“What we all need to do at times is to go seek the leadership we know we need.” – Jack Wilson in today’s Tip 226
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Scott Ingram: You’re listening to the Daily Sales Tips podcast and I’m your host, Scott Ingram. Today Jack Wilson from Cinch IT is back with this gold nugget of knowledge.
Jack Wilson: If you’re listening to this that it probably means you’re open to the idea that you can be better. In the same breath, it means that you admit you’re not perfect. Have you told your manager that? Do you have the personal courage and self-awareness to allow yourself to be vulnerable? You should. Recently I’ve been mentoring a close friend of mine who’s had a long and winding journey of a sales career. Unfortunately for this friend, that journey has had a reoccurring theme. He’d started a new challenging role, play the new guy game, then hit the field feeling like he was good enough to make things happen. He saw some early results, but then usually around a year in his numbers would dip. They’d fall below average or even be average at best, but he’d struggle through and ultimately he ended up looking for a new opportunity and not voluntarily. His problem wasn’t that he lacked will and effort or even that he was missing fundamental sales skills. In fact, I consider him one of the best sellers I know. Instead, the biggest obstacles standing between average and excellent was himself. After each exit, I’d hear him say things like, I didn’t get enough training on X, or my manager and I barely even talked about Y. My friend plays a part of the blame on poor leadership, and he was right. He was exhibiting poor self-leadership. You see, he was waiting for his manager to come to him, identify all of his problems, and then give him the training to fix them. All this story demonstrates the extreme case, but this can happen to each of us throughout our sales journey. What we all need to do at times is to go seek the leadership we know we need. It’s easy to listen to a podcast, read a blog post, or consume a sales book to learn new techniques, but it’s hard to hear it face to face and to admit we have flaws. To be vulnerable is to go against our own human ego, but it isn’t weak. To be vulnerable and seek leadership is courageous and shows true strength. Above all, it demonstrates our willingness to improve and our desire to be the absolute best version of ourselves. Most successful sales professionals will cite an impactful leader as one of the keys to their success, but this isn’t always the case. So what do you do when you find yourself feeling like you need more, more training, more guidance, or just more reinforcement of your efforts? If you’re not getting it from your leader, don’t place blame and sit around hoping that little change. Instead, manage up. Do the work of being self-aware. Be brutally honest with yourself about the areas you need to improve the most, and then respectfully, take over your next one to one and proactively seek what you need. Not all leaders are created equal, but just like a career as an individual contributor, there are consistently involving, expressing your own vulnerability opens the door for them to reciprocate. It might sound like it, but this tip isn’t just helpful for those of you who might be facing challenges, top performers often suffer the same fate. Once we achieve at the highest levels, it’s easy to become complacent. Even though we’re always looking to improve our skill sets, we sometimes grow apart from seeking leadership because we think we can go it alone. My challenge for you today is twofold. First, develop a process to become more self-aware. Personally, I take 15 minutes every Friday to reflect on my week and I write down a few key areas where I know I could have done better. Second, take that feedback to your leader or your mentor and go proactively seek leadership.
Scott Ingram: Do you know somebody that really needs to hear Jack’s tip? Share this episode with them, share this podcast with them. As always you’ll find the transcript and links to lots more about Jack Wilson at DailySales.Tips/226
Then come back tomorrow for another great tip from Jason Bay. Thanks for listening, and thanks for sharing!