“Stop being afraid of leaders who are trying to take a transition back into an individual contributor role.” – Jack Wilson in today’s Tip 1325
Are you a leader that afraid of leaders?
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Scott Ingram: You’re listening to the Daily Sales Tips podcast and I’m your host, Scott Ingram. Happy Friday everyone, here’s Jack Wilson with another really important tip:
Jack Wilson: What’s going on Daily Sales Tips Community? Jack Wilson back with another tip. Today’s tip is actually for hiring managers and leaders about leaders trying to be individual contributors. My tip here, in short, is stop being afraid of leaders who are trying to take a transition back into an individual contributor role.
I myself have been a sales leader in my past lives, and I made the choice to go back to being an individual contributor. Now, at that time, my reason for making the transition were different than they are today. But even today, in a job search, I’m actually still looking to be an individual contributor. And many of the hiring managers and even recruiters that I talked to have real reservations about this. In fact, they’re trying to help me over-prepare to overcome this fear that hiring managers have.
Let’s pull the lid off of some of these fears. I think some of these managers and hiring managers think that a leader in the clubhouse is going to represent a risk or a threat to some of the other contributors that think that they’re in line or are in fact in line to be the next leader on that team.
Well, it’s simple. Make sure you’re having open, honest and transparent conversations about what the career path is, what that person’s role is coming onto the team, and make sure that everyone is talking about that openly. That’s the best way to foster team chemistry anyways. Let alone when you’re hiring someone who has previously been in leadership.
The other fear is a little bit of a threat to themselves. Like if I bring a leader in here, they might expose some of my weaknesses. Well, instead of viewing that from a place of fear, how about from a place of opportunity? I can bring in a leader who has different experiences than I do, who might be able to help me hone and craft my skills as a leader so I can bring in someone as an individual contributor that can mentor and up level my skills as a leader as well.
I think the other sort of urban legend around leaders going to individual contributors is that maybe they’re doing it because they were a failed leader or they didn’t get the results they wanted to as a leader.
Now, this is something that you can simply dive into by fact-checking with their previous teams. You could do it passively by looking at the people they’ve led before and finding out where they went in their careers because a good leader should be creating other good leaders. You could do it by asking colleagues and people that they worked with in their past jobs like references, or you could just ask them directly.
Now, at the end of the day, there’s a lot of reasons people choose to be individual contributors, and you really need to empathize with what those are. For me, I’ve been saying to a lot of hiring managers that to be a leader, you really have to dedicate your full self and time to the role, because you’re serving more goals than just your own. You’re serving the goals of an entire team, of an entire organization. And at certain points in your life, you just aren’t capable of giving yourself quite like that. And anyone who is a seller and doesn’t admit to having flexibility and autonomy and the ability to earn even more, you’re lying to yourselves and anyone who asks you.
So leaders stop being afraid of leaders, and leaders stop being afraid to be individual contributors. Let’s just be open, honest, and transparent about it.
Scott Ingram: To get connected with Jack, just click over to DailySales.Tips/1325 where you’ll also find a transcript of this tip. Once you’ve done that, be sure to come back tomorrow for another great sales tip. Thanks for listening!