Identify and nurture the select group of people, the most valuable players (MVPs), who will breathe life into an initiative. They are culled from both the internal and external core constituencies who must be on board for an initiative to succeed.

There are several MVP categories, including political leaders, policymakers, alliances, suppliers, competitors, and detractors. To reach them, hang out where they hang out, publish in their favorite news media, send word through their social networks, and whenever possible extend direct invitations, preferably face-to-face.

To activate the MVPs, challenge them to lead the way in implementing the change and reaping its associated benefits. Show them how becoming an MVP is an ideal opportunity to demonstrate their professional prowess and stand out in the crowd.

Draw them in by talking about the MVPs as an elite force, the best of the best. Tell them why their individual abilities and talents are critical to the team’s success, and how their participation will help them notch up their skill levels.

To equip them, train them how to have engaging conversations, for example, or provide logistical support, or address logjams. Provide them with easy access to all relevant sources of information.

Make the team’s website simple to navigate and download. Be personally accessible, guarantee responses within 90 minutes, and arrange regular face-to-face encounters in multiple venues. Ensure that, with their participation in the program, people have ample opportunities to build relationships that lead to their own success.

To energize them, remind them of the real impact their efforts will have. Find ways to link their personal passions to their participation in the program.

Figure out how to make the team’s successes enhance, upgrade, or advance each MVP’s circumstances. Show appreciation by learning what is important in the lives of the MVPs, and then express personal gratitude for their efforts.

There are three specific groups who will help maximize returns: the Change Leadership Team, Champions, and Ambassadors.

The Change Leadership Team comprises leaders who represent each major constituency and who work together not only to provide strategic input, but also to execute and coordinate change activity across all core constituencies. Champions are solo operators who represent the change program on the local level within the constituencies to which they belong. Ambassadors represent the program both to their own groups as well as others, carrying with them the authority to negotiate and transact business on the team’s behalf.

Every good idea for change has detractors, some of whom may be among the MVPs. Turn this challenge into an advantage, first by adopting a constructive attitude, then by enlisting the aid of a trusted confidant to figure out why a particular detractor is causing such an intense reaction.

In three out of four cases, apathetic, cynical, or antagonistic people can be overcome with personal handling. Talk to them.

Try to understand their points of view. Initiate a collaborative approach to determine how to work together. But be honest and open about where there is disagreement. Some folks are just “unredeemable.”

Then it becomes necessary to work around them. Leaders should be mindful of their own condition. Alleviate stress with exercise, and engage in a little self-talk to rise above the situation and move on.

Author's Bio: 

Samantha Johnson is the online content creator for Business Book Summaries. At Business Book Summaries, we believe people become better professionals through learning. We believe that business books contain some of the best and most current business thought. We believe that summaries of the best business books help people to learn more efficiently and more effectively. We believe that a summary can provide the basic overview of the book, and give you insights into the author’s ideas. Nothing substitutes for reading the book, but we believe our summaries will help you to get a solid grasp of the lessons in the book, so you can decide which books to read and when to read them.