To create a motivating work environment, successful sales management leaders encourage their team to meet quotas and achieve targets. Setting and achieving goals while staying motivated is most effective when everyone – leaders and team members – can connect their career goals to their dreams. And is a key aspect of sales training.
This first Lesson in Leadership addresses an important first step in staying motivated – identifying your dreams.
As you travel the road of life you may find this statement to be true.
A successful person will take responsibility for what needs to be done… and do it.
The challenge is many people are working very hard, attempting to do the right things, all the while losing sight of why they were willing to accept the responsibility in the first place.
More people today are having greater difficulty imagining any long-term future inside their current company. According to The Herman Group, creator of The Herman Trend Alert, several recent studies suggest as many as 40 percent of American workers have mentally “checked out” of their job. These studies also suggest more than half of American workers are at some level dissatisfied with their current job. Wow! How can such a large percentage of American workers be somewhat dissatisfied with a job most of them applied for and were subsequently hired for?
Finding answers involves understanding the questions.
There are many reasons for the dissatisfaction so many Americans feel. Some of these reasons are:
In order to begin the process of creating and achieving reasonable satisfaction in our work life, we must work for what we believe are important reasons. If we are to actuate our journey and achieve reasonable satisfaction from working we should first attempt to answer the question, “Why do I work?” This can be especially important in the sales profession as consistent communication with management and effective sales coaching can help you answer these questions and keep your motivation high.
A prominent American automotive corporation did a survey several years ago and, among other questions, they asked one thousand 45-year-old males, “Why do you work?” The most popular answer to the question was, “Because I have to.” This answer suggests two things:
1. Many people work because of the responsibilities they’ve chosen to fulfill to their loved ones and creditors.
2. These same people may lose sight of their longer-term dreams and goals because of the sometimes-overwhelming short-term responsibilities they choose to accept and attempt to achieve.
Undefined and unwritten dreams fade away.
One example of this is that many young adults today have the largely unclarified dream of someday achieving some form of financial independence. Still, history and reality suggest without receiving help, very few people are actually going to achieve their financial desire. Less than 5% of Americans actually achieve this status, and we live in a country that provides some of the highest levels of opportunity in the world.
Without some form of written plan to keep us focused on attempting positive headway on the road to financial freedom it becomes very easy to become entangled in the day-to-day issues, which seem to require so much energy. Over time, we can lose sight of dreams for the future and become frustrated with our lack of progress. Focusing on longer term objectives and maintaining our motivation is something that we pay attention to in our sales management training programs.
When we produce work focused on only short-term gain we often create for ourselves long-term pain.
Many people also desire to work in some role providing them with the opportunity to be interested, challenged and personally satisfied. And yet, the Herman Group’s study suggests that over half of Americans are not realizing any level of this desire either.
We need dreams to keep us focused, energetic and directed when many of the issues and requirements at work attempt to tax us beyond what we feel are our reasonable capabilities. There are always so many people pulling at us from every direction. In an attempt to satisfy the needs of everyone around us, the day-to-day work of the job may become even more difficult to enjoy. We may even begin to feel as if no one really cares about us. If we don’t keep our dreams fresh and vivid in our minds we can become so focused on the “fray of the day” that we can actually loose sight of the bigger picture that we’ve envisioned. Ultimately, we may set ourselves up for the long-term pain of never realizing the hopes and dreams that we had for ourselves when we where younger.
Dreams fuel the desire to persevere through hardship
And what about personal hardship? We know you have a life outside of work. As managers, so do we. Another reason our dreams are so important is that we contend with the issues of our personal life as well as the issues of the job. It can all become a little overwhelming and we can easily lose our enthusiasm for a job that many of us hoped would help us to get a leg up on our future opportunities.
We’re all more capable than we know.
As human beings we have each been given a gift. This gift is an ability to endure much more than we believe possible and achieve much more than we believe ourselves capable. All we need do, in order to begin exploring and realizing our potential, is to employ the mechanisms that enhance our natural abilities. A positive outlook is one of the first steps in sales management development or leadership effectiveness.
Consider this observation from Benjamin Franklin:
A life without dreams becomes hardship.
There is an old saying that goes like this:
Whatever we vividly imagine, ardently desire, sincerely believe and enthusiastically act upon must inevitably come to pass.
We believe this to be true.