Performance management is a hot issue. Sales leaders and business managers constantly strive to get the highest levels of performance from their people and teams. We coach, provide tools and systems, create processes, measure and reward. All of these are important, but I think we tend to overlook another important factor—our own performance. To maximize performance in the organization we have to first look at ourselves and how we perform.
The personal example each of us sets as a leader is a starting point. It we expect our people to use the CRM system or our sales process, yet we don’t use it ourselves, why should our sales people use them? If we expect our sales people to plan and prepare for sales calls, yet we go along and shoot from the lip, what behaviors would we expect? If we ask our people for reports (say call reports), yet we never read them, what kind of message do we send to our people.
But it doesn’ stop with the personal example we set. It goes much deeper. It goes to accountability. We hold our people accountable for producing results. Yes, it all rolls up to us, so in some ways we share accountability. But as managers we are accountable for our people’s success. What are we doing to help our people be successful? Are we coaching them, developing them as we should, are we addressing performance issues? Are we fighting for them–getting the resources they need, promoting them within the organization, protecting them from the organization.
Do we trust them? What do we do, every day, to earn their trust.
Do we talk about “them” when they don’t meet the goals, then claiming their success for ourselves. Do we constantly recognize them and are we proud of their success, publicizing it to the organization. When there is a failure to we share the responsibility or start playing the blame game.
Our our behaviors and values aligned with the expectations that we have about our people and performance? If we expect teamwork, are we team players–not just with our people, but with others in the organization? If we expect integrity, do we meet our commitments, is our own behavior above reproach?
Performance management is not about getting “them” to perform at the highest levels. It starts with examining ourselves, making sure that we are performing at the highest possible level. That everything we expect is aligned with our own personal behaviors and performance.
Outstanding sales leaders have very high expectations of their teams and organizations. They have even higher expectations of themselves!
Have you looked in the mirror recently?