We Must Be Leaders Now

Originally posted October 2001

This is the time when ordinary managers must be extraordinary leaders. People at all levels are looking for direction, strength, comfort and hope. This is particularly critical in sales. Sales play a vital role in getting and keeping the economy moving forward. Salespeople and others must be confident, determined and energized. All of us in management roles must acknowledge “we” are the people who must step up now! 

What is great sales leadership? We believe great sales leaders have four characteristics: 

  • Vision: The ability to engage people in moving forward in a specific direction, clarifying what must be done, how and why.
  • Courage: The ability to take a stand, make a decision or plot a course of action when it might not be popular, right, easy or successful. 
  • Passion: The ability to display significant energy, enthusiasm, focus and commitment to a given vision, direction or priority.
  • Resilience: The ability to pursue an outcome in the face of challenges, upsets and resistance.

Leaders are at all levels. People crave and need to see, hear and experience all four of these characteristics from the leaders of their organizations. These four characteristics provide: 

  • Focus: In times of crisis, people need to be told what to do and how to focus their energy and activities. Managers assume people know what should be done. This is an erroneous belief. People do not know what has stayed the same, what is different and/or how to move forward. They feel all the rules have changed and are waiting to hear the rules and expectations for the present situation.  
  • Comfort: Courage demonstrated by leaders gives people the comfort to get focused on the task at hand. People calm down and move forward when they believe someone of strength is in control. 
  • Energy: Passion from leaders creates energy in others to move forward. It creates a call to action, inertia and momentum. 
  • Confidence: Resilience gives others the confidence to keep moving forward and willingness to hang in there. 

Let’s all step up to the challenge. Be courageous and determine what your people need to do right now. State your expectations with passion. Demonstrate daily your resilience toward accomplishing the outcomes. Many ordinary people in New York and Washington D.C. did extraordinary acts after September 11. You too can be that ordinary manager who does extraordinary things. Don’t be the manager waiting for “your leader” to take charge. YOU be the difference! [/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

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