Leadership Philosophy

 
 
 

There are no bad teams, only bad leaders. Any problem in an environment that involves people can be solved through better leadership. These are a few of the lessons I've learned over the last 3 years of sales management.

Serve & Own

As a leader you work for your subordinates, they don't work for you. However, you own everything. Every failure, every decision, everything. Person under you failed? Why didn't they have the training to know what do do? Fratricide on the team? Why haven't you aligned them? Not trusting your leadership? What are you doing that causes them to doubt it? Beyond this, you own the direction. This isn't a democracy, it's a republic. They've elected you, and elect you every day that they put their trust and faith in your leadership, to make the gametime call. Some things aren't open to discussion so have a spine and lead them.

Always Listen to the Guy on the Ground

"What's your recommendation?" That one question should be asked constantly by a leader to the people they're leading because it empowers the person being asked, creates shared responsibility across levels of management, allows the leader to know what the front line folks are thinking, and prevents the leader from having to always come up with the answer and be a bottleneck to their own success and the amount of people they can effectively lead.

Detach / Don't Get Treed by a Chihuahua

The biggest thing you bring to the table as a leader is perspective. Perspective of the bigger picture that the front line often can't see. Don't allow yourself to get so fixated by a single problem that you can't see anything else. The best way to do this is through detachment. Detach from the situation. Is the problem a bear? Or just a chihuahua with a hell of a bark?

Simple

"I didn't have time to write a short book so I wrote a long one." -Mark Twain What we do is complex. But distilling that complexity down to core concepts that can be internalized and acted on by subordinates is what makes a team effective. It's damn difficult but worth your time and energy.

Decentralized Command

A leader must institute decentralized command to get the job done in a scalable and time-efficient manor. If a leader can't institute decentralized command it's an ego problem. They can't trust their team to think for themselves and have such low confidence in their ability to coach and lead, and their team's ability to execute, that they make themselves a bottleneck to their own success by having to be involved in every step of the process. Give responsibility and watch shared ownership of a team's vision be adopted throughout an organization.

Prioritize and Execute

Winners have lost more than losers have ever tried. There will never be a perfect plan and you will lose trying to find one. Stay organized and able to prioritize what should be next. An important note here, prioritize what should be done next in service to the big picture (this is where your perspective comes in as a leader). Putting out small fires that seem urgent but don't serve the vision you can see as a leader is a distraction and ultimately a waste of your time and resources.

It's Not Reality Until It's Shared

Perception is reality and, unless prioritized, we can all have different perceptions. Getting everyone on the same page, especially during chaotic situations, is critical to success. This goes back to Serve & Own; if channels of communication have not been created and rehearsed for simple, time-sensitive information to be communicated across not just your team but your organization than you have failed.