“Leadership is influencing people to willingly strive to achieve” – Interview by John Smibert
In this discussion sales management guru Wayne Moloney provides us with insight into what good sales leadership means.
He states that “Leadership is the art of getting people to willingly strive to achieve team goals”.
He claims that many people explain the function of leadership in manipulative terms. He emphasises that good leadership is not manipulative at all.
The best sales managers lead their people by instilling in them an understanding of why we’re doing things – and what we’re doing it for – within the organisation, and putting that into a context that makes them feel part of that.
Wayne adds “management is about administration whereas ‘leadership’ is about innovation”.
View the following interview to gain further insight on this subject. This interview is likely to be of interest to the CEO, CSO, CMO, COO and CFO, sales leaders and sales managers.
Wayne Moloney is a leading business strategist specialising in sales and business development. Wayne has a very specific specialisation in ‘lean selling’.
John: Hello, I’ve got Wayne Moloney with me again – welcome back, Wayne!
Wayne: Thanks, John – good to be here!
John: Wayne, I’ve recently read your book, “Your Roadmap to Sales Management Success”. Great book – thanks, Wayne!
Wayne: Thank you John!
John: Chapter one you go straight into ‘what is sales leadership’ versus management, coaching and all the rest of that stuff.
John: I thought that was a great place to start. Tell me what you mean by sales leadership?
Wayne: Yes, it’s really interesting, John. A lot of people when they define leadership really have sort of manipulative type words around it. Leadership is not manipulative, leadership is about getting people to follow you. It’s about influencing people to strive to achieve strategic objectives, company objectives if you like, team objectives, and do so willingly.
John: Willingly, yes. And it’s not manipulative at all, it’s “Hey, let’s follow this person. They’re leading us to something we all want to be part of.”
Wayne: Yes. Look, the best sales managers I’ve worked for have been people that have really instilled in me an understanding of why we’re doing things and what we’re doing it for within the organisation, and putting that into a context that makes me feel part of that, as distinct from just telling me how to do it or just measuring my KPIs, which are more the administration of a management type role.
John: And in my experience there’s too many sales leaders, sales managers out there that do the management side but not the leadership side.
Wayne: Yes. I look at it and think management’s more about administration, leadership is about innovation. It’s about “How do I innovate the way I’m working with these people, to get them to want to achieve the goals themselves and to go that extra yard to do that.”
John: As you’re saying, the what and the why, not the how. I mean, it’s really helping us all understand where we’re going, being the leader out there on a horse, riding into battle or whatever, but not doing it for people.
Wayne: No, you can’t do it. And look, that becomes like that old adage about if you give a man a fish, you feed him for a day; if you teach a man to fish, you feed him for a lifetime.
Wayne: It’s the same thing with leadership. If you’re getting people—not doing it for them but getting them to follow, and then as part of your management you’re then showing them the ‘how to’ as well, you’re really getting people to strive to achieve something that’s going to benefit them, going to benefit the organisation, and, most importantly, going to benefit the customer.
John: It’s a great message, and let’s go to the bottom line. What would you say the bottom line message you’d want to get across to the audience is around leadership?
Wayne: Look, John, it’s really very simple, it’s coming back to what we spoke about right at the start. It’s getting people to willingly strive to achieve the goals of the organisation which benefits them, as well as the company, and the customer.
John: Great message, and for those sales managers out there that are striving to become better leaders I think it’s a good message – thanks, Wayne!
Wayne: Thanks, John!
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