Management & Sales Lessons from the Commissioner

Posted by Jack Derby, Head Coach on Thu, Feb 08, 2018

Yikes ! The first full week of February already ?!?!

  • How are those New Year's Resolutions doing?
  • What about those personal changes you've been thinking about?
  • If you wrote down "be a better sales leader",  do you now have a plan?

When he was CEO of GE, Jack Welch wrote:

"The world will not belong to managers of those who can make the numbers dance. The world will belong to passionate, driven leaders-people who not only have enormous amounts of energy, but who can energize those whom they lead."

February 8th Sales CalendarIt's still early in the quarter, and one month's sales results do not necessarily forecast the trend for the next 60 days, but there is a phrase that I use more and more that was taught to me by one of the strongest sales leaders that I have met in my career, and it is "at the current course & speed, nothing will change!".

To Jack Welch's point, any good sales manager can make the numbers dance-lots of hard work and 80 hour weeks paying attention to the activities can often change the numbers...for a short period of time. 

Sales Leaders, on the other hand, are those women and those men who can create consistent change in the current course and speed of their ship.  It's never easy, but it's an absolutely necessary task...and right now, at the beginning of February, it's a perfect time to make these changes since, if they are made now in Q1, they will definitely impact your 2018 results.

Leadership Lessons from the Commissioner

I had the occasion last Thursday and Friday to run a two day Leadership Summit for the 30 or so senior management of The Winn Companies.  Superb company!  Strong results, and an equally strong management team !  That having been said, the Winn senior management, like any strong leadership team, felt that we can always take things to the next level, which led to the planning for this summit.  Taking things to the next level, is always a great motivator, and one that I am in the midst of doing myself !

Commissioner EvansAt dinner Thursday night, I asked Bill Evans, the Boston Police Commissioner to speak.  The BPD is a long term strategy client of ours, and Bill is a personal friend, but since I did not want to intrude on what I know is a very difficult schedule, I asked only if he would say a few words in a casual, short, confidential setting about what it takes to run the BPD.  Bill actually talked close to an hour, no notes, no slides, just all Commissioner!  It was literally one of the best and most inspiring management speeches I have ever heard in my career from any manager in any organization !

Early, the next morning, I threw out the previously planned agenda, and we began the day with  "Management Lessons Learned from the Commissioner".  We then prioritized those as to what could we integrate into our own company with tactics and activities that would have impact in 2018.  The focus was not on how to improve the top or the bottom line, but how could we take the Commissioner's ideas on accountability and leadership and provide more tools for our employees and more satisfaction for our clients.

Key Leadership Lessons Learned from Commissioner Evans

Although what's below are just bullets of thoughts from the Commissioner that were then expanded over hours and hours the next morning, if you think about these ideas in simplistic terms of year-long strategies, and then think how they could be turned into quarterly tactics, and then bring those tactics down to the street level of monthly activities, I absolutely guarantee that, with consistent leadership, you'll be rewarded with improved performance.   How do I know this?  I've seen it actually work at the BPD, which is a complex organization, and this process has resulted in making Boston one of the safest cities in America. 

  • Step Up !
  • Lead from the front !
  • Be out on the street !
  • Communicate, Communicate !
  • Take care of the community first !
  • Do the Job !

As we left that meeting late on Friday with pages and pages of team assignments to be worked on during the next month, I, along with everyone else on the team, was highly focused and totally engaged in the mission of translating these simple truths to our own teams!   Again, all fundamentals that we should think about as we kick off what will be a complex year of rapid change for our businesses.

Have a great day selling ! 

   Jack Derby

Head Coach  

 Derby Management...for 25 years
 -Sales & Marketing Productivity experts
 -Business & Strategy Planning specialists
 -Senior Management Coaches for CEOs & VPs

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Tags: improving sales productivity, sales leadership, sales management productivity, sales effectivness, sales plans for 2018, creating trust in sales