Presidential Elections and Sales Leadership - What is Our Best?

Posted by Chris Mott on Tue, Jan 17, 2012 @ 11:01 AM

Ballot BoxIt’s campaign season and the candidates are jockeying for position and advantage. Imagine getting up every day, I mean seven days a week, and putting in sixteen-hour days. Can you see yourself doing this for six, nine, twelve or eighteen months without stopping? Assuming you win, you must then maintain this same level of commitment for one or maybe two terms.

In addition, every word you say is ripped apart by the press looking for a headline that will grab attention and sell “the” story. Things you did twenty or thirty years ago become the most important events of your life and your family is scrutinized to the point of nakedness.

It’s really quite an amazing feat. Witness the visible aging process presidents go through. The expectation is that this is what it takes regardless of whether it’s fair, reasonable or appropriate.

What drives people to do this? Ego is one compelling reason.  The desire to serve, a sense of incredible urgency and passion for the USA are others.

In a documentary about the USA Women’s Soccer team, who first won the world cup long before women’s soccer became mainstream, the team said that while competitive drive was a big reason for their success, the real motivation was to “legitimize soccer for young girls”. When I heard this my reaction was, "Wow!"

Giving your best is both relative and varied. One person's best is another person's worst. Some salespeople maintain extremely high levels of commitment for very long periods of time while others act more like sprinters.

As a sales leader, it’s your responsibility to help your salespeople identify the “compelling reasons” which will result in “their best”. Proactive motivation on your part is required. There is an absolutely terrific scene, which you must watch and have your sales force watch in “Facing the Giants”. In it the coach demands and gets “the best” from one of his players. What is really cool is his strategy for doing this.

By the way, what is your "best" and how do you leverage this yourself?

Topics: sales, sales performance, Motivation, elections, your best, urgency

Ted Kennedy – Life, Leadership, Management and Sales Lessons

Posted by Chris Mott on Fri, Aug 28, 2009 @ 09:08 AM


If you listen to the stories being told about the Kennedy family you'll frequently hear, John's picture was proudly hung in my living room. Almost certainly, Ted who was the youngest of nine was very proud of this. Imagine yourself though following that example.

I believe life is often about desire and commitment. By this I mean passion for success in all its aspects and a willingness to "do whatever it takes" to live that passion. Whether its work, marriage, raising children or health these elements are crucial.

Maybe a month after Ted Kennedy began treatment for brain cancer he made the trip to Washington to cast a decisive vote. He continued to work the phones and run committee meetings from his bed in Hyannis Port until the very end.

Business this year has a common theme, survival. Whether you revered Ted Kennedy or disagreed with him; his life was an example of moving forward and getting up to live and fight another day. Somehow he found the courage to walk through overwhelming tragedy and adversity, keep smiling and grow personally from the experience.

What challenges do you need to walk through?

  • Dealing with a messy employee situation
  • Telling a customer, prospect or employee no
  • Raising prices
  • Cutting costs
  • Changing yourself
  • Moving a non-performer out of the company
  • Being tougher and more demanding
  • Doing what you don't want to do

Whatever the history books say about Senator Kennedy; he was always committed to his cause, unabashed in his beliefs, tenacious, incredible hard working, willing to speak his mind, passionate and very resilient. So if you find yourself thinking about him ask yourself, what lesson can I learn from his life?

Topics: Management, leadership, Motivation, failure, Overcoming Obstacles, winning

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