The United States has an almost 60-year history of Presidential debates where we believe that one person or another will rise to the top, win and become our leader.

The same holds true in professional situations where we carry that same principle into a conference room and have people champion their ideas and hope that the best one rises to the top.

In both cases, little could be further from the truth.

In Presidential debates, we have all turned into fan boys or fan girls, rooting for our favorite. We have stopped listening to ideas and allowed polls to tell us who won and who lost.

At work, the decision-maker will take into account factors not included in the discussion when making their choice. Often, it is an exercise in risk management, rather than one with the best ideas lead.

The candidates in Presidential debates understand what their rules are. The candidates in intraoffice debates usually don’t.

When you walk into your debate, remember that there are ideas that are not going to be presented that are part of the decision-making—i.e. risk— that may weigh more heavily in the decider’s mind.

Focusing on that will usually help you win more often than not.


Ⓒ The Big Game Hunter, Inc., Asheville, NC 2019


Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter
Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter

Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter is a career and leadership coach who worked as a recruiter for more than 40 years. He is the host of “No BS Job Search Advice Radio,” the #1 podcast in iTunes for job search with more than 1500 episodes and his newest show, “No BS Coaching Advice” and is a member of The Forbes Coaches Council.

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