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How Do I Move Into a Leadership Position?

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The glamour of leadership can be alluring.  After all it plays to our egos as Sales Professionals. After we have “conquered” the world of selling we convince ourselves we can inspire a team to do great things.  The idea of moving up in the sales organization is exciting and we “see” ourselves as the adored leader. Everyone is over quota, they all love you, they all sell like you and maybe even dress like you. You’re able to easily balance the need to be a metric focused leader with the ability to have your team confide in and look up to you as a person.  Who wouldn’t want that?!

As a business development consultant I’m often asked, “How do I move into a leadership position?” A Sales Professional who has knocked it out of the park now wants to up their game. What I often tell them is that you have to have a couple of reality checks coming along the way.

Reality Check #1

People are not going to produce like you. They don’t sell like you do. You need to accept it. If you can get past this, and for many FORMER Sales Leaders they never do, you will be in a better position to succeed. Focus on leveraging the gifts each of your Sales Professionals have to help them be successful.  Don’t force your way on them.  And never, I mean never, start any “how to” story or inspirational speech with “What I used to do was…”  You have already lost them.  Take the time to understand the motivations and skills of your team. By doing this they will be more open to suggestions and just might try “your” way every now and then.

Reality Check #2

Learn to serve your team. They are your students, they are the people you need to make successful. It’s not about you anymore, it’s about them. Figure out the tools, training and motivation they need to succeed.  If you focus on their success, the collective success of the team is sure to follow.

Outcomes

So before you get too carried away by the dream, face up to these two realities sooner than later. The sooner you do this the sooner you will find your team succeeding. You will have a healthy sales team, measurable growth for the company and your leadership career will be moving in the right direction. And, of course you will have the adoration of your entire team!

Jack Kelly
Jack Kelly
Jack founded the Corlea Group in early 2009 with his first client coming on board in January of that year. Jack loves to coach. He coaches his clients and he helps coach his kid’s teams – it’s his passion and has been for over 25 years as a professional, father and volunteer. Why? Because he likes to help a team succeed.
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