Last night I was privy to a pre-game speech by a college coach that really made me think about what I call the “Power of One". He spoke of Martin Luther King and the impact his confidence, beliefs, passion, and his resilience had on a nation, and one could argue, the entire world. His focus was that MLK never flinched in the face of adversity and danger. His intimacy with his purpose drove him to change the world. I can’t think of a better definition for the “Power of One”.
Last week I was having breakfast at the Waffle House in Lexington, VA which is one of my favorite breakfast places and I heard someone say with pride, “I work in retail." It was evident that this person was so proud of her job and her company. There also happens to be a young server at this Waffle House named Hailey who takes great pride in her work and is great at making customers feel welcome. She also is a single mom who goes to college on her off days and beams with pride every day about her adorable baby girl. As I sat there listening to the retail worker speak proudly about her work and watching Hailey bring smiles to her customers, I was thinking how wonderful pride can be and how having pride in what we do and how we approach life is such a powerful mindset.
One of the most important leadership principles I learned along the way was gleaned from a professor of Psychology at Notre Dame, who had recorded a program entitled, "Are you an Amateur or Professional in Selling?" He made a statement in that program, which has resonated with me from the very first time I heard it, "How a person feels determines their behavior more than what they know."
Next week in Dallas, Delta Point will hold our second, public, leadership seminar on how to more effectively coaching selling success in the field. We have named this strategically important leadership seminar, “Coaching Catalyst”, because we believe that great coaches need to be a true catalyst for their sales specialists’ selling success. The challenge becomes when we have insufficient expertise to be that catalyst.
One of my favorite things to do is to speak to sales leaders. Thankfully, it’s something I’ve had the opportunity to do many times over my career. In fact, just this week I had the opportunity to speak to a wonderful group of field leaders from one of our clients. Inevitably, the question comes up, “What can I do to become a better leader?”
This week I received a link on my LinkedIn profile that asked the question, “Who is the best manager you have ever worked for?” That was a difficult question for me to answer because the first three leaders I worked for during a 14-year span were the most incredible leaders one could imagine. Without their guidance, encouragement, and belief in me as an individual and a future leader, I would never have had the career I have enjoyed. As I was thinking about this question, I finally decided that each of them had a gigantic impact on me and it was impossible for me to distinguish who had the "most" impact.
Since its inception 67 years ago, only one player has been unanimously selected as MVP of the National Basketball Association (NBA). In a league of athletic superstars where a single name is all that is required for the elite players, only one has achieved such admiration.
“Those who tell the stories rule society.” [Plato]. In my mind, there’s a corollary to that saying, which is “Those who tell stories rule—when selling and persuading.” Why is this true? Storytelling is an effective way to generate excitement. It’s also a great way to influence and persuade someone to your way of thinking. Managers who share stories can testify how effective they are—especially when getting your team impassioned about your vision.