No one has all the skills of sales management or sales leadership (and there is a difference!) to the same degree, any more than they have the personality traits to the same degree. However, it is much easier to learn or acquire skills than it is to develop new personality traits.
There are five basic skills, and the degree to which any individual cultivates those skills, may well determine the degree of their success.
No one ever got very far completely by their own efforts. It has been said that none of us have ever accomplished anything without the help, or the results of the work of someone else. No one walks alone through life. Enlisting the help of the right people and at the right time is what we call the ability to enlist co-operation.
A genuine leader will understand that co-operation is a two-way thing and that in order to enjoy the co-operation of others; they must in turn be prepared to give co-operation in a like measure. They avoid unnecessary friction with associates in every possible way. They recognize that each person, whether superior or subordinate, has certain responsibilities and makes certain contributions to the group, which are a part of success. They realize that they are all important - and they treat them as such.
The leader must invite suggestions from others and give each suggestion careful and courteous consideration. They see that the originator receives full credit. He/she knows that asking another's opinion is the sincerest form of praise. They understand that when associates have a part in the formulation of any plan or program or in arriving at a decision which affects them, they will work all the harder to make that plan, or program, or decision, turn out right.
Organizing and Planning:
An effective leader must be an organizer. They must have the ability to see and grasp the whole picture, separate it into its component parts, determine what has to be done and in what sequence.
A true leader knows in advance that all is not going to be smooth sailing. They make advance preparations and plans to meet needed changes and disappointments as they arise. They know that there will always be some conditions arising which will necessitate an alteration or modification of plans so they do not allow themselves to become flustered by such things when they do come up.
Standards of Conduct and Performance:
No measure can be made without some basis from which to start and some sort of yardstick. One of the leader's greatest opportunities to lead others to high levels of performance is in the standards they set themselves and how well their personal performance squares with them. They must lead by example as well as by inspiration. A person who sets high standards of performance and conduct for themselves and sets an example of enthusiastic performance will be much more able to inspire others to outstanding performance. This means work and a strict adherence to the code of ethics and the rules of conduct required by your associates.
A good leader does not avoid decisions. A procrastinating attitude toward decision-making has ruined more than one otherwise promising career. A good leader makes decisions whenever needed and at the time they are required. They weigh up the implications of their decisions after having carefully examined a number of alternative solutions.
Developing Your People:
Most effective leaders try to make shrewd judgements of character. This does not mean that they are - or pretend to be - "psychologists". However, just because an individual seems to be a "nice guy" or, on the other hand, seems personally obnoxious to the leader, they do not allow their personal likes and dislikes, or their emotions, to interfere with sound judgement.
Every able leader teaches their associates to learn and to grow. Their proudest moment is when one of their people achieves success!
Do not be afraid of people who may appear to be more competent than you. You must replace yourself before you can move on, so develop your replacement to allow for your own progress.
Finally, What Is A Leader?
The boss knows how things should be done
- But the leader shows how
The boss leans on his authority
- But the leader counts on good will
The boss drives their staff
- But the leader coaches them from the front
The boss always says "I"
- But the leader talks in terms of "We"
The boss tends to shout "Go!"
- But the leader says "Let's go!"
News: It has been a great week, and we are moving forward with a number of new projects - "More new projects? Oh do share JF" I hear you emplore. "Soon," I respond, tantalizingly.