Lessons in Leadership: The Greatest Gift

Lessons in Leadership: The Greatest Gift

As a sales management leader, you know that effective communication accelerates job satisfaction, career growth, employee loyalty, and commitment to excellence by creating a culture that fosters greatness. One way to develop an elite high-performing sales team is to encourage self-improvement.

This next Lesson in Leadership focuses on encouraging self-improvement by providing four self-improvement steps.

This is one of the basic truths of life: The only real improvement is self-improvement.

No matter how badly someone else may want you to improve, if you don’t choose improvement for yourself, it won’t happen. Wouldn’t you agree it would be nice if we could make other people change? As an example, when a co-worker neglects to do something you feel he should have done and it causes more work for you. You might wish you could make him change. You might even bring the situation to your manager hoping he can make the co-worker change. Alas, your manager can’t make your co-worker change either. Even when he attempts to hold your co-worker or you accountable, changing is a personal choice.

Don’t misunderstand. Managers always hope every new employee will become successful in the company. They often use the latest technologies to hire new employees who have the highest probability of success. More times than not, though, an employee’s success on the job comes down to the attitude, desire, and tenacity the employee is willing to commit to work, as well as the team and his personal commitment to change and improve.

No one can make those unwilling to change or improve to do so. We must all decide for ourselves to make the best use of the tools and leadership our company provides. We would like to help good employees like you continue to improve so you may take best advantage of any opportunity your company might provide for you.

We believe in the first rule of self-esteem:

Whatever you fill your mind with, and focus on, is what you become.

Employees who attempt to just “get by” often find themselves being passed over for opportunities at work. People who live their lives satisfied to maintain the status quo commonly improve slowly, if at all, and may find they struggle at work just to keep up. Those who attempt to do very little at work tend to receive little in return. People who focus only on problems at work and never on solutions tend to endure more problems. And people who convince themselves they are unhappy and have no opportunity on the job usually find out they are right.

What these things suggest to us is this …

Anything you think about long enough and hard enough is bound to come true.

If you focus on good, you receive more good. If you focus on the bad, you receive more bad. And if you focus on nothing, you receive what someone else wants to give you, good or bad.

We have all been given a tremendous gift. The ability of personal improvement! We have been granted all of the tools we need to become even better than we are now. You don’t have to go out and buy these tools. They come as part of your basic programming. It’s in your DNA. You’re adaptable. You change. You improve. You’re a winner! And more important, we believe in you!

Success is more a result of attitude than aptitude.

We’ve all seen employees with little or no formal education become extremely successful. We’ve witnessed people that no one gave a chance to succeed overcome huge obstacles in order to do so. What makes the difference between long term success and failure? The answer is, it all starts with the right attitude. Why is the right attitude so important? That’s easy. Because everything around us is changing. And as companies change, we must also change. We must improve. We must endure the hardships of improvement in order to achieve the rewards of success. Everyone struggles at one time or another at work. It’s normal. It’s expected. It is part of living, and it is part of growing.

Improvement is the greatest gift we can give to ourselves.

Please understand if we could we would make improvements for you. We sometimes lie awake at night attempting to devise ways to make your improvement transitions as easy as possible. We have meetings. We provide training. We try to make learning and improving fun. But the truth is, improvement is something you can only do for yourself.

We understand the road to improvement can be littered with hazards. Hazards like quota or productivity expectations. On some days even we wish we could all just stop working and say, “I know. Let’s not worry about work today! Let’s focus only on personal improvement!” Unfortunately, we can’t just stop work. We must all continue to serve while we also continue toward our own improvement. But, we will make you three promises:

Management promises:

  1. If you’ll focus on your improvement we’ll do our best to recognize the effort you exert and the improvement in you. In fact, we’ll try to help you improve if you’ll ask or allow us to.
  2. The more you improve the easier the work becomes.
  3. The more you improve the happier you’ll become with yourself.

So how do you achieve improvement? By first remembering this:

Success is a road always under construction.

At one time or another most people have decided to make some kind of improvement. Whether it was a New Year’s resolution, a diet, or a work related goal of some kind, everyone has considered making improvement. What most people fail to realize is we didn’t get the way we are overnight. We got the way we are “over time.” If you are intent on personal improvement of any kind, you must first recognize it is most likely going to take a long-term commitment, consistent focus, and patience with yourself.

If you choose to strive for personal improvement, there is something we can offer that will help. We’ve learned there are 4 steps to self-improvement.

Four Self Improvement Steps:

1. Decide what you want to improve and know why.

If any personal improvement attempt is going to be successful you must determine what you specifically want to improve and why it’s important to you to do so. It might help to review some of your determined motivations. You might refer back to your dreams list or your short-term objectives and the longer-term goals you have previously created. These things may provide you the motivation you need for improvement and may also help you to discern specifically what improvements you should consider.

2. Create an improvement plan.

Write your improvement goals down. Start to create a list of things you’d like to improve and the tasks you’ll need to accomplish in order to do so. Visualize these improvements and the benefits you will receive once you have accomplished them.

3. Involve other people.

Allowing others to share in your goals and desires for improvement helps you to begin creating a support system. We all need help from time to time. Help with motivation. Help with application. Help to remain consistently focused on our objectives. We’d love to be one of the support mechanisms you employ. Our success is tied to your success. More importantly we care about each one of you. Please consider allowing us to become part of your improvement support group.

4. Celebrate small successes.

Enjoy each moment of the improvement journey. Don’t wait to celebrate only after the final objective has been reached. Understand that most real improvement takes time and you’re actually making headway every day you continue to work towards your improvement goals. First ask yourself this question: What will be happening on the road to my improvement objectives? Make note of those benchmarks and then celebrate and enjoy incremental success that creates the road to improvement. Most of all, please remember you should be patient with yourself during improvement.

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