One of my clients shocked me the other day when I mentioned our upcoming Leadership course in Chicago this July. He told me his managers are well trained regarding leadership. When I asked him about his salespeople, his response was alarming. “Salespeople? Why would salespeople need leadership training? They’re not managers.”
Perhaps you’ve seen the video of a study done with fleas. It’s on YouTube now, but it’s been around a while. A researcher puts fleas in a jar and closes the lid. The fleas jump around hitting the lid. Eventually, they stop jumping high enough to hit the lid. The lid is removed. The fleas never jump higher than the level set by the lid, and their offspring never jump higher either. They’re conditioned for life.
Successful leaders are free from self-imposed restraints, what we call lids. These lids are preconceived notions or thoughts that keep us in our comfort zones. They may be assumptions rooted in fear, doubt, or the result of unpleasant past experiences. Strong leaders rise above their lids with a clear path for growth and success, pushing themselves to reach their maximum potential. All salespeople benefit from being able to recognize and overcome the self-imposed lids that limit their success.
Successful leaders are inspiring. They are excellent communicators with an ability to passionately share their vision. Salespeople who create and share a vision of success are much more effective than those who don’t.
True leaders don’t just create followers. They create leaders. One definition of the word “Lead” is: “The art of motivating people to act towards achieving a common goal.” Consider the mission of your sales team for a moment. What are the goals? What is the mission? Would you not be better served if everyone on your team understood the mission and possessed the leadership skills to reinforce it proactively? By training your salesforce in the principles of leadership, they reach and influence additional team members in ways upper management can’t.
Why do salespeople need leadership training? Because it’s a state of mind, not a station in life. You don’t have to be a manager to have a leader’s mentality.
Improve your leadership skills, achieve your potential. Address biases that keep you from accepting new ideas and better alternatives. Evaluate yourself objectively. Leaders know and accept their strengths and weaknesses. What are yours? Do a survey. Ask your family, friends, and coworkers what they see as your strengths and weaknesses. Strive to overcome negative emotions and thoughts that hinder your progress. Be aware of how you talk to yourself! Be positive and encouraging. Successful leaders have a sense of purpose. Do you know yours? Successful leaders understand who they are, what they want, and how to inspire others. They have a plan, and their actions are deliberate.
Help your team answer these questions or answer them for yourself. Attend our Leadership program and master the six levels of leadership.
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