Spring is here, salespeople are traveling again, restaurants are filling-up, and business leaders are making real investments in growth. What’s going on?
We’re seeing a full-on rush to competitiveness. Clients of every size are retooling their leaders, people and systems to take full advantage of the coming growth cycle, and to get a permanent jump on complacent competitors.
What’s the goal? As always … re-building for sustainable growth and lasting value creation.
Sustainable growth cultures are the result of what leaders and people do, not what they say. So, what does it take to get enough members of your sales and customer-facing teams operating in lockstep with your vision?
The challenge for companies of any size is born from the assumptions leaders make about what’s required to perform at higher levels. They wonder how far their people are willing to go, how many compromises they’re willing to make, and how many rules they‘re willing to break to deliver on the team’s aggressive commitments.
Instead of preparing team members to win, leaders expect their people to do whatever it takes as long as they don’t get caught.
In order to create a sustainable growth culture, leaders must believe that uncompromised success is possible. And they must be empowered to mark and map their team’s unique path forward.
What do I mean by uncompromised success?
I’m thinking back to elementary school, when I was part of our town’s Connie Mack baseball league. I loved to play, compete and win. Winning was everything to me, but I wasn’t very good.
Who knows if I was any worse than half the kids on my team? I was insecure and very hard on myself. And the dads who volunteered to coach back then were not really developing players, they were there to make sure we knew the rules, were safe and had fun.
For me, losing was not fun.
The most empowering lesson I learned about winning at baseball was taught to me by watching the pros. The lesson: “If you’re not cheating you’re not trying.” Awesome, I thought. My boldness and creativity could be unleashed to make up for my lack of talent!
At the time and well into adulthood, I chose to believe in winning at all costs. All I had to do was push myself to be more daring than my competition—to make sure I did everything I could to win and not get caught.
If you’ve heard my story, you know I learned the hard way that this path can not be sustained.
What are you not willing to do to win?
If you’re shaking your head, I am right there with you. I learned my lesson. I learned the role of a leader is to not only help team members stretch and seek higher levels of performance, but to develop and prepare them to reach and redefine their potential.
Being great at sales and sustaining a dynamic growth culture is about more than being ‘coin operated’ or winning at all costs. It’s about developing a holistic understanding of all the variables at play and a daily commitment to preparing yourself and your team to overcome those variables. It’s about winning with integrity, walking the talk, and becoming the physical embodiment of the mission and vision you seek.
If it were easy, everyone would be doing it. The good news is the path has been marked and the map has been drawn. It’s just waiting for you to pick it up.
As always, we’re here if you have questions. Feel free to grab time on my calendar.