus, I bring that experience into a new situation.
I took other people’s input, learned from it and, now, I know that there’s always this ingredient that I have to look for. A lot of things that you can explore as part of this but, ultimately, what you’re trying to do is tell a story about a big win. That’s obviously what they prefer to hear–a big win or you brought in a lot of money. You worked through others, enrolling support, enrolling your boss and, then, working through to identify a strategy to improve the business and generate revenue.
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