Writing a Plan that Your Boss will Back

Pencil Vs Camera - 30

Knowing how to write a good proposal is a must-have skill for every leader. It doesn’t matter whether or not you work in a church, run your own business, or are a CEO of a Fortune 500 company. The odds are good that if you have an idea that you need to get buy-in for, at some point you will have to write it down on paper.

Here are a couple of rules that I use whenever I have to put a proposal together:

1. Keep it to one page. Most people zone out after about 400 words. If you work in a more business-type environment you may need to have more facts and figures to back up what you’re saying. Even if that’s necessary, still include a one page summary of your report so that everyone can see the bottom line.

2. Give just a couple of options. I try not to give anymore (or less) than three options. This is enough to provide different choices and get a good conversation going, but not so many that people become overwhelmed and uninterested.

3. Give the same number of pros and cons for every option. It’s not enough just to give choices. You’ve got to be open and honest about the good and the bad about each one. A good pro/con list can be just what you need to sway your boss’ opinion one way or another. This’ll show that you’ve really thought everything through and help your leader to make a decision faster.

Click here if you’d like to check out a previous proposal that I’ve put together.

How to you put together a plan that your boss can easily understand and back whole-heartedly?

–Jeff

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