Last week, I spoke to a sales executive coming off a huge revenue year and recently received his next fiscal year quota. He chuckled and told me that his team blew out their opportunities, and there was no way he would be able to hit his number.
As a leader in his company, that was a truly authentic statement about his upcoming year. And though, with the uncertainty in the economy, company boards don’t look too favorably on a mindset from the executive team that doesn’t portray positivity and resourcefulness.
I told him that I understand his situation. One of the biggest issues I had when I was in corporate sales was when I had an outstanding sales year, I left the prospecting to others for my territory, and they were less invested in my success than I was, and I had a down or zero year.
One thing I shared that I learned when that happened to me a couple of times was that I needed to develop new habits because developing new habits is the greatest benefit of failure.
As our discussion continued, he shared that in his 30+ years in outstanding sales results, he has never seen his teams with so much indifference and as he put it, laziness. They have been successful and are taking their positions for granted.
I told him when you combine indifference with laziness, you get procrastination, and when you procrastinate, you are stifled. You take no action because of fear. If you focus on fear, you attract fear.
As a sales leader, he has many resources in his bag. One is the ability to control his environment—maybe not his client’s environment but his and his team’s mindset. If you don’t control your own environment, that space in your mind will be filled with something else, probably not positivity.
I shared the story from the Miracle on the Hudson when I was hanging out of the door and saw someone not moving on the wing. That person was stifled or in shock. That person had fear and was procrastinating. In a life and death situation, you don’t have time to procrastinate, you need to take massive and immediate action.
One thing I learned from being on Tony Robbins’ security team was how to break patterns. When someone is in that mindset you need to do something radical to break them out of it.
And that is what I did with that person. I broke her pattern, which got her to take action, which opened up the wing for movement.
The situation he has now with his team is they are stifled and procrastinating as they are listening to the negative input from the press and each other. He needs to do something radical to break them out of their mindset.
If he is a leader and not a manager of people, I recommended to him to look at some leaders who led their teams through the pandemic, such as Ed Bastian of Delta.
Talk about an industry, aviation, and company that was affected by the pandemic. Hemmoraging over $150,000,000 a day with little revenue coming in, there was no time to feel sorry for themselves. He had to step up and do some radical things to survive as a company and keep their most valuable asset, their people.
Initially, his leadership team was stifled and fearful; they didn’t know what or how to combat the situation they were in, but he had daily leadership meetings and first let everyone get the ” pity party” out of the way and then reminded them of the mission and Delta’s core values. They stayed the course until the government helped the aviation industry, which gave them the runway they needed to rebound.
I recommended to my sales executive client that you have the world licked when you are fearless. And leading his team, especially with all the uncertainty going on in the world and his industry right now, he needs to be fearless. If his team sees him being fearless, they will be fearless.
Every day, we all wake up with things we want to do and things we need or have to do. Wanting doesn’t take any thinking. Needing or having takes thinking, and thinking starts with controlling your environment which is your mindset.
If you are a leader of people, you need to be fearless in your mindset. You need to reinforce with your team your companies and your organization’s mission, encourage your team members to improve their competence daily by listening or reading books, attending workshops, getting a mentor.
Then take massive action with focused execution ( practice your techniques and perfect your performance) and start every day with gratitude because,
there is no fear when you have gratitude.
And as we closed our time together, I shared that for him to make significant progress toward his revenue targets, be fearless with gratitude and be a model for his team. Value his team members and divorce the story of whatever limitation they perceive and marry the truth of unlimited opportunity and he will be on the runway to
Creating opportunity out of uncertainty.