“The first responsibility of a leader is to define reality. The last is to say thank you. In between, the leader is a servant.” Max de Pree.
I proceed to be shocked by the leaders that want to view the world by way of rose coloured glasses and never face actuality head on with their Teams. While it’s probably that these people exist in all areas of the enterprise, it’s particularly evident in a gross sales surroundings.
Whether it’s the supervisor that can’t/won’t outline the truth of working in a workforce surroundings and the fundamental accountabilities which are anticipated (and as a end result doesn’t maintain individuals accountable in the identical method throughout the workforce – to all appearances taking part in favorites when they’re merely avoiding potential battle) or the gross sales chief that continues to imagine that because of the model that they characterize prospects will come working for his companies – many leaders fail to outline actuality for his or her workforce.
Time after time I’ve stepped into organizations and shared probably the most primary info with gross sales groups solely to be shocked that they have been unaware of issues such because the targets for particular services or products. In truth that they had been a workforce in identify solely however in actuality have been hyper-targeted on their very own outcomes and contributions. In impact a assortment of people that solely shared their reporting construction.
The second duty of the chief is to be a servant to his individuals. As leaders (particularly in gross sales) we have to deal with what roadblocks can we take away for our Teams. How can we help our individuals in advancing their agenda and eradicating obstacles from our individuals?
Sadly this not often happens both. Leaders do not spend sufficient time assembly the wants of their Team and an excessive amount of discovering methods to deflect blame/making calls for (Yes, I do know that’s a massive generalization).
I can suppose of one occasion the place a buddy of mine (who is a superb, seasoned salesperson) was positioned in a place the place the chief was unable to outline actuality for his workforce or to be a servant and really assist the enterprise transfer ahead. In this case the chief refused to simply accept the failings of the product set and pricing insurance policies his firm was taking to market. Rather than struggle internally (which he ought to have), he hung out refusing to take heed to his workforce and never representing his Team to the senior administration. This ‘teflon’ habits not often serves the Team nicely and actually undermines a Leader’s credibility along with his Team. As a end result a downward spiral begins the place salespeople grow to be disengaged and disenfranchised after which find yourself leaving the group as they seek for a extra supportive chief and group.
The final piece – the thank You – can be one thing that few leaders do nicely. A nicely positioned thanks and public acknowledgement goes a lot farther than anything in recognizing and supporting the work that Team members carry out.
To all of the Leaders on the market – keep in mind the components. Define actuality, be a servant to your individuals, and thank them time and again. Do this and your workforce will assist you and rise to nice heights. You will stand up with them – with out your Team you’ll be able to’t ship your mandate.