How To Create Buy-In

How To Create Buy-In

“Behavior precedes belief – that is, most people must engage in a behavior before they accept that it is beneficial; then they see the results, and then they believe that it is the right thing to do….implementation precedes buy-in; it does not follow it.”

― Douglas B. Reeves

Buy-in is that quality that is hard to teach, but you know when people have it. Leaders who focus on getting buy-in from their team members do it for a reason. Chick-fil-A is an excellent example of employee buy-in. They need to attract and retain market shares, so they focus on giving people what they want: great quality and a remarkable experience that makes you want to come back. Over 70% of their employees who deliver that experience are teenagers and getting teenagers to say “It’s my pleasure!” and mean it…takes some level of buy-in. Chick-fil-A hires 16 -21-year-olds to carry the brand name! They need buy-in. Government institutions rarely talk about getting buy-in. Buy-in is not seen as an asset.

It is easier to teach people how to perform a task, than to tap into personal ownership. It takes time, and being intentional. The good farmer doesn’t just plant, water and fertilize at the right times. The good farmer walks the field, checks the conditions, and monitors the growth. The good farmer intentionally grows the plants over time. Growing a leader, a team, a culture, takes consistent commitment to organizational personal growth. Plant one seed of buy-in each day.

I had the honor of turning around 5 major departments inside of two major organizations. The goal has never been to force people to change, but to set them up for success by giving them opportunities to grow and develop. If I lose focus on growing, then we are simply doing a task that over time becomes repetitive and boring. Most people want to believe what they do is important and makes a difference somewhere, to someone. Today, show your team how their work matters – to you, your company, and the customer. Plant the seed to creating buy-in.

Keep cultivating greatness,


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