It’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?