We’ve been exploring the highs and lows of senior leaders and how you (if you work for one) have to lead them as much as the people who report to you. The dynamic is different, of course, but the need is the same (your leader needs you to lead him/her).

Yesterday, I spoke of presenting your senior leader with sound questions/options that allow them to make important decisions and remain accountable to their commitments (to you and others). Part of presenting sound decisions/options is understanding how important due diligence is.

Here’s the deal: Even though senior leaders have their faults, they are smart AND they’ve normally worked hard to get where they are. Further, senior leaders usually (not always) have a fairly good eye for the possible implications at play in different situations. They’ve normally been around the block enough times to know there are multiple ways to solve problems and that the best solutions come from many views on the situation in question.


When you come to a senior leader with shoddy to zero thinking about the situation at hand, don’t expect a Kodak moment. You will more than likely irritate them because of your lack of due diligence. Senior leaders don’t like it when you want them to do the thinking for you. Do your best thinking and exploring of the situation FIRST and then when you present that to you senior leader, you are far more likely to get an engaged and meaningful response.


The better your questions and options, the better the dialogue with your senior leader

The better your due diligence, the better your questions and options (will be)


Do your due diligence

Here are some ways to do due diligence

1) Get Curious

2) Ask questions (of those you lead)

3) Examine a situation from multiple angles (don’t get locked into one solution to fast)

4) Think it out or talk it out before you go to your boss

5) Research (one of the most undervalued TREASURES of life)

6) Get sounding boards (within and maybe without of your organization as appropriate)

7) Present your ideas thoughtfully and cogently

8) Be specific (Form concrete questions and tangible options)