• Leadership


    What is leadership? Leadership is about how you manage your self and help others to be at their best, how you create a vision of the future, how to engage people to an objecvtive and finally about delivery of results.

    Aristotle defined leadership as requiring Knowledge, Skills and Practical Wisdom - the ability to see the good and realize it in a specific situation. All three are necessary and mutually supportive.

    Montogomery defined leadership as:
    “The capacity and will to rally men and women to a common purpose and the character which inspires confidence”.

    Peter Drucker states "Your first and foremost job as a leader is to manage your own energy, and help manage the energy of those around you".

    The last comment shows that first you must be at your best, enthusiastic, confident, buzzing. You must have positive energy. This will mean that you are in control of yourself and best placed to help others to be at their best. This is the platform on which success as a leader is built.

    What does a leader do? And what specifically is the purpose and function of a sales leader? The sales leader's overall purpose is to deliver business growth. This is achieved with the following ingredients:

    • Set achievable but challenging Objectives ( or targets)
    • Engage his team to accept these objectives wholeheartedly and in good spirit and then to
    • Deliver the performance necessary to achieve these objectives.

    A key role for the leader is clearing obstacles on the path for the team to deliver as much and as fast as they can and that the enironment will allow. In other words the removal of barriers in the achievement of objectives

  • Leadership

    Leadership Attributes

    What makes a good leader? First, a leader must manage his own energy and then help manage the energy of others so that they are at their best more of time. He must energise others. The relationships that a leader has with his team must be strong enough to get the job done. How people feel around the leader strongly influences how engaged they will become. Do they feel included, listened to, acknowleged, safe and feel that the leader is honest and true. Do they feel connected to and valued by the the leader?

    A leader requires Knowledge, Skills (&Tools) and Practical Wisdom.

    Practical Wisdom

    Knowledge may be learned, Skills may be practiced but Practical Wisdom must be achieved through experience and reflection. Practical Wisdom is the ability to see the good and realize it in a specific situation. In other words to decide and do what is effective in the situation to achieve the required objectives.

    Practical wisdom is supported by the qualities of the leader.

    Enthusiasm, Integrity, Demanding, Humanity, Confidence, Humility & Courage

    Knowledge & Skills

    The knowledge and skills required may be described as (1) situational skills and knowledge i.e. those relating to the particular situation which in this case is sales (2) generic leadership skills.

    Situational Knowledge and Skills

    Sales & Marketing, General Management, Project Management and Technical knowledge & skills enable greater efficiency and effectiveness.

    Skills will be supported by tools such as the sales model which enables:

    • Performance monitoring,
    • Performance appraisal,
    • Close performance gaps through coaching and training.

    Leadership Knowldege and Skills

    Leadership knowledge & skills include:

    Defining Goals and Objectives, Planning, Communication, Motivation, Coaching, Evaluation & Execution.

  • Purpose&Function
    Set Objectives

    Set Objectives

    A key function of a leader is to set objectives that will grow, change and add value to the organisation. Objectives should not be dictated as they are unlikely to inspire the kind of effort and creativity that produces good results. Objectives that are negotiated give team members an important sense of ownership. And people are naturally more committed to the things they own.

    In addition, with this interaction the leader can be sure that the team members have the capacity and the understanding to achieve the objective. Understanding team members will help align goals and explain them in ways that are motivational.

    To set effective objectives a leader must be able to initiate an idea, inform the team and plan to determine if the goals are feasible.

    What are the characteristics of effective objectives? Most experts agree that objectives must be:

    • Specific ( Greater as we go down levels. Sales persons objectives are often very specific)
    • Clear
    • Important (Recognised by team member as important)
    • Measurable
    • Achievable (But challenging)
    • Time-bound (To be achieved in a specific time)
    • Aligned (To company Strategy)
    • Rewarding (Supported by appropriate awards)
    • Ethical
    • Resourced

    Objectives will be better received by the team if they are perceived to have intrinsic value, to matter, and to be part of a vision to make world a better place. Ideally the objectives will be a aligned to a company vision statement that envisions and communicates a better future.

  • Purpose&Function


    The leader may be required to hire the individuals and build the team. The leader is required to develop the individuals such that their performance improves.

    Further, a leader must engage with his team and inspire them to want to deliver a great performance and achieve the assigned goals. In the best teams the whole is greater than the sum of the parts. Good morale, team spirit and mutual confidence between the leader and team members is the extra strength that creates a greater whole and inspires a great performance.

    To engage his team effectively a leader must be adept at presenting, informing & supporting.

    Engagement begins with participative objective setting ideally within the context of a positive and clear company vision statement. This is maintained through motivation, coaching and success. Success is the greatest single factor of good morale. All successes must be communicated.

    Motivation is achieved through the application of rewards both intrinsic and extrinsic. Intrinsic rewards produce more intangible forms of recognition such as personal satisfaction, a sense of accomplishment, personal control over one’s work and feeling that one’s work is appreciated.

    Extrinsic rewards are external, tangible forms of recognition such as bonuses, pay rises, promotion and sales prizes.

    • Extrinsic – Financial Rewards
      • Bonuses, Commission & Salary Increase.
    • Extrinsic – Prestige Rewards
      • Increase stature of employees in eyes of colleagues and others
    • Intrinsic – Job Content Rewards
      • Autonomy (Goal Setting participation, Increased Responsibility, Opportunities to participate in Decision Making),
      • Mastery (Grow Professionally and do interesting and important work, Training, Coaching, New Challenge, Working with talented motivated people, Recognition),
      • Purpose (Working in a company with a clear Vision, Making a Difference),
      • Valued (Trust, Feedback, Coaching, Working in a positive respectful environment, Working for a Good Boss)

    Coaching is used to improve individual performance and to remove performance gaps. Used positively it can maintain and grow engagement as it facilitates individual personal growth.

  • Purpose&Function


    A leader is ultimately judged on what he and his team deliver. How they execute a plan.

    To deliver a leader is required to:

    • Achieve the task.
      • In a sales environment this is normally business growth measured by revenue growth, margin growth, market share growth, customer satisfaction and sales cost.
    • Build and develop the team.
    • Develop the individual.

    He uses the sales model to enable him to:

    • Monitor performance - Sales process, sales automation and sales management system.
    • Appraise performance - Appraisal system.
    • Close performance gaps - Coaching and training. Employee development.
    • Handle problem employees.
    • Remove barriers to performance.

    Clearing Obstacles on the Path, Removing the Barriers to Performance.

    Team members work best when given autonomy to deliver their objectives and should know when to ask for help in removing barriers to performance. A key role for the leader is clearing of obstacles on the path, removing the barriers to performance. Identifying barriers to performance may be simple or may involve gathering data and problem analysis before a solution is reached. Barriers to performance often include the requisition of resources from other departments & from higher management to enable progress. They may include the resolution of a resource conflict or an interpersonal conflict.

    As stated earlier the sales leader may be required to manage a virtual team in addition to his direct team to create and deliver a proposal to a prospect. Such a project may be complex and require project management tools to ensure the delivery of a winning proposal on time and utilising the best resources of the company, efficiently.