There is a seemingly infinite number of ways to fail as a leader. Being a sales manager is no different, with various mistakes that make you fail and train your team.
No sales experienceIt's hard to lead salespeople when you have not done the job yourself. You can learn to sell, but not by reading books or taking classes alone. You can not coach a complex human interaction without having experienced it yourself, just as you can not teach others to swim if you've never been in the water.
Need to be lovedThere is a difference between being loved and being respected. It's a mistake to want – or need – to be popular, to be a good guy. You are not part of the group you are leading and you are not a peer. You are the example, the model and you set the standard – you do not allow anyone to lower that standard. You impose the standard. Your team will be what you see in them and what you ask them.
Lack of responsibilityYou can tell people what you need to do. You can give them the mission, the state of mind, the set of skills, the toolboxes and the reward system to succeed. Without responsibility, you will fail as a leader because your team will fail. You can not be a leader without making sure your team does what's necessary – and imposing the consequences of not doing it. Without consequences, there is no responsibility.
Leading from behind: You must lead from the front. If you are not ready to perform the most vile and rude tasks, your team will not believe that it is good, fair and necessary. You lead from the front and show your team what looks good.
Too little coaching and training: Your company will make requests that will take you too much time. You may find yourself behind an office, immersed in administrative tasks, which may be necessary, but nothing will improve the results of your team. Your team will improve through constant coaching, training and development.
You want to be a good leader, and without reversing these mistakes, your team will not be what it could be with better leadership.
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