The Obvious Question: And How to Get It Right

English: Ted Kennedy speaks during the first n...

English: Ted Kennedy speaks during the first night of the 2008 Democratic National Convention in Denver, Colorado. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


In most organizations an important part of leading is being able to articulate and “sell” the great work of your team to other key stakeholders. Strong results and quality thinking in bad packaging can be overlooked.  A great presentation can quickly go south, when the team gives sloppy answers to obvious questions.


In her book, Speak Like A CEO: Secrets for Commanding Attention and Getting Better Results,Suzanne Bates cautions leaders to “expect the expected.” Although this seems obvious, it’s the inability to answer the easy and obvious questions that I have seen derail operations reviews, sales pitches, and careers. She shares,


“When Ted Kennedy announced he was running for president, Roger Mudd sat him down in a famous interview and asked, “Why are you running for President?” Kennedy stammered though the answer, and the result was disastrous to his candidacy. One of the biggest mistakes you can make is failing to expect the expected.”

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