Sales people are naturally competitive, in fact, most people are competitive (whether they choose to admit it or not). Competition fails to impress because it is perceived to be rooted in jock culture. No one is impressed by chest pounding (especially in this day-and-age). We all want to prove our excellence. We all want the glory of victory. Few of us are interested in shouting our greatness from the mountain top.
I remember being in a job interview many years ago, explaining MY greatness. The interviewer stopped me to voice a request:
- Try saying "We" instead of "I"
- ... You know we have the ability to compete together and EVERYBODY WINS
My purview opened and I was forever changed. Half way through my career, I had new life.
It would be misleading if we were to ignore the fact that people can be annoying. It is also impossible to succeed without others. Inevitably, it is one's responsibility to find their piece of the pie and to share it with others. Every day of work is ever-complex and opinions mount. It is necessary to learn how to work with others; to be humble in victory and accountable in defeat.
Extroverts are usually assumed self-confident. I've found the most-confident people don't see a need to be verbal unless necessary. Those most-worthy of recognition are usually willing to step aside for the benefit of others.
People neglect to share for two reasons:
1. They fear their ideas will not be adopted
2. They fear the offer to go above and beyond the call of duty will only produce more work without sufficient reward
Become a Student, Then a Teacher
We tend to look to organizational hierarchy to guide us to intelligence. The higher up the chain, the smarter you must be....
This is a dangerous proposition!
The best contributors do not always make the best leaders due to the self-centered nature of their succession path.
Those who cannot do.... manage.
Tenure does not determine excellence. If we measure idea adoption and/or change management to be guided by tenured management types, we are missing the point.
The goal of collaboration should be to create a level playing field for contribution without the baggage of authority sponsorship. Everyone should use their individual strength to create a collective strategy. This capability does not exist if the strategy for development is driven by a party of one.
Hierarchy creates bureaucracy which feeds micro-management. Progress is not possible if rigidity of role structure is expected to fuel momentum.
If the aforementioned is in place there is one certain outcome:
The brilliant and motivated young minds are forced out by mediocre rule followers who seek to remain in silos.
Because Collaboration is Complex
Most people wish to do their assigned job to the best of their ability. The default strategy to success is learn the plan, follow it and seek to progress a little more each day. There is enough assigned work on our plate to fill the day, why would we ask to do more work that does not have a determined outcome?
Progress is the result of change. Change only happens when someone is bold enough to try new things. The process of trying new things often involves neglecting that which we are good at to experiment.
If we do not experiment, we will not evolve.
That which we are good at today will be our downfall tomorrow if we fail to evolve.
- Surround yourself with people who think in different directions
- Try something new every day
- Find a way to capture and measure progress
- Action plan
- Do not allow failure to deter your path to progress
- Stay positive
Don't Forget to Remember!