You can’t get to the Unicorn Zone by pushing harder. You must create a pull effect in all of your projects and strategies.

Many executives contacted me after I wrote the words, “you can’t get to the Unicorn Zone by pushing harder. You must create a pull effect”. This  is what resonated for many of you:

This is true of ALL your strategies and projects. Some executives asked about when to use PUSH and when to use PULL. The answer is that PULL is always preferable, and today I’d like to offer you a few suggestions on how to create a pull effect. The quote below first provides some further context.


My favorite quote

Hey CEOs: Return-to-office mandates don’t work”, Adam Grant, recently posted this on LinkedIn, confirming what we all know deep down.

People don’t want to be PUSHed

People don’t like Strategy (capital S intended) announced from the top

People don’t want to be told, they like to be asked.


For their opinion.

The caveat is that as a CEO or leader, you don’t abdicate all responsibility for decisions. If you don’t remember my previous advice on this, see strategy is not democratic.


Here are my top 3 tips on how to create PULL:

  1. Don’t forget the WIIFM. What’s in it for me? Put yourself in their shoes and consider how you can make your strategy (project, idea, recommendation, pitch…) more attractive for THEM. What is it that makes them tick? And if you don’t know, ask them. Ask those around them.
  2. People love choices. It is how we are wired. Given choices, we feel like we have more power, more autonomy. So find a way you can offer people choice. For example, if you want people to come into the office more, offer teams a choice of how they want to do this, how many days a week, or which particular days.
  3. Remember the great Dr. Robert Cialdini, Godfather of Influence techniques, who has popularized the principle of scarcity? If something is scarce, we want it more. Diamonds are more costly than bush rocks, as there are plenty more bush rocks around. (Especially in Outback Australia.)A while back in a client’s culture change program, the VP and I needed to encourage several business divisions to get involved in the initiative and attend meetings. The problem was that the divisional executives were too busy, not interested, said they didn’t have time.So we rationed our offer. Scarcity in action. We explained that we only had capacity to offer this to 2 divisions, and they would need to make a case to be the ones chosen. It was very interesting to see the demand increase. This initiative suddenly became very attractive. And the culture change was a significant and measurable success.


I have plenty more tips for creating PULL. Let me know if you want more by clicking on the “Loved it” in the comments below or email me. We are also diving deep into this in the Turbocharge membership.

If you find this blog  useful, please forward it to others who will benefit.

Keep turbocharging, keep growing 😊🌱📈

PSS Not sure how to get your strategy unstuck, projects powering, and transformation turbocharged? I can help you.

  1. 🌱 For more ideas, playbooks, and to learn from others with similar challenges, join our Turbocharge community at the price of a coffee a day. Money back in 14 days if you’re not satisfied.
  2. 🌱🌱 Email me to book your 1on1 mentoring session to fast track your strategy execution.

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About Lisa Carlin

As a strategy execution specialist and scaleup mentor, Lisa works with ambitious digital leaders to turbocharge their transformation and business planning. Lisa’s clients have an independent sounding board and expert advice so they have absolute confidence they WILL ACHIEVE THEIR GOALS. Lisa is Co-Founder and Director of FutureBuilders Group of organisational development specialists, and volunteers as Chair of the University of Cape Town Australia Trust. Her early career was with Accenture (South Africa) and McKinsey (USA).

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