The inherent problem with professional sales is the knowledge gap. Years ago, I heard someone say expertise requires the accumulation of 50,000 units of knowledge. The problem occurs when people reach 10,000 units of knowledge and believe they know the subject at a high level while being utterly unaware of the remaining 40,000 units of knowledge.
We have all hired that person that looked good on paper and interviewed well but did not turn out as expected. How do we undo this mistake? You went to the board and made the pitch, but alas, they do not perform. Or worse, they have changed into someone that is no longer the person you hired. What now?
Any seasoned leader can attest to times they thought about giving up. Giving up may seem like the best approach, but it is often the moment just before the breakthrough. You are tired of the emotional void of having your passion for change go unnoticed or, worse, unappreciated. You want to quit being a leader and go back to the comfort of the past. You are exhausted.
That phrase and its evil siblings, ‘that’s not how we do it here’ and ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’ are, potentially, the seven most dangerous words you’ll ever hear or say in any organization when uttered in response to a suggestion for change.
I am confused about your frequent complaints regarding the availability of talented people for your organization. You complain that good workers are difficult to find. Help me to understand your position and perspective because I cannot understand your logic. Currently, certain people on your team do not perform, do not show up, and do not appreciate the job they get asked to complete. Yet, you cannot seem to find the desire or ability to remove them from your team. What gives?
Something is just off about her. You cannot put your finger on it, but you suspect she is different. She takes longer to get things done when she does not get her way. She makes things more complicated than necessary and avoids difficult conversations. It is subtle but noticeable. On the surface, she seems confident, yet you detect an underlying fragility.
Your inner critic is that voice inside your head. You are not good enough, smart enough, or thin enough. In some cases, it makes you think you are an imposter when you are successful. You feed the critic by allowing it to fester in your mind. The secret is to get these thoughts into your consciousness and be aware of what you are telling yourself. It is crucial to get this thinking into the light by exploring your darkest ideas about yourself.
Are you being told something is your fault? Do you feel blamed or shamed for current or past circumstances? Your instinct is likely to make excuses or justify outcomes. Blaming anything, including a bad economy or bad employees, is a dangerous place for aspiring leaders. It is a trap. Instead of taking the bait, tell those blaming you, “that is the point.” Embrace everything is your fault. You own it all!
Many mid-tier sales reps believe they know how to sell. Through will and determination, they get the job done. When the market is in decline, these reps fail. When the market is growing, they sell enough to get by. Here is the problem. The representative does not know what she does not know about sales. Her boss does not know any more than the sales representative when it comes to high-level skills required to master the sales profession. Unless the boss was a high-performing sales professional herself, she does not know what the sales team needs to know and do to be successful.
Is fear driving your life? Are you afraid to shine? Does what others think of you matter? Coming of age is typically considered adolescence. I believe it occurs when we stop living based on what others think about us. True freedom comes when the opinions of other people no longer handicap us.
Far too many business leaders rely on “hopium” to retain top talent. There is no plan, no strategy, and sadly, little hope of keeping star performers as the post-pandemic mass migration begins. Prepare yourself for the coming resignations you do not see coming. You will be shocked, hurt, and eventually angry when the people you have invested in announce their departure from the team.
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