Bear in Mind: Influence and Leadership for Stakeholder Management

Michael is the President of Sapir Consulting. He has been providing operational, organizational and management consulting and training for over 14 years. He is a certified project management professional and Gestalt process facilitator, offering training, consulting and solutions development in project and product management, process improvement, leadership and team-building programs.

The following article is an excerpt from: Project Management: Influence and Leadership Building Rapport in Teams.

In her children’s book Bear Feels Sick, author Karma Wilson describes how the poor bear is sick and is playing on his friends to cater to his needs. His lovable friends help out and perform many chores including cooking, preparing tea and keeping company to the sad little bear. The bear remains sick for the entire book until suddenly he is miraculously healed. Throughout the book, his charade convinces even the otherwise envious raven, the badgering badger and the ever-so-efficient mole to continuously and wholeheartedly tend to his needs.

If there is one important lesson that this book teaches children, it is the significance of stakeholder management. The shrewd sick bear skillfully identifies the stakeholders, analyzes their attitudes and convinces them in a passive aggressive way to help out while he is relaxing in his bed. Much can be learnt from this story, and this chapter presents a discussion about stakeholder management, the notion that stakeholders differ in their perceptions, and strategies for influence.

Keeping the Nice Bears Close to you
The first step taken in order to develop informal power is to identify stakeholders and map their attitudes. Identifying stakeholders is done alone or with a small team. The objective is to …

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