Championing Your Consigliere

By Peter Jeff
The Leadership Mints Guy

Here’s an idea to become more persuasive. Reading time: 3:19

       a black laptop computer with a red megaphoneYou’ve got a good idea. Now, consider presenting that idea with all the creative flair it took to develop it.

       Instead of simply  pitching it directly to the decision-maker, lateral it. Hand it off to a colleague –your champion–who has less baggage to carry into that decision-making meeting.

      And with no dog in the race,  your champion is likely to get farther– faster –than you.

     executive warfare

      Yes. Your Champion. One who speaks on behalf of another.

       Think of that champion as your consigliere (Italian for counselor.)

       You’ll recall meeting the  Consigliere in the movie The Godfather. Robert Duvall’s character served as the trusted lawyer and confidant to the Corelone family.

        The Consigliere — a.k.a. champion — often had to referee internal and external conflict without getting killed in the process. He or she stayed above the fray primarily because he or she stood on the sidelines, never in line for one of the line positions to run the family.

     And those champions in your organization serve as servant leaders to leaders. They become “consiglieri or the real advisors behind the throne,” notes former CEO David D’Alessandro in his book Executive Warfare.

     Those Consiglieri  (plural of Consigliere) are often staff leaders in human resources, public relations, investor relations and the law department, D’Alessandro observes who have “unfettered access to the boss.”  They have no ax to grind. No personal agenda to pursue beyond their current role. Continue reading “Championing Your Consigliere”