There have been many articles written on what it takes to make a great leader. The book “Good to Great” by Jim Collins, explains one factor in how different levels of leadership makes some companies good and other companies great.
In his recent blog post “Leaders Don’t Hire Weak People,” Anthony Iannarino discusses how some leaders hire people who are weaker than they are, so they can maintain their superiority over their subordinates without having to worry that their power will be usurped.
One important point Iannarino makes is how some leaders try to be the “keeper of all knowledge” and the “holder of all relationships.” In other words, leaders who keep their employees from knowing more than they do believe they somehow maintain their power over them. Leaders who keep good employees from having relationships with others in the company, especially other leaders, can prevent certain employees from being “discovered” as promotable.
4 questions for leaders
Are you unknowingly a knowledge or relationship “hoarder?” Here are 4 questions to think about.
- Sales training. What kind of ongoing training are you providing for your sales team? Are salespeople actually learning something to increase their professional development, or are you and/or your managers just going through the motions to kill time in the weekly sales meeting?
- Sales tools. Are you keeping your reps from learning more about the existing tools they have at their disposal to increase their sales? Many media companies already own and have access to sales tools, but some leaders/managers don’t encourage sellers to use these tools. Many sellers are also unaware of the tools their media company has purchased because nobody took the time to educate and train them on their use.
- Accessibility. Do you stay in your office most of the day, or do you walk around the sales department and engage the team? People in higher-level positions tend to spend much of their day in their offices doing paperwork. It’s the rare leader who gets out of her office to see what’s going on in the trenches.
- Coaching. Are you a manager or a coach? How often do you ride on appointments with them? Mentoring your team by imparting knowledge through coaching is the most important part of your job.
I once had a sales manager who used to brag about the salespeople she managed, when they moved on from her department as a result of being promoted to higher-level positions. A true leader is someone who cares about the growth of his/her employees, and doesn’t feel threatened about how successful they become.
To read more posts about media sales and leadership, visit the Media Sales Today blog at MediaSalesToday.com.