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For Sales Management, Effective Leadership is Just As Much About Words As Actions

Take part in any sales leadership training for mid or senior level management and you will observe discussion about defining leadership and then in some instances how to turn that definition into action.
Yet, it is the definition of leadership as well as the other words connected with this almost magical quality that continues to allude many organizations.
Some of the words associated with this much sought after competency or characteristic include:
  • Authentic
  • Authority
  • Servant
  • Power
  • Visionary
Two of these words, power and authority, appear to generate more confusion than the other words.
Authority most will agree is when someone delegates his or her support to another person or entity such as an elected official or law enforcement.
This is for the most part a decision made by the individual.
Unfortunately as in the case of organizations from businesses to governments, those who have been given authority abuse that gift and in doing so are no longer leaders.
To understand power without confusion requires looking to the origins of this word.
Power is from the Latin verb "potere" which means "to be able.
" To be resides within each individual and therefore power is truly far more about an individual's free choice.
Each person has power and can delegate that power to someone else who then in turns has authority through that delegation.
There is an interesting book written by Dr.
David Hawkins, Power vs.
Truth
that examines the inherent truth of words relative to the subconscious of each individual.
This article is not to argue Dr.
Hawkin's position, but rather to reinforce the concept that power comes from within each individual.
Since each word we have in our minds has specific experience and emotions attached to it, then the words we use are indeed very powerful because they drive our actions.
When we share these words, we unknowingly share different beliefs and consequently different behaviors are the result.
This for many leaders is the beginning of conflict.
Effective leadership is truly about reaching a shared understanding of critical words within the organization.
By investing the time to reach this level of awareness, helps the sales management to stay focused on how to achieve the desired results through the clear articulation of positive core values.
And if "to be able" is not the beginning of any value statement, then I truly do not know what is.

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