Learning From a Different Place – Part 14
David Freund, Chief Leadership Officer

When I first read The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership, I thought The Law of Buy-In was trying to convince people to buy into your ideas. My plan was to work on my communications and vision casting so I could convince people to buy into my ideas. I missed the true meaning of the Law; people buy into the leader, then the vision. The author writes, “People don’t at first follow worthy causes. They follow worthy leaders who promote causes they can believe in.” Here are three tips to help you gain buy-in.

  1. They Buy into Your Character – The Law of Buy-In always starts with trust. Trust and character go hand in hand. You can’t have one without the other. To determine how you are doing, ask yourself the following questions:
    • Am I congruent?
    • Do I genuinely try to be honest in all my interactions?
    • Do I typically “walk my talk”?
    • Am I clear on my values, and do I stand up for them?
    • Am I open to the possibilities of learning new truths?
  2. They Buy into Your Competence – People will never buy into a leader who can’t produce. The more you demonstrate competence, the stronger your attraction will be as a leader. Let’s look at some questions that can help you evaluate your competence:
    • What capabilities do I have that make me credible and that inspire the trust and confidence of others?
    • What experience have I had in developing capabilities that affect the confidence I have in myself?
    • What impact are factors such as technology and globalization having on the relevance of my current capabilities?
    • What is my attitude and approach toward improving my current capabilities and gaining new ones?
  3. They Buy into Your Commitment – How committed are you to your cause? Commitment isn’t something that they hear; it’s something that they see. Are your actions confirming for your team that you are committed to the mission? Are your actions aligned with what they have heard from you and others? If you don’t show commitment, they will find a leader who does.

As I close this topic, I want to share a critical point; People will buy into the leader when they sense that the leader buys into them. I can’t overstate this point. It is critical that your people know that you buy into them and believe in them. They won’t ever be perfect, and neither will you, so give them opportunities to shine. When you do, you won’t have trouble living The Law of Buy-In.