<img height="1" width="1" src="https://www.facebook.com/tr?id=260954267578739&amp;ev=PageView &amp;noscript=1">

The Art of Persuasion: Building Buy-In and Inspiring Teams for Success W/ Alastair Wood

By Anthony Taylor - June 06, 2023

Have you ever needed to secure buy-in from a board member or a potential employee in order to have them join your team or gain their support for a project? How did you handle the situation, and what insights did you gain from it?

In this interview, we have the privilege of talking to Alastair Wood, Vice-President & General Counsel at Rhino, a New York-based real estate startup that aims to bring greater financial freedom to renters everywhere. Alastair shares valuable insights gained from his experience as the Chief of Staff to the General Counsel and Chief Administrative Officer at City Legal. He successfully navigated the hierarchical structure of a law firm, where he had to influence and gain buy-in from influential individuals who didn't report to him. Through his stories and experiences, we will learn how he honed his persuasive skills and turned them into a powerful asset.

Looking to enhance your strategy and leadership skills? Subscribe to our monthly newsletter for valuable insights from podcasts, frameworks, and case studies. (CLICK HERE)


Here are some key takeaways from our conversation with Alastair:


In this blog, we will explore the significance of building buy-in and the value of collaborating with a team of passionate and inspiring individuals.

Building Buy-In: A Skill That Transcends Hierarchy When Alastair Wood transitioned from a traditional law firm to the role of Chief of Staff at a multinational corporation, he faced the challenge of gaining buy-in from powerful individuals who didn't report to him. In a hierarchical environment like a law firm, authority is often enough to get things done. However, as a Chief of Staff, Alastair had to develop a different skill set – the ability to persuade and inspire individuals to join his team and work towards a shared objective.

Key Takeaway: Building buy-in is crucial in any organization, regardless of its size or structure. It involves getting people invested in the success of a project and making them feel a sense of ownership and shared purpose.


Applying the Skill Set: From Law to Startups Alastair's experience as a litigator and his expertise in persuasive communication proved invaluable when he transitioned to the startup world. Startups thrive on teamwork and shared vision. As a leader in a startup, Alastair had to ensure that everyone was aligned, motivated, and invested in the company's success. His ability to effectively communicate ideas and garner support helped create a cohesive and dedicated team.

Key Takeaway: Effective communication and building buy-in are vital in startups, where every team member's contribution and dedication can make a significant impact on the company's growth and success.


The Craft of Communication: A Valuable Superpower Alastair's background in law and persuasive writing honed his ability to communicate ideas clearly and avoid confusion. He understood the importance of ensuring that his messages were interpreted as intended, both internally and externally. Colleagues often sought his help in crafting emails and messages because of his skill in communicating complex ideas persuasively.

Key Takeaway: Every team member possesses unique skills and superpowers that can be leveraged for the benefit of the organization. Effective communication is a valuable skill that extends beyond the legal profession and can greatly contribute to an organization's success.


The Power of People: Joining Rhino When considering his move to Rhino, Alastair was drawn to the company's mission and, more importantly, the people. He believed that the success of a company lies in its team – individuals who are passionate, inspiring, and dedicated to the organization's goals. Surrounding himself with such a team motivated Alastair and provided a strong foundation for the company's growth.

Key Takeaway: When building a successful organization, it is crucial to have a team of individuals who are passionate, inspired, and aligned with the company's mission. The right team can overcome challenges, fuel innovation, and drive success.

Conclusion: Building buy-in and effective communication are essential skills for leaders in any industry or organization. Alastair Wood's experiences as a Chief of Staff highlight the importance of these skills and how they can be applied across different contexts, from hierarchical law firms to dynamic startups. By mastering the art of persuasion and surrounding yourself with a team of passionate individuals, you can inspire others, foster a shared vision, and achieve remarkable success.

So, as you reflect on your own leadership journey, ask yourself: How can I build buy-in and effectively communicate with my team? How can I inspire passion and dedication among

Did you find this content enjoyable? Feel free to check out our other blogs & episodes:


Our readers' favourite posts