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Do you want to be a B.O.S.S.? Be of Service to Sponsors and Stakeholders

I had the great pleasure of speaking at the PMI Sioux Empire Chapter Summit yesterday in Sioux Falls, SD.  In addition to the READY, Set, Change! keynote session, I presented a session entitled Secrets of Successful Sponsor Engagement. Talking about sponsor engagement led me to think deeply about the importance of sponsor engagement on stakeholder engagement and successful adoption. Many of us in the project and change management and even HR worlds are aware that we are supposed to be engaging our sponsors. It's on our list to help our sponsors be more effective, but quite frankly I find that somewhat nerve wracking. 

As I was sharing ideas, strategies, and tactics about how to fully engage and assist sponsors, I was recognizing my own hesitation to engage with high level executives when I'm leading change on a project. 

The reason I think it's sometimes difficult for me to take a big step and connect deeply with the sponsor is that I worry and can get a little intimidated, which is my negative self-talk taking over. When I let that negative voice in my head tell me what I shouldn’t be doing then I'm not aligned with what I know I must do. So how can we get over our fear, hesitation, and negative self-talk which tells us we don't deserve to guide our sponsor?  

It came to me as I was speaking yesterday. What we need to break free is to step into service. Being of service to sponsors and stakeholders (B.O. S. S.) will help focus our brain on service which moves us away from our ego and eliminates negative self-talk. 

B.O. S. S. focuses all our energy on serving rather than worrying about how we're perceived. When I feel nervous or small, I lean into my service. Recognizing that service and focus on sponsors and stakeholders provides a great sense of mission, which overrides my anxiety. 

I think it's easy to forget what we do for others, in service of successful leadership of change, matters.  

So, if you feel that hesitation, if you feel like you're not big enough, or known enough, or senior enough, or high level enough to talk and engage your sponsor to successfully lead change remember it's not about you.  Be B.O.S.S. in service for sponsors and stakeholders and you'll be able to step forward into the B.O.S.S. role you have been called to serve.

Recognized as one of the Top 30 Global Guru’s in Organizational Culture both in 2021 & 2022, April is an internationally known organizational change management expert who has implemented change for government, health care, higher education and corporate clients. April is the author of four books including the bestsellers “READY, Set, Change! Simplify and Accelerate Organizational Change” and “READY, Set, CCMP™ Exam Prep Guide".  Contact her at [email protected]