No matter who you are, at a certain point in time in your career in leadership you are going to make a mistake, or you are going to have to deliver bad news to your team. We’re all susceptible to making mistakes, and life isn’t perfect at any organization. There is no such thing as a perfect leader. And if anyone is to say they’re a perfect leader I would get out of that organization. So, the problem is, if you don’t handle those challenges properly, you lose your credibility. How do you handle these situations and maintain credibility? Well, it’s really simple.
Leave your ego at the door
There’s no ego in leadership. You’re not always right, and you are going to make mistakes along the way. This is an unfortunate reality of being a human being: we all make mistakes. And it can lead to uncomfortable situations when you’re a leader. Be prepared for it and be able to leave your ego at the door. So while it may be difficult, you have to step up and own your mistake. So check your ego. Your team will see it and appreciate your honesty and humanity. It won’t fix everything, but it will be much easier to rebuilt trust and credibility if you apologize and own up to your mistake.
Transparency is key
When you find yourself having to deliver bad news to your team, you have to be transparent. For example, if you ever have to give information that may be a point of contention or will somehow be controversial on your team, the only way to do it is to be totally honest and transparent about that situation. If you are vague or try to hide something or you withhold information, you lose credibility. In withholding important information, you are essentially telling your sales team that you don’t trust them to have the perspective you have. And let’s be honest here. It’s almost 2021 so everyone has information at the speed of their hand. Your team is going to talk and eventually reveal that you’re being vague or unclear. Being transparent as a sales leader is only going to benefit you. It will help you maintain your credibility and it will create trust between you and those who follow you.
Being empathetic when you deliver bad news goes a really long way. When I have to deliver bad news to people who work with me; maybe their quote has been raised, maybe we’ve lost the contract, maybe something’s going to affect their income. Expressing a level of empathy that is genuine goes way further than just churning out 50-year-old sales leadership statements: “It is what it is.” “Control what you can control.” “The numbers are what they are.” None of these phrases are helpful. What we look for from a leader is a heightened level of empathy. Understand the impact of your news to the people you’re delivering it to. When people can genuinely tell you understand the impact of the bad news, they can handle the it better. They’re going to be upset, but they’ll respect your honesty and humanity. And you’ll still have the ability to influence and lead.
Influence, lead, recruit. That is the job of sales leadership. We didn’t talk too much today about recruiting, but we will soon enough. But the ability to influence and lead that comes when you have a heightened level of empathy, you check your ego at the door and you remain transparent with all those who follow you.
If you’re in a position of sales leadership and you struggle with this or any other area of leadership, reach out to me. We have a text community going on. It’s been going on for the past month, and we have tons of engagement on there. Plus, you get direct coaching for me. So to join the community, I’ll answer your questions there directly. Shoot me a text at 661-228-8967. Shoot a text there, say hello, you’ll get a copy of catapulting commissions and you’ll get connected to the community.