I read a post from my friend Peter Cook last week  (Peter Cook blog). He was highlighting a recent conversation he had when offering his new program to a prospective client.  The prospect challenged that Peter would have to ‘sell’ the idea to him.  Pete replied that he was not going to sell or convince, he was happy to answer questions and clarify anything that wasn’t clear. Key message: you never actually sell anything, you only give people opportunities to buy. I wonder how that relates to leadership.  How much do we try to ‘sell our ideas’ or ‘sell the company position’ to our teams or clients (or kids)! 1. We know that the brain doesn’t like to be told 2. We know that for people to engage and be motivated they need to make their own connections and have their own insights or AHA moments 3. We know that the human brain is subject to Confirmation Bias – where it systematically search for evidence to support or confirm it’s already held views, and systematically ignore anything that challenges that view. …yet we persist! Consider, as a leader, if you never ‘sold’ anything to your team, instead providing opportunity for them to engage and connect with the ideas on offer. Key message: you never actually sell ideas, you only give people opportunities to engage. This popular and well-watched You Tube video says it all…..WATCH HERE My take on this is my (well, not mine, stolen from a great mentor!) very famous and useful ‘Rubber Band Theory’. You need to be the lone nut, out there following your purpose and passion. You live it and breath it until you find a ‘first responder’ (note, this doesn’t make much sense if you haven’t watched the video!) and you embrace that person. As more see the benefits and come on-board, you create momentum. The rubber band is initially being stretched in one direction by you, then you are joined by one, then more, until those holding the rubber band back reduce in numbers and are forced to come with you, or simply duck out and disappear! There is no need to sell as a leader. And selling to those who don’t want to be sold to takes precious energy that is much more fruitfully spent on those who are willing and engaged in the direction and outcomes you are proposing. Focus on having useful conversations that help people to make their own connections and provide the information and opportunity for them to make informed decisions….then just get on with it and choose where you place your energy. They need time to Rewire their Brain before being able to commit and follow. Love to hear your thoughts? Michelle