In my time I have been regarded as a great salesman, a great manager and a great leader. I would tend to agree that I have indeed been all these things at some point in my life… not perfect, but pretty good! I’ve been asked on many occasions why I thought this was, and I must say I think it’s quite simple – it’s all so straightforward, so my confusion is why everyone isn’t good at these things.
So, let’s start at the beginning; in fact we might even stay there… as I’m not sure there is much of a need to complicate it.
I had a great conversation yesterday with my 5 year-old daughter, it went something like this:
“Daddy could I have an ice cream??
“Because it’s nearly lunchtime.
“Well if you have an ice cream now you won’t eat your lunch.
“Daddy, I promise that if I have an ice cream I will eat my lunch.
“Darling, no, you’ll be full up and won’t eat it, so no.
“Daddy if I eat my lunch , can I have an ice cream??”
You see in that exchange my 5-year-old daughter has mastered perfectly so many aspects of the sales process; ask questions, clarify objections, challenge objections, re-clarify, close and the double whammy – the conditional close. Perfect. And EVERY kid knows how to do it. And yet how many adults say “I could never be a salesperson”…? It’s easy. Just unleash your 5-year-old self.
So how about when we think about management and leadership? Again, we just simplify the whole thing; here’s an idea – let’s pretend that all the people who work for us are indeed people. Not employees, but people. And let’s pretend that you want them to be ‘as good as they can be’; you want them to ‘flourish’; you want them to reach their potential within your team, your company, your family.
In fact, how’s that for your new mission statement – ‘to create an environment in which people can reach their potential;’ wouldn’t it be great if everyone could…?
So here’s where we start… they are all people. They want and need the same stuff you want. So, here’s the deal; write a list of the stuff that’s important to you and I guarantee it looks something like this:
Appreciation Love Respect Honesty Transparency Consistency Help Guidance Development Challenge
Or something like that anyway.
So now you know what people want and need (it’s not tricky is it?? It’s just what you want and need ).
Now all you have to do is recognise that it’s your responsibility to enable it, then you are on your way to becoming a brilliant leader.