“Leadership is the capacity to translate vision into reality.” –Warren Bennis
“As we look ahead into the next century, leaders will be those who empower others.” –Bill Gates
One of most reliable ways to drive consistent business growth is through competent and effective sales leaders who empower, support and inspire their respective teams to accomplish the extraordinary. To be a good leader requires the versatility to effectively fulfill a number of roles. That is, the best sales leader serves as coach, enforcer/authority figure, confidant, teammate and more. Individual sales team members must understand that they will be held accountable for execution but also be assured that the sales leader will always have their backs and support them in successfully fulfilling their roles and meeting sales goals.
However, as we all know, leaders are not born, and their development requires engagement and commitment by both the employee and the company. From the sales manager’s standpoint, it must be understood that becoming a good leader is a journey and not a destination; this a fundamental truth shared by all true leaders. That is, even the most seasoned leaders know that they must continue to evolve, to learn and “sharpen the saw”, as Steven Covey says. My experience at AT&T taught me that the commitment to leadership development must begin at the top, and is not just a sometime thing, but an integral part of the culture, embraced by everyone in the business. Enlightened business leaders understand this and utilize leadership development to create a strategic and competitive asset for the enterprise.