Saturday, April 21, 2018

What are you selling? Proven "Sales" Strategies.

Proven Sales Strategies That Will Grown Your Business.

- Gay Gaddis

Whatever career path you choose, being able to influence people will inevitably be a part of it. Your title doesn't have to have "sales" in it but everyone is selling something - your personal brand, your products, your services or even your philosophies.

After 25 years at the helm of my business, I thought I knew every trick in the book and every nuance needed to close that sale. But then I attended a C200 dinner in New York and met Charles Bernard, founder and CEO of Criteria for Success, Inc. - and changed my mind. Charles helps CEO's bridge the gap between delivering on a vision and valuing underlying profit. He proved that this old dog could learn a thing or two about improving my sales strategy.

According to Charles, there are three fundamentals of selling: Philosophy, Mechanics, and Action. The philosophy of discovery-based selling is ideal; better for your customers to discover how great you are than for you to tell them. Leave bread crumbs for your clients to find you because it is much more valuable for someone to discover you than for you to pound your fists declaring your greatness.

Buyers are trained to weed out the ordinary and the obvious yet many presentations start with slides on how big and great they are. This is the fastest way to lose their interest. Buyers want to gauge the potential relationship based on their understanding of how well you know them and what impact you can have on their business.

So what's the right approach? Fundamentally understand your own business value proposition and spend time getting to know theirs. Most important.

  • Convey you are a "feedback organization" and that you live and die by both positive and negative feedback.
  • Add value. Period. Customers measure value based on outcomes rather than the lowest price. World class sales teams maintain a philosophy that they are a problem-solving organization.
  • Make your customers know you are invested in a long-term relationship. Deals are never won in a day; make your customers know that you are the right longer term partner.
Sales mechanics involve heavy planning and management. Remember the factors that can and cannot be controlled. Top salespeople know that their job is to grow salespeople, not just sales. Find people who are better at sales than you. Put 12 days on your calendar a year and mandate that your sales people have to get you in front of the clients.

Develop a sales playbook structure that includes prospecting, cost and training for sales support. Great people will hire more great people and know how to help them develop into exceptional talent while staying accountable.

These are the fundamental "actions" of discovery-based selling. On top of this, you must also make your company known to the customers you are trying to reach with a carefully managed social media and PR strategy. Be discriminating when deciding where to spend your time and money. If your customers aren't there, don't go there. Critically important: Remember that your best press advocates are your employees.


Friday, April 6, 2018

Building the Leader of the Future

Driven by complexity and fueled by rapid change, the practice of leadership
development continues to evolve.
- Mike Prokopeak

leader of the future image

By almost any measure, Scott Kriens was a successful leader.
After taking over as CEO of Juniper Networks Inc. in 1996, the veteran technology

entrepreneur led the company’s growth into a global powerhouse by supplying the

routers, switches, software and networking products that form the infrastructure of

the internet economy. But when his father died in 2004 it forced Kriens to hit the

pause button.
“It was a really difficult time in my life,” said Kriens. “I was ignoring a lot of things.

I was ignoring my personal life and my relationship at home.”
After years of charging hard, Kriens began to reflect on his leadership journey and

what came next. “It really became clear that being a leader meant being a skilled

practitioner of relationships,” he said. “Being able to be in authentic relationships

and show up in a way that could be trusted and relied upon by other people.”
That insight was so powerful that when he retired as Juniper CEO in 2009, he and

his wife Joanie founded the 1440 Foundation, a nonprofit that takes its name from

the 1,440 minutes in the day. While Kriens remains chairman of the board at

Juniper, his focus is now trained on the foundation and 1440 Multiversity, the

75-acre campus that is part conference facility, spa, lodge and education center they

built on the redwood-filled grounds of a former bible college near Santa Cruz,

“In traditional education, we get plenty of intellectual training, but we don’t get

much relational, social, emotional training or what you might call spiritual training

in a secular sense,” Kriens said. “To be truly well, we have to be developed in all

dimensions. Multiversity is really meant to address the rest of yourself.”
Incorporating professional development, personal growth and health and wellness,

