Find Your Flaws:
Admittedly, between COVID-19 and surgery recovery, I’ve exhausted my Netflix library. In search of levity and nostalgia, I recently revisited one of my favorite shows of all time: Seinfeld. One episode in particular reminded me of an article I wrote years ago about how to approach your fatal flaws as George Costanza, my favorite character, did. Fellow fans out there may recall that in a moment of great self-awareness, George decided to do exactly the opposite of what he would normally do, and he experienced remarkable results. That article and examples focused on individual leadership characteristics, but the concept is relevant for companies as well. Now more than ever, organizations are being forced to face their flaws (or new flaws that have emerged based on our new context) and find ways to change. Things that worked in the past or were easily overlooked are now threatening companies’ ability to succeed. It’s time to take an honest assessment of your organization and identify and address any potential flaws. Thomas Jefferson said, If you want something you’ve never had, you must be willing to do something you’ve never done. The rules are changing, and traditional tactics may no longer be as effective. As you evaluate your business, you have to take a dispassionate view of what your real flaws are. This is difficult for executives who don’t especially want to hear bad news. But it’s necessary in order to make sure you address those flaws and create enduring success.
For those interested in my original article The George Costanza Approach to Fixing Fatal Flaws you can find it here.
There is no doubt, that in this current environment, buyer behavior has changed. The question is, has it changed permanently? It’s a difficult question to answer, we don’t know what the world will look like next week, much less in the next one to five to ten years. This makes your job complicated- constant change and ambiguity do not create the ideal environment to plan for the future of your sales organization. So, what can you do? Focus on two things: connection and adaptation.
Connection: Our social patterns have been disrupted and that disruption is likely to continue for the foreseeable future. So, it’s time to consider the ways your organization connects with current and potential customers. Can you use virtual meeting platforms to cultivate and maintain relationships? How can you leverage the power of snail mail?
I’ve found it interesting how people have changed their communication patterns during quarantine and how even introverts are learning to embrace the social aspects of phone and video chats. This article shares how “the pandemic…means that we all have something in common to talk about, which is leading to reconnections.”
How can you thoughtfully evolve your communication to meet the needs of your clients? Start simple – ask clients what works for them. It may sound deceptively easy, but asking for feedback from customers will get you the best data out there, and just may lead to some beneficial reconnections.
Adapting: Like it or not, it’s time to adapt. People’s circumstances, habits, and priorities have changed, and successful sales organizations will adapt to this new environment. It’s more than a mindset shift, successful adaptation will require new skill sets, new technologies, and new processes. As a leader, it is important that you consider how to reallocate resources to develop your capacity to adapt. Before you settle on an approach, do your research. What are others in the industry doing? What do consumer trends tell you?
At a time when job security is uncertain, it is critical to demonstrate the value you bring to your company. This article explores five ways to do just that.
1. Do your work, and do it well.
2. Advocate for yourself. People don’t see you on a daily basis, and they may not see the work you are doing. Be willing to share your accomplishments with others.
3. Step up your game. It is in your best interest to make your bosses’ life noticeably easier. Complete your work early, proactively take tasks off of their plate and show up to meetings prepared and ready to contribute.
4. Be a team player. Work hard to elevate your entire team and manage differences without the involvement of a supervisor.
5. Reflect positivity. This season has been challenging and people need someone to bring positivity to the workplace. Work hard to bring light, levity and joy to those around you.
Question to Ponder:
Who can you/should you be more compassionate with?
The last few months have been challenging for many reasons. I don’t know about you but I’ve not always been at my best. When we are worn out, stressed, it’s often easier to vent or express our frustrations with others than it is to be empathetic. So consider who in your life – both at work and at home – deserves just a little more compassion from you.