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Chapter 6. Stage one: Client > Decision makers

Decision makers

The person that you meet, greet and contract with is often not the true decision maker. He or she may hold the title, reserved parking space and corner office but in reality may just be a puppet the organization presents to the world. Sitting behind this person will be a range of hidden power brokers. These are the people who can green light your proposal with the blink of an eye. Alternatively, they can consign it to the bottom of an in-tray to collect dust for months. Unless you are able to root out and map the genuine decision makers it is likely that your effort will be frustrated before the change starts.

This mapping process is akin to playing a game of poker with a group of strangers in a strange town with a strange pack of cards. You have to develop intuition and blind sight, the ability to look beyond the words and external factors and understand the interplay that takes place between people. The person dealing the cards may be the perceived leader at the table but in reality there are subtle messages that indicate who really wields the power to take decisions.


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