In business, meetings can’t be held without there being a PowerPoint presentation. Indeed, more trees have been cut down for presentations than for houses. (I know that is an exaggeration, but you get my point.) Meeting participants spend the majority of the time talking to the pages/slides instead of to each other. When I’m asked if I have any questions, I ask the presenter, “Can you turn that document into a dollar?” In other words, “Do you have the personal fortitude and leadership skills required to navigate the politics and keep the team focused when problems occur to successfully execute what is being proposed?” Unfortunately, most presenters don’t. That’s why over 75% of transformational change fails. (Yes, PowerPoint is far easier to work with than people.)
The presenter always emphatically answers, “Yes, I do!” I then ask the following three questions:
We know what success looks like for the organization and for you. Can you tell me what it looks like for each member of the core team and the key operational stakeholders? (i.e., What’s in it for them?)
Can you tell me how you will have to lead differently to successfully execute? (i.e., To ask the organization to do things differently requires that the leader also does things differently. My biggest failures always came after my biggest successes because I came in with the same approach and didn't make the needed adjustments. To that point, one of my favorite sayings is, “If you have seen one transformation, you have seen one transformation.”)
Does the core team know what the unacceptable behaviors are when problems occur? (i.e., “Point a finger, lose a finger.”)
In closing, a PowerPoint can’t lead change because it is only a document. Only Power Leaders can turn a document into a dollar. Be one of them.