1440 Multiversity is a symbol of a larger movement afoot in leadership, one that

aims to meld business results with health and wellness; one that recognizes that

organizational results come from a more open leadership model.
The stakes are high. Leaders face a complex and ever-evolving business

environment that can overwhelm them professionally and personally. Those

charged with developing the next generation of leaders have a dizzying set of

theories and methods to choose from to develop leaders.
Success may just require chief learning officers to step out of their comfort zone and

embrace an expanded view of what leadership is and how to develop it.
From Traditional to Transformational
The history of leadership is abundant with theories, from the “Great Man” theory

that proposes certain men are born with the traits required to lead — and leaders

were envisioned almost exclusively as male at the time the theory was developed —

to the contingency theory that held that leadership is more like a mix and match of

styles to circumstances.
What has emerged in recent times as business has gone global and technology has

infused it with unprecedented speed is a rising level of complexity that requires

learning organizations to more closely examine what they expect of leaders and how

to develop them.
The gig economy, generational shifts in the workforce and the rise of artificial

intelligence and data-driven management are forcing change. Some organizations

are finding that traditional leadership competencies focused on managing peers and

stakeholders are not enough.
“While they are still critical to leader effectiveness, to succeed today and prepare for

the future, leaders need to be able to consistently demonstrate a new mindset and a

new way of working,” said Melissa Janis, vice president of leadership and

organizational development at McGraw-Hill Education.
For McGraw-Hill, a 125-year-old company with a legacy as a textbook publisher,

that meant shifting strategy to focus on learning technology by giving leaders the

tools and ability to thrive in a disrupted marketplace. “Leaders must embrace an

entrepreneurial approach and help to create a culture that fosters collaboration,

candor, empowerment, influence and action,” she said.
At BNY Mellon, the roots go back more than 200 years to its founding by Alexander

Hamilton, first secretary of the U.S. Treasury and current focus of Broadway’s

bright lights. But that rich history doesn’t insulate the bank from the influence of

technology and an economy that is increasingly open and nonhierarchical.
The challenge for leaders is to create an environment where you can pull

information and answers from across the organization and move everyone in the

right direction without necessarily emphasizing formal authority, said Marina

Tyazhelkova, managing director and global head of management and organization

development at the bank.
“It’s really kind of the crux of what good leadership is all about but it’s also really

hard,” she said. “Most of the leaders we have today have probably grown up in the

culture where you were the glorious leader who was supposed to show the way,

know all the answers and always be right.”
Tom Gartland, former president for North America at Avis Budget Group and

author of the book “Lead with Heart,” saw the limitation of that approach firsthand

during his 40-year career. The more he dedicated himself to getting to know people

and putting himself in service to them, the more they gave in return to the success

of the company, he said.
“Leadership is an extremely personal relationship between you and the people you

work with,” Gartland said. “It’s not just the people that directly work with you.

From my perspective, it’s with the entire organization no matter how large the

organization is.”
Effective leaders in the modern era are able to break through the distance between

people and build trusted relationships, said Kriens. That means admitting mistakes

and asking for help when you don’t know how to solve a problem.
“The leader is the one that has to demonstrate and make that possible first, because

the rest of the team is not going to be willing to make the assumption that it’s safe,”

Kriens said. “That’s all going to be withheld in an environment that doesn’t have

trust in it. The leader’s got to be the one that shows up first to build that trust or it

won’t happen.”
Leaders face what Rajeev Peshawaria calls the “21st century leadership dilemma,”

a problem the former chief learning officer at Coca-Cola and Morgan Stanley spells

out in his book “Open Source Leadership.” According to his research, autocratic,

top-down leadership is what is needed to create results in today’s high-speed

environment but that has to co-exist with less control, more volatility and

heightened transparency.
“Welcome to the open source era where one of the key skills leaders will need is to

balance seemingly opposite ideas,” he said.
He recommends that leaders focus on “positive autocracy,” an approach that

includes behaviors like listening, learning and reflecting continuously and being

autocratic about values and purpose while remaining humble.
Leadership is a desire to create a better future, he said, and the most successful

leaders are able to persevere against the odds because of the clarity and conviction

of their personal values and purpose.
“Leadership development should accordingly move away from superficial

competency models, best practices and role-plays toward helping people uncover

their leadership energy by clarifying their values and purpose,” Peshawaria said.
Evolution in Development
For some companies, that means thinking about leadership development as

journeys rather than programs.
Like many service businesses, Havas Health & You, a New York-based advertising

and communication agency, didn’t focus much on leadership development. They

would often hire leaders from the outside rather than develop them internally. The

extent of leadership development often consisted of hiring a coach for a top

“We realized we needed to do much more,” said Pat Chenot, Havas Health & You

executive vice president and chief learning officer.
Leadership is about two things: competence and connection, he said. The company

supports competence through Havas University, a corporate university run by the

agency’s parent company, as well as a tailored learning platform called YoU Central

that houses Havas Health & You-centric training and development.
But it’s in connection where Chenot thinks they can make the most difference. “We

really believe very strongly … that it’s so important to build trust and

communication and that emotional intelligence is even more important than IQ,”

he said.
As part of its flagship Developing Leaders Program, high-potential leaders are

invited to participate in a nine-month development experience that includes

leadership development workshops, one-on-one coaching and a designated

executive mentor.
Fundamental to the program is an emotional intelligence assessment and

360-degree review that aims to help leaders understand themselves as leaders

before they turn to how they lead others. The program’s tagline “Becoming a Better

