Leadership: Your Team Is a Reflection Of You


For all leaders, everywhere

I recently had an impromptu conversation with one of my favorite leaders. She was talking, with frustration, about a couple of people on her leadership team who had not produced their most important deliverables for this time, this year.

As I listened intently, I asked myself – what is in the way of this happening? Where are the obstacles – tangible or intangible? I asked her if I could ask a couple of questions, which she agreed to – after a deep sigh. I asked if the actions/results that were expected were clear and understood – she said yes. I asked if there was an agreed upon deadline and milestones to achievement – she asked what I meant by that. I said, “Like a project manager, are there incremental deadlines/results that when achieved in a timeline, will likely produce the desired result by the agreed-upon deadline?” She said yes and no. I asked for more.

She said that there were but those milestones had not been met. I asked if she had on HER calendar a delivery date and time from that person. She said no. I asked why not? She said she didn’t think that had to happen, that she shouldn’t have to micromanage her leaders. I said I understand…and they have yet to produce the results….so this process to not micromanage your leaders is ineffective…would you agree? She said yes.

This is a very typical leadership conversation. Leaders who expect their reports to be able to deliver as agreed, and yet they are not delivering. AND they don’t want to have them believe that they don’t trust them, so they don’t put tighter timelines/actions in place and follow up immediately if that timeline has been missed – when evidence has shown that they need those the most.

Keep your team close until they demonstrate their ability to deliver with reliability and to a time frame. YOUR inability as a leader to hold them to their word and actions and timeframe says more about you than it does about them. Help them to win and to build the skills and structures to do that consistently before you let them loose.

Now, go help them to sell something.


Jody Smiling Photo copy


For everyone, everywhere

You are not alone in your resistance to improvement…or rather to the actions that deliver improvement. In fact, you are human in your resistance to taking new actions changeresistance.jpgthat will produce new and desired outcomes. As am I.

I hired a coach in January, had an initial meeting and brainstorming session, was given homework to produce before the next meeting (which was yet unscheduled) and have only produced 25% of that work and have not yet scheduled a follow-up call. To be fair, I had hip replacement surgery 2 weeks ago and am home recuperating, so I have a valid and understandable ‘reason’ for my lack of action. And yet I find myself engaged in time-wasting distractions instead of using that time for the actions that I agreed to do.

Why am I tell you this? For a couple of reasons: 1. I want to fess up and recommit to taking action. 2. I want you to see how someone who encourages you to do the hard stuff can just as easily dissuade themselves from the actions that they gave their word to do.

Thanks for listening and for your courageous development.

Now, go sell something.



Jody Smiling Photo copy

Three Silos and Five Questions

For sales professionals, everywhere

Even though my soon to be trademarked sales process of “Sell it or Schedule it” has a 25-year history, it is also a dynamic process. I amend it regularly as I learn where salespeople struggle to understand or implement particular aspects of it, or when salespeople share with me elements that have helped them to make it their own more quickly. Recently, I was revisiting the BADAS Questions – those five areas of discussion and information that, based on how the customer answers the questions, will tell you where they are in their buying process – in short, CAN they buy today. They are critical and essential to determine as part of Discovery…and yet, many salespeople get a couple of them asked and answered but struggle to get them all. In revisiting them, I again asked myself “How can I make these easier to understand and incorporate?”

The Rule of Three tends to help people to remember something…and The BADAS Questions really are about three things: Time, Money, Other People. Specifically, Time as it relates to how long someone can wait for special order/when they multiethnic-people-time-money-concepts-group-46324468need to have it in their home (Availability) AND how long they have been in the process of deciding/buying this product (Shopping/Comparing)? Money as it relates to how much they expect to invest (Budget) and what they have access to or have set aside for this purchase (Ability to Buy)? And lastly, is everyone who needs to be here to do this here…or how can we involve them to get this done today (Decision Maker)? Time, Money, Other People. Be willing to stay in the conversations in each silo until you learn what you need to know to determine if they can buy today or if you need to make an appointment – on the phone, in their home, back in the store. These three areas of Time, Money and Other People are also the 3 greatest Objections…so we can bring them up early as part of Discovery and include them in the sales presentation, or we can get REALLY good at managing these as objections. The former is more powerful and effective.

And if you need help with this, call me. 877-663-9663.

Now, go sell something.



Jody Smiling Photo copy