Every manager wants to develop a team of champions. Yet, only a select few have been able to truly realize this goal and enjoy the benefits that follow.
Not that sales quotas aren’t being achieved; they’re just being done so at a greater expense; the managers’ time, resources, peace of mind and energy. However, the truly great managers realize they first need to learn how to coach their people to the top and develop that missing discipline of leadership.
If your marketplace has changed, then you need to change with it. Einstein said it best. “The level of thinking that got us here is no longer enough.” Managers and executives need to embrace the new rules for engagement when it comes to communicating with their people as well as attracting, retaining, motivating and building a world class team. The majority of managers are simply doing it all wrong, creating the very problems they are desperately looking to avoid.
Especially within a tough marketplace, business owners and managers who want to shift from surviving to thriving need to develop an entirely new skill set and mindset, which is counterintuitive to how they currently do things. Here, I’ve exposed ten of the most popular self-sabotaging behaviors managers engage in that prevent positive change and some strategic solutions to them.
1. Get Out Of The Fear Based, Survival Driven Mentality
Many of our decisions are governed by fear. Lets face it; we’re all pretty good at articulating what we don’t want to happen in our lives yet fall short when trying to come up with a vivid picture of what we do want or our goals and dreams. If you know what you don’t want and don’t know what you do want then where do you think you are going to continually wind up directing your thoughts and energy? Your goals and dreams don’t even stand a chance! Instead, empower your dreams and goals rather than your fears to be the driving force that moves you forward. Otherwise, you’re breeding a culture based on fear.
2. Become Process Driven vs. Result Driven
Like many professionals, there’s often pressure to reach quota or a certain level of acceptable performance. While having a monthly goal keeps your eye on the prize and your focus on the end result, it may actually do more harm than good. The irony is, this constant push to reach sales numbers keeps you hooked on the goal, diverting your efforts away from refining the selling process needed to generate more business. The quandary then becomes, “I’m too busy to work on my process. I have numbers to meet!” Consider this paradox; the result is the process. Shift most of your attention away from your goal or the end result and onto the process. After all, you don’t do the result; you execute the process, which produces the result as a natural byproduct of your efforts. By honoring the process, you can enjoy the benefit of knowing that you will attain your goals.
3. Get Off The Adrenaline Train
Many people today are hooked on a commonly abused, yet elusive drug whose widespread use seems to be flying under our radar. That drug of choice is adrenaline. The classic symptoms? Saying “Yes” when you mean “No.” Overcommiting or overbooking your schedule, then finding it difficult to deliver on deadlines or complete tasks. Procrastinating until the last moment. Believing you, “Work best under pressure.” Being easily distracted. Tolerating stress, chaos, disorganization, poor planning, lackluster team performance or undesirable customers create situations that provide the adrenaline rush associated when working on overdrive.
4. Develop and Implement a Tactical Turnaround Strategy for Underperformers
Without having the awareness and discipline to develop and execute a turnaround strategy when needed, the costs to every company are great. There are a myriad of reasons why a salesperson fails and why a turnaround strategy is a vital component needed to ensure their long term success. Managers need to be acutely aware and sensitive to the fact that some turnaround situations will result in termination or the salesperson deciding to leave on his own accord. Regardless of the underlying reason why a salesperson isn’t performing up to desired expectations, a four week turnaround program will help you identify what’s really going on and provide you with the framework to quickly determine how you can turn around an underperformer in less than thirty days or whether you and your company are better off without them.
5. Take Full Responsibility For Your People
If you want to become powerful, hire a powerful coach. It’s a simple, yet highly effective strategy. If you want your salespeople to be powerful, you need to be a good role model for them. As you evolve, so does your team. Consider this truth: Your team is a reflection of you. After all, avalanches roll down hill. If you’re not prepared to be 100 percent accountable for the success and failure of your team, if you skirt accountability in any way, if you lack professionalism or proficiencies in certain areas, your team will reflect these weaknesses.
6. Don’t Be Seduced by Potential
The greatest seduction managers fall victim of is the seduction of potential. Are you keeping someone aboard who isn’t serving the best interests of the company? The “Lets just wait and see” approach is a surefire strategy for failure. Are you trying to be the “good guy?” Are you worried about having to refill the position? Are you attached to making this person work out? Every day you keep a bad hire aboard costs the company money, time, leads and many selling opportunities. Don’t let your staff keep you prisoner. Look at the numbers. Make your decision based on their activity and productivity, not on your emotions. Remember, “hope” isn’t a strategy.
7. Develop a 30 Day New Hire Strong Start Orientation Program
Regardless of your product or sales cycle, every manager needs to be able to confidently assess whether or not someone is going to ‘make it’ within their first thirty days on the job. What do you expect from a new hire within the first thirty days?
8. Make Confidence A Choice
What if we don’t allow external situations to dictate our internal condition? What if your confidence is, simply just a choice you make about yourself? A belief in yourself? What if you could choose to be confident, choose to have faith in yourself and adopt an unwavering belief in your abilities, regardless of the outcomes of each day? Consider for a moment that you have already proven yourself and all of your future accomplishments are achieved as an expression of what you value or the value you want to deliver to others. If you can believe in this, your confidence now becomes unconditional as it is now based on who you are and the quality of the person you are, not simply what you do or what you produce. It’s trusting in yourself without any proof to back up your conviction.
9. Relinquish Your Role as The Chief Problem Solver
Stop giving the answers to your staff. All this does is create more dependency on you. Instead, learn to ask the right questions in order to get your employees to develop their own problem solving skills and come up with the solutions on their own. If they create the solution, they own it and if they own it they’re more apt to act on it rather than being told what to do.
10. Stop Oiling the Squeaker – Start Enrolling (Not Selling) Your Team
Investing your time in the wrong person is an exercise in futility. Strop rewarding the underperformers with your time and support and focus on the ones who are truly committed to generating the expected results. And that’s achieve through the Art of Enrollment, the new language of leadership.