B-Boys Know Their Stakeholders. Do You?

This past weekend, I had the great pleasure of attending WBEZ’s Winter Block Party for Chicago’s Hip-Hop Arts, which included a live b-boy dance battle. B-boying, the popular and highly demanding form of dance, incorporates intricate footwork, acrobatics and martial arts. It is beautiful to watch.

The teams who continued to advance to the next rounds had one attribute in common: they never lost sight of the most important people in the room — the judges. The top competitors knew exactly what the judges were evaluating. Putting on an eye-popping show for the crowd was certainly important, but in the end, wowing the judges was what mattered most.

Who are the most important people in your room?  “Customers” “clients” “boss” are obvious answers but too general.

Avoid a never-ending dizzying b-boy headspin by taking the time to analyze your influencers and stakeholders with a few questions:

  1. Who has financial or emotional interest in the outcome of your work?
  2. Who else will influence your success?
  3. What are their goals, motivations and/or agendas?
  4. How can you best gain their support?
  5. How do they want to receive information?

B-boys would never go into battle without a clear understanding of the rules, floor space and judging criteria. Arm yourself as well! With a little discipline, analytical intelligence and insight into human nature, you’ll increase your chances for success by a gazillion.


Now time to practice those handhops, backspins and flares.

Marta Steele is a Partner with PeopleResults. She can be reached on Twitter @MartaSteele.