“Be a sales leader and not a boss.” – Darren Mitchell in today’s Tip 1113
What are you currently known for?
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Scott Ingram: You’re listening to the Daily Sales Tips podcast and I’m your host, Scott Ingram. Today’s tip comes from Darren Mitchell. Darren is the host of The Exceptional Sales Leader Podcast, he’s committed to developing exceptional sales leaders & teams, who drive consistent, sustainable & replicable results. He mentors & coaches Sales Leaders 1:1 and facilitates engaging and interactive workshops to unleash the potential of sales leaders & their teams. Here he is:
Darren Mitchell: In today’s daily tip, I want to ask a very specific question to you as a sales leader, and that question is, what are you currently known for? Does your team look at you as a sales leader, or do they look to you as being a boss? Now, the answer to that question will often determine how successful your team is going to be. And the follow-up question, of course, is, what would you like to be known for?
Now, speaking with sales leaders, 9 out of 10, if not 10 out of 10 would like to be remembered and considered to be a sales leader. So how do we do that? And how do we create true sales leadership so we can continue to build an environment where our team has every opportunity to be successful, not just in the short term, but sustainably successful over the long term? And there is a big difference between a boss and a leader when it comes to sales.
So here are some principles to think about. And as I go through each of these, just think about, how would you rate yourself against each of these. But also, most importantly, how do you think your team would rate you against each of these principles. Because often the feedback from your team will give you a very clear indication as to where you have some gaps and where you can start building the muscle to make that transition from boss to leader.
Now, here are some principles to think about.
Often a boss will demand respect and trust. They think you know what. I’ve got the sales leadership position. I’ve got the title, I’ve got the status. Therefore, I earn the respect and trust because I’ve got the position. Not so. A leader, on the other hand, understands that they have to earn the respect, they have to earn the trust. And that comes through time, it comes through effort, and it comes through being present with their team. The boss will also try to often get things right. So there’s this level of perfectionism that often sits within a boss, whereas the leader understands that there will never be such a thing as perfection. But a leader will always think about, OK, what is the right thing to do? And sometimes it might not be palatable, it might not be pleasant, but the leader will always focus on doing the right thing.
A boss can also tend to micromanage, and this can be very difficult for particularly people in the sales team where their boss is looking over their shoulder and looking at everything they do. Whereas a leader, a good sales leader will always empower their team. A boss will often, because of that micromanagement will often find themselves criticizing and making sure that the team are doing the things right, which can often lead the team to be walking around on eggshells afraid of doing things incorrectly. Whereas a leader will always empathize with their team and they’ll constantly encourage their team to push the boundaries.
A boss will often also avoid making mistakes and this is where the criticism comes in. So people are not wanting to do things wrong because they’re afraid of what the criticism is going to be and therefore, they’ll avoid making mistakes. Whereas a leader will embrace mistakes because they see those as lessons to only get better. So they use mistakes as a platform for constant and never-ending improvement.
A boss will also expect you to serve them. I’ve seen many bosses that look at their title and think, “Wow, these are my subordinates and therefore they have to do what I say.” Whereas the leader understands that their role is to constantly seek opportunities to serve their team. The boss will also often focus on the now and what you have done, whereas a leader will use the now as a platform for what can be done. So they’re looking at the potential that people can unleash in relation to the work that they do.
And a boss will often be stuck in tradition and process and do anything they possibly can to avoid change, whereas a leader will embrace change and they’ll continually challenge the status quo. The difference there is between being a fixed mindset, which often is a boss, and a growth mindset, which is the leader. So as great Simon Sinek says, “Leadership is not about being in charge. Leadership is about taking care of those in your charge.”
So in today’s tip, be a leader and not a boss. You’ll find that the team will be increased in terms of their engagement. They’ll have a high level of energy and vibrancy. They’ll certainly be a high level of discretionary effort which will lead to high performance and ultimately that will lead to exceptional results. So as a sales leader, be just that. Be a sales leader and not a boss. And that is today’s daily sales tip.
Once you’ve done that. Be sure to come back tomorrow for another great sales tip. Thanks for listening!