Leader Through Introspection to Inspiration” brought home the point.
“As our leaders deal with organizational changes and a constantly shifting industry

and world, we want them to be also capable and prepared to cope with change and

to be more resilient,” Chenot said.
Gartland would share the results of his 360 with his team, something no other

leader had done before at Avis Budget. “I said, ‘This is what you guys said. These

are the things that I can’t change and these are the things that I heard and I’m

going to change. And if I’m not doing it, call foul.’ ”
That level of personal vulnerability and openness has the added benefit of

encouraging and increasing connection among others. At Havas Health & You,

while many of the leadership development participants worked in the same building,

they didn’t even know each other, Chenot said.
Gartland took the personal connection one step further when he was named

president of Avis Budget. He set out on a bus tour to get to know the 22,000

employees scattered throughout North America. “We went 18,000 or 22,000 miles

in a bus over 12 weeks and shook hands and personally talked and hugged and

served lunches,” he said.
Several years later, he still hears from people who remember that trip. “When you

make that kind of impression on people and they know you care, they stay late,” he

said. “They work like crazy. They take care of the customer. They do the right thing.

It just changes everything.”
When leadership development fails it is because it does not focus on what

Peshawaria calls “emotional integrity” or the courage to admit what one really wants

for oneself.
“Great leadership happens when one is clear about the ‘why’ of their leadership, not

just with the ‘what’ and ‘how,’ ” said Peshawaria. “It is the ‘why’ that keeps one going

in the face of formidable resistance.”
Technology Transforming Practice
Success also hinges on integrating leadership development across the enterprise. At

BNY Mellon, the company refreshed and focused leadership competencies on two

priorities: client focus and cultivating innovation.
The idea was to create a shared concept about leadership at BNY Mellon that could

be applied at all levels. Tyazhelkova said the goal was to touch 70 to 80 percent of

the company’s 8,000 managers through leadership development programs targeted

at four distinct levels: executives, senior leaders, front-line managers and new

“We as a business are transforming and preparing ourselves for the new world where

technology and digital plays a much bigger role,” she said. “Hence you have to start

preparing with a really consistent approach across the organization. So what we did

with our programs is we don’t just pick a small group of anointed leaders across the

board. The program is available to all.”
While the model is consistent, the application is different based on the participants’

organizational level. Executives focus on strategy and meet in person in two cohorts

of 30 to 40 people at the bank’s New York headquarters. Leaders in the other levels

participate virtually in cohorts by region to promote connections among the group

and focus on execution.
Technology is central to BNY Mellon’s leadership approach, allowing the firm to

bring together people to learn and interact with one another in ways that would not

be possible otherwise. The cohort approach is key, allowing people to discuss and

debate application of management leadership principles and ideas in the context of

their environment.
“You can do leadership development virtually,” Tyazhelkova said. “You can put it

together as a consistent, coherent approach and you can build functional interaction

where people are not always in the same room with their colleagues. It is possible.”
McGraw-Hill Education has taken a similar approach to leadership development,

creating a core of leadership competencies that can be scaled by level and infusing it

with technology.
“In the seven years I’ve been at McGraw-Hill Education we’ve completely changed

our approach to leadership development,” Janis said. “The methodology has

progressed beyond full-day, face-to-face training to blended learning with robust

experiential and social components.”
As a result, within two years of launching the company’s flagship Catalyst leadership

program nearly every employee of the company reported to someone who had

Havas Health & You plans to expand its use of technology for leadership

development but is doing so cautiously. “We could quadruple the numbers that we

run through this program if we did Skype and if we did more online,” Chenot said.

“In my opinion, we dilute the effectiveness of it. We continue to really focus on face

to face but we need to use technology more to really leverage the effect of all the

things that we’re teaching these individuals.”
Technology is central to how Martin Lanik sees the future of leadership development.

Lanik, the CEO of Pinsight, a leadership technology platform and author of “The

Leader Habit,” said the problem in leadership development has been execution.
“We’ve been trying to turn managers into coaches for over two decades now,” he said.

“I don’t think we succeeded as a field. They don’t know how to measure on a daily

basis or even a weekly basis whether somebody is in fact improving and giving them

real-time feedback.”
Automation is the key from his perspective, and this is where technology can help.

Leadership is a series of behaviors that can be broken down into smaller micro-

behaviors that can be practiced until they become automatic. Using a software

simulation, leaders assess their skills and personality and generate a development

plan and daily exercises that can be practiced.
Traditional approaches to leadership development are simply not enough, Lanik said.

“[CLOs] need to identify the key behaviors and then have a very simple process to

turn those behaviors into habits. We do this naturally. We intuitively get that because

we do it in many other fields. For whatever reason, leadership is the one that seems to

be still lacking.”