Tue, Aug 20, 2013
High Stakes Personnel Move By CEO
Even my best CEO clients forget that ten minutes prep for a phone call is just as important as prep for a meeting when there are high stakes. There is an art to concise prep.
This week, one of my long-standing clients sent me reading material in anticipation of a phone call about an imminent high stakes personnel move…two hours before the phone call. An earliler appointment cancelled, giving me a bit less than an hour to read the materials and prepare. All I needed was 20 minutes to ask myself what this was really about, write down a list of criteria for good and bad outcomes, organizational choices beside giving the person broad and sole line authority, a list of constituents affected by the choice and some ideas about key messages.
The client presented his view, then asked for my thoughts. I asked him to do in real time what I had done in prep. The conversation was at high speed and got to a good place in short order. When he decided we were done (before the alotted time was up), he said: “You are either incredibly quick or you came to the call fully prepared. I am focused on results but there is a way to get them with far less collateral damage.”
I told him how I had prepared and for how long. He took it as a reminder for himself. Just because it is a phone call does not mean it is any less important than an actual meeting.
That’s just my experience. What’s yours?