On yesterday’s post we discussed the single most important thing you need to know to become more successful in sales – the fact that you don’t know everything.
Today we will discuss know-it-all leadership.
I am going to challenge your way of thinking a bit today if you are in sales leadership. As I do, I want you to think about a quote that I heard today. Entrepreneur and author, Randy Gage was speaking on one of my twice monthly calls with my Go Givers International Group. As Bob Burg was introducing Randy, he was preparing the group for the fact that Randy would challenge some of our core beliefs. Bob then gave a quote from Randy that said, “The next time someone challenges your core beliefs – try being curious instead of furious.”
That is a powerful thought! Most of us tend to have beliefs that we hold onto very tightly. When someone does not share that belief – or whose beliefs are exactly the opposite of ours it can make us defensive, dismissive, or can even make us simply shut down the intellectual journey discovering why they think that way. When that happens in sales leadership – everyone loses. Being curious instead of furious does not imply that you will necessarily change your beliefs. It simply implies you will try to understand the other persons perception.
As sales leaders, we have no problem using the process of listening to understand the perception of a prospect. But many sales leaders neglect to apply that same thought process to the sales teams they are leading.
I don’t believe in know-it-all sales leadership. But I have met a few know-it-all people who were in sales leadership roles.
For success at any level of leadership greater than “positional leadership” – you must realize that if you build a team of people who only think, act and believe the way you do – your team meetings will be held in a very small space. You must develop the ability to lead people across many beliefs, thought processes and cultures.
To be successful – you must become an avid student of leadership. My “must reads” are:
- The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership by Doctor John Maxwell – this book is one of two books I credit with changing my career completely
- The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey
- How To Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie
- Developing the Leader Within You by Doctor John Maxwell
- The One Minute Manager by Kenneth H. Blanchard
- Turn The Ship Around by L. David Marquet
- The Effective Executive in Action by Peter Drucker
- Developing the Leaders Around You by Doctor John Maxwell (Are you noticing a pattern here?)
- The Five Dysfunctions of a Team by Patrick Lencioni
- The Unexpected Tour Guide by Jeff C. West (Are you possibly noticing another pattern here? 🙂 )
I define sales leadership as, enriching the lives of others by influencing their actions in such a way that they accomplish something greater because you were there.
Sales leaders – what is your favorite leadership book and why?