This is going to hurt me much more than it is going to hurt you.

I heard that phrase more than once growing up.  It was the phrase that my mother would use just before the moment of impact as her chosen device swatted my backside.

This is going to hurt me much more than it is going to hurt you.”  Yeah, right!  At least that is what I thought at the time.  It is funny how time changes your view of things.  Having my own children certainly taught me what my mom meant.  Fortunately, my daughters very rarely needed anything like that.  I was blessed and highly favored when it came to my children.  But even delivering a needed tough-love message was never a fun thing.

We naturally want to protect those we love.  Sometimes that means we correct their inappropriate behavior.  Sometimes that means we coach them through their challenges and mistakes.  But parents must be careful in how we do that.  Our tendency is to tell our children how to do it correctly.  We feel like we know the solution, and we want to share it with them – to help them.

I challenge you – if you tell them the solution, are you really helping them?  Do they learn?  What do they learn?

I have often referred to leading sales people as being similar to herding cats.  It is also very similar to raising your own family.

One of the biggest mistakes I see sales leaders make is they are too willing to give the sales people on their team the answers to the challenges they face.  When they do, they equip their team to do one thing very well – to come ask them for the answers.  They certainly do not equip them to creatively solve the problems they face.

One of my favorite bloggers, S. Anthony Iannarino has written a great article about this.  Sales leaders and sales people should all go take a peek.