It’s definitely one of the most common topics of my executive coaching conversations.
And while this topic has broad leadership applications, it is especially noteworthy for Sales.
What’s the topic? It is the difference between management and leadership.
And before you say in your head, “leadership is good and management is bad” – wait.
Because I do not believe that at all.
Without getting academic about it, let me simply say that true, effective management produces optimization. And true, effective leadership produces transformation.
Or to put in a critically different way, great management seeks to minimize disruption while leadership creates it. (Yeah, reread that last bit before going further.)
Now, do you see why this is so acutely critical to Sales?
When it comes to fixing your sales engine, you can only optimize it or transform it. Which means that you are committing to either minimizing disruption (e.g. making processes clearer, buying better software, cleaning out the organizational noise, etc.) or creating disruption (e.g. changing processes, redefining roles, giving people new ways of working, etc.).
How many of you reading this right now want to radically transform how your company does Sales? Well, you only have a glimmer of hope to do that if your company has given you the authority to truly disrupt. And even then, it’s going to be a long, uphill battle to get there (which is why having the freedom to disrupt is so important).
And your sales results will almost assuredly take a hit while you transform. That’s a normal part of the deal.
Don’t have that kind of mandate? Your only path is to commit to optimization, to minimize disruption. In some cases, to avoid disruption.
If, and I mean IF, that is the right thing to do.
Here’s the rub. Creating the disruption may be the only true path you have if you want to transform your sales engine so that you can:
- End stagnation
- Realign and revitalize your company
- Delight your customers and release your true market value
I know that I may have just created more questions than answers for you with this post, but it is my sincere hope that you just got a huge dose of clarity into your current situation. And that, my friend, is worth its weight in gold.
I mua. Onward and upward.
By Tim Ohai
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