Are You Prepared To Be Less Of A D*ckhead To Be A Better Leader?

As usual, the annual Conference on Culture and Leadership presented by Human Synergistics Australia earlier this week delivered the goodies, with some great speakers sharing their personal leadership and workplace culture experiences with an enthusiastic Sydney audience.

One of the many things on the day that resonated strongly with me arose out of a performance piece by the talented corporate dramatists from Coup, which successfully highlighted the challenges and opportunities typically presented by leadership and workplace culture change.

In the piece, one of the dramatists playing the role of “the Ghost of Business Future” (with all due respect to Charles Dickens), asked the struggling CEO if he wanted to become a better leader in order to save the business from its projected downward spiral. Of course he said yes, to which the Ghost of Business Future responded quite simply “Great…. so are you prepared to be less of a d*ckhead?”

The laughs from the audience suggest that I wasn’t the only one for whom this comment resonated. As much as we might typically use more accepted corporate language, structured models and frameworks to diagnose and improve leadership effectiveness, I couldn’t help but think that this phrase, as undiplomatic as it might be, provides some fundamental truths. Read more

Leads are the Raw Materials of Selling – Manage Them!

There is a quote in business that has been attributed to many people over the years…“Nothing happens until someone sells something” But from a sales perspective, the reality is..

“Nothing happens until you generate a lead!”

And this is just the start of the sales process and in turn, lead management process. Leads are the essence to generating revenue in business and for as long as I, and many older than me can recall, the responsibility for lead generation has always been clouded. Marketing is traditionally seen as ‘selling to the masses’ and therefore bringing opportunities to the door. Sales is seen as ‘selling to individuals’ (persons or businesses) but still with a need to generate opportunities through various means such as traditional cold calling and these days through social engagement. Regardless of where this responsibility lies (and there is a valid argument that the most successful businesses have strong collaboration between sales and marketing), the fact remains that at some point early in the sales process, a lead must be generated. However, generating leads is only the first step – to have any value to the business the leads must be appropriate and they must be managed. Leads need to be contacted, qualified and depending on the result of the qualification they then need to be removed or put into your sales process to convert them into customers. Further, once converted they need to be managed to ensure opportunities for further engagement are maximised. So, while it can be said that ‘nothing happens until you have a lead’, any lead is only of value if qualified and managed into and through your sales process. Throughout my career, as a salesman, a sales manager and consultant on sales development, this is where I see most businesses getting the sales process wrong. All too often businesses look to generate as many leads as possible and then waste time on those that are unlikely to deliver a positive return on further investment. Read more