Three tips on how to connect with a senior leader

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Senior leaders have many demands on their time and their priorities are definitely not the same as yours. If you’re fortunate enough to be granted some face time, it’s necessary to prepare as much as possible to ensure the time is beneficial for the both of you. In many cases, the opportunity for another meeting might not come for a very long time if ever. There are three things to keep in mind when you do get the meeting on your calendar.

Be flexible
One of the things to keep in mind is that their schedule fluctuates by the minute. Your meeting has the potential to be rescheduled a number of times and so you will need to be patient as this is definitely an important opportunity to connect that you don’t want to miss. If possible, try to request an early morning meeting so that opportunities for a reschedule are minimized and you get him or her before the stresses of the day has kicked in. If you have a coffee shop nearby or in your building, that could be a great suggestion to their assistant. A relaxed setting and an opportunity to also grab their morning coffee or tea can be appealing to them.

Learn about your leader’s view of the business
This is a great opportunity to learn about your leader and what’s most important to them about your business since in many cases, you won’t get more than 30 minutes. Make sure you are asking great questions on their priorities, challenges and goals. This is extremely valuable information for you as you’re getting information right from the source that can be used by you as you work on your specific goals.

Listen and take notes
The information you are learning about in your meeting can be used at a later date to follow up with that leader or to create some opportunities for additional learning or growth for you.

If there are important projects happening or coming down the line, this is a great way to get insight into them and be able to offer assistance to those involved.

I’ve formed many connections with leaders by doing this and those connections have served me beyond my tenure at a company. Most importantly, I’ve gained mentors who’ve played a major role in some of my biggest decisions and that connection has been invaluable.  If you have a question or are interested in learning more, connect with me.

RJ Johns