Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Good Corporate Culture Extends Beyond the Walls

Corporate culture is nebulous—different for each company and sometimes hard to develop, especially in the shifting sands of the business world. But the companies that get it right, the companies that not only champion culture but truly cultivate it, and demand the same of their employees, are the ones that stand out and thrive.

Take Southwest Airlines, for example, with an uncompromising focus on its three Ps of culture: Performance, People, Planet. The company’s determination to drive every decision, every sale, and every interaction based on its distinctly defined culture has made the airline a leader in its industry, far surpassing its competitors in consumer satisfaction.


Wednesday, July 09, 2014

Sales Leadership: It Starts with Feedback and Coaching

In many companies, leaders and managers are promoted to their roles because they have, or appear to have, the foundational characteristics of certain leadership traits. They are good communicators: they share the goals of the company, they listen to and understand their employees, and they don’t shy from the difficult conversations. The good ones are mentors, supporters, and advocates. They surround themselves with talent, and figure out effective ways to develop those staff who lag in performance. Promoting these types of leaders makes sense for many companies.

Unfortunately, in sales organizations, this situation doesn't always exist. Typically, salespeople who are promoted to leadership roles are those who were the best at their trade: sales. They know how to close deals, and as individuals, they brought in the numbers. But the skills that make them good salespeople don’t translate to the same skills needed to be good leaders, and if they don’t change their mindset from that of “best closer” to “best talent developer,” they’re missing out on ways to build an entire team of sales closers for the company, because "coffee is for closers only" - Glengarry Glenn Ross.


Tuesday, June 24, 2014

6 Types of Bad Bosses

In the 2011 movie Horrible Bosses, the main characters declare, “Our lives would be better if our bosses weren't alive!” Showing blatant hostility, trickery, sexual harassment, discrimination, and abuse, the bosses in that film are, if not complete caricatures of terrible managers, then certainly at the far side of reality’s spectrum.

Still, bad bosses do exist, and even if they aren't dragging a department or a company down completely, they are surely keeping the unit from truly thriving. While a good boss can inspire a team, instill loyalty, and motivate hard work by making each employee feel valued, a bad one can just as readily generate an environment of discord, cyclical abuse, mistakes, blame, and intolerance—and that supervisor can definitely create a revolving door. 

Below are some examples of bad bosses and how they act:

The Poker Player. With guarded eyes, this manager holds his/her cards close to her chest. They think that knowledge is power and doles information out sparingly, if at all. They are secretive about good news, bad news, and employee performance, unless they see any of those things as important to their own career—in which case, they will lay pocket aces on the table, surprising everyone in the game.