How To Avoid Being Ignored At The Executive Table

You’re a big time executive, making a difference for the people that you lead.  

But let’s talk about your peers. 

You sit at the executive table with other senior leaders with the same level of expertise and resources as you do. 

You offer ideas, but sometimes get ignored.  

I’ve seen it happen. 

I’ve sat in rooms with senior executives that make decisions for an entire organization, and watch them ignore one or two members of the team. 

You bring ideas. 

You share challenges. 

You’re unheard. 

You’re respected by the people down the chain, but not by the people around your table. 

Feeling ignored is not a good place to be.  

You’re in a position where the work you’ve done should speak for itself. 

Your voice should make a difference. 

Your opinions should matter. 

But you’re not feeling this from your peers. 

Here’s what I want you to understand. 

You should not be ignored.  

If it’s happening to you, what do you do? 

1. Get to know your peers. 

Get to know the people around the table.  

You’re supposed to be working together as a team.  

Do you know your teammates?  

If you don’t know your teammates, that’s the reason why they may not be listening to you. 

You don’t know them, which means they don’t know you.  

Find a way to spend time building relationships outside of the executive boardroom. 

Go to dinner with them and their spouse. 

Play racquetball or go golfing. 

They’ve got to know how you think and how you see the world. 

They need to see the value you bring to the table. 

2. Understand the problem.

If you work in a hospital and a challenge is lowering the length of stay, have a different perspective about that. 

The CEO may have a particular perspective. 

 The operations person also has a different perspective. 

How do you understand that challenge from their perspective and what can you bring to the table? 

This is how you avoid being ignored. 

You’ve got to add value. 

Bring it in a way that others don’t have it. 

When I sat around an executive table, I knew that nobody else had a background in social work or public policy. 

So I always brought unique insights to the table. 

How can you bring your perspective in to make a difference for them? 

If you want to make sure you’re not ignored at the executive table, you’ve got to know the people who you’re around and understand their perspective. 

That’s how you make a difference. 

That’s how you make sure that your voice is always heard. 



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