I was speaking with one of my clients last night and he was telling me about a problem he was having with one of his salespeople. He was a great salesperson, but he had a way of alienating the people he worked with; the people he really needed to be on his side and assist him in servicing the customer. My client wanted this salesperson to grow into a leadership role, but it seemed he couldn’t get out of his own way. Customers loved him, but his co-workers hated him. Does this sound familiar?
There are definitely people who are natural born leaders. But does that mean that people who are not natural born leaders cannot become leaders? Think about an athlete. There are some that have that natural ability; it just comes easy to them. But there are many others that with hard work and dedication become just as successful as the natural athlete. It may be harder for them, and they may have to practice twice as much or study twice as hard, but they can do it; sometimes, even better because it means so much more to them.
So what are the areas leaders have to develop that will help them succeed? David Maister, author of The Trusted Advisor, discusses what he calls the trust equation, a formula that is key to building relationships with others: Trust = C +R + I.
C – Credibility. People have to believe your words and actions. And they have to believe you know what you are talking about. If you don’t have a proven track record of success, you have to start slowly and build on your successes.
R – Reliability. People need to know they can count on you. They want to know that you will live up to your commitments. There has to be predictability. If he/says it, it’s going to happen.
I – Intimacy. This doesn’t mean you have to delve into people’s personal lives, but you do have to get personal about the things at work that they take personally. Things like career development, promotions, compensation, hiring, firing, etc. These things are very personal to people, and leaders are willing to have honest conversations about them.
So this salesperson was pushing his will on others instead of developing the trust he needed to have them follow. Leaders don’t build relationships to advance their career, or to manipulate situations, or to have people to blame; they lead from the front and people follow.
Thoughts…….. Contact me at abbe@TECResourceCenter.com
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