Tuesday, March 24, 2009


It appears that Geithner and the Treasury did a good job pre-selling the plan to remove toxic assets from the balance sheets of struggling financial institutions. This article in the NY Times suggests that Geithner spoke to various media and Wall Street players before going live with his proposal.

That is how a leader sells a controversial proposal. A leader goes to the parties most likely to support the proposal and gets them on board. A leader even elicits their input and makes them part of the process. The leader then asks for the supporters to be prepared to publicly support the proposals. Interviews of investors excited with the proposal are set up with the financial press.

Then the leader goes to a couple of parties likely to pan the proposal. An effort is made to educate the other side on the benefits of the proposal and to ask for their criticism before the public presentation. These parties won't suddenly support the proposal, but their criticism may be toned down somewhat and may not be as harmful.

This approach sets up the proposal presentation for success. Too often people come up with great ideas or proposals but don't spend the time to develop a plan to sell the proposal. The plan to sell the proposal is as important as the proposal itself.

Cheers, Mike

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