Global Leadership Summit 2018: Angel Ahrendt’s Leadership Thoughts

Angela Ahrendts

During her interview with John Maxwell, Angela Ahrendts had a few words to share about leadership through her own personal experiences at Apple Retail.

  • Understand your core values and live these out. They will be your strengths from which to lead.
  • When interviewing a candidate evaluate for four characteristics:
    • A “we” versus “me” perspective
    • EQ vs. IQ
    • Cultural fit
    • A tomorrow versus today or yesterday mindset
  • Trust your intuition and how you feel about people.
  • Work on culture, because culture creates the brand.
  • When developing a brand ask:
    • Why are we doing it?
    • What is the deep purpose?
    • How are we going to do it?
  • How well people know you care is directly related to how you make them feel.

My opinion on branding is that it has to be relevant to the times and have the ability to inspire for the future. A brand should focus on how people feel about it and its purpose.


About the Author: Sandra Dillon is a professional coach with an extensive background in leadership and business coaching. She works with individuals and businesses as well as designs and facilitates workshops to empower people. She has a passion to help people be the best versions of themselves. You can learn more about Sandra or engage her as your coach by reaching out to her at sandra.s.dillon@hotmail.com or by visiting her website at www.shinecrossings.com

Global Leadership Summit 2018: Greg Groeschel’s Leadership Message

Having just returned from a week in Bogota, Colombia, teaching, training, and discussing leadership in some of the poorest neighborhoods, I was refreshed by the speakers and their messages at Global Leadership Summit (GLS). GLS is one of my favorite annual leadership conferences, because a pool of talented global business and ministry leaders share their learnings and research on how to be a better leader.

Greg G1

A major theme that resonated with me during this year’s 2-day event was the unabashed embrace of failure as part of a leader’s experience and growth. Many top speakers shared their vulnerable stories of personal failure, emphasizing how failure was part of the journey that grew them into the leadership role they had today. In my opinion, shining a light on failure and how it can be used as a tool for future leadership success was long overdue.

In these times, failure is deemed a sign of weakness. Many people wear the embroidered scarlet letter “F” not on their lapel but on their mind. People go to great lengths to diminish, excuse, deny or hide failure. Helicopter parents were born out of the fear that their children would fail. The sad truth is that failure is inevitable if you take any risk. How refreshing for some of today’s leaders like Danielle Strickland, David Livermore, Erwin McMannus, Danny Meyer, Carla Harris, and Angela Ahrendts to share powerful stories of failure and great success.

If you didn’t attend GLS 2018, be sure to sign up for next year’s summit, read what Greg Groeschel had to say about leadership, and stay tuned for more summaries of top leaders you missed this year.

  • Bosses believe they need to get better at technology and finances. On the other hand, polled direct reports say their bosses need to get better at leadership and emotional intelligence. Employees are more concerned with: (1) Where are you taking me? and (2) How are you treating me?
  • Great leaders steward power for the benefit of others, have profound humility by believing they can learn from others, and have furious resolve.
  • People follow leaders who value them, inspire them, and empower them.
    • Value people by saying, “I notice…” and “You matter…” Appreciate people more than you should by saying it, showing it, writing it, and celebrating it. Make people feel important.
    • Inspire employees by being a centered leader who is secure, stable, confident, fully engaged, purpose-driven, reflective in behaviors, has a mission, and lives out consistent values. The payoff is that inspired employees produce twice as much as satisfied ones. Employees may not know when they are working for a centered leader, but they sure know when they are not. Inspired people also want to work for a vision bigger than the business that can transform a job into a calling.
    • Empower people to unleash higher performance. You can have control or growth by you cannot have both. When you delegate tasks, you create followers, and when you delegate authority, you create leaders. Don’t put a lid on your employees. Leaders only make the decisions they can make and delegate all others to the organization. The best leaders make fewer and fewer decisions and frequently say, “You decide…” If you don’t trust your team you are either too controlling or you have the wrong people. Either way, the problem is yours to solve.
  • People look for a leader to be honest, have integrity, and be vulnerable. Great leaders have the courage to be real and transparent.

As you reflect on each of these key messages, which one do you believe you could improve upon most and that would make a difference in your leadership capacity?


About the Author: Sandra Dillon is a professional coach with an extensive background in leadership and business coaching. She works with individuals and businesses as well as designs and facilitates workshops to empower people. She has a passion to help people be the best versions of themselves. You can learn more about Sandra or engage her as your coach by reaching out to her at sandra.s.dillon@hotmail.com or by visiting her website at www.shinecrossings.com

What’s Your Story? How Well Does It Sell?

storytelling storyselling

Who doesn’t like a good story? When you think of the times you were most wrapped up in a conversation, I’d bet you were listening intently to someone unfolding a good story. Why? Because a good story connects people like a common and universal language.

The power of a good story was brought home while I was reading Building a Story Brand by Donald Miller. The book focuses on why developing a story that puts the customer as the hero of his/her own story is a powerful marketing strategy. Miller (2017) shares that every successful story has specific elements and events: (1) a character, (2) a problem, (3) character meets guide, (4) guide gives plan, (5) character is inspired to action, and (6) success results or failure is avoided. Blockbusters have proved this theme to be true over and over again as exemplified in such movies as Star Wars and Hunger Games.

What makes for a good story? A good story answers three specific questions: (1) What the hero wants? (2) Who or what is opposing the hero of getting it? and (3) What the hero’s life will look like if he or she gets it? If you’re marketing your business, you need to answer those questions and answer them fast with the least amount of noise.

Miller (2017) asserts that successful businesses have developed websites and marketing materials that within 5 seconds of looking at them, potential customers can answer:

  • What the business offers?
  • How the product or service will make their life better?
  • What they need to do to buy it?

How do your marketing materials stand up to the storyline test? Do they clearly and succinctly communicate what problem you solve and the impact to the customer? Do they challenge the customer to act? If the answer is not a resounding “yes” to all these questions, perhaps you should revamp your marketing and advertising. You’ll be happy you did but be forewarned that making these changes will be harder than you think. Most people are not conditioned to think in this way when designing marketing materials.

Reference

Miller, D. (2017). Building a Story Brand: Clarify Your Message So Customers Will Listen. Nashville, TN: HarperCollins.


About the Author: Sandra Dillon is a professional coach with an extensive background in leadership and business coaching. She works with individuals and businesses as well as designs and facilitates workshops to empower people. She has a passion to help people be the best versions of themselves. You can learn more about Sandra or engage her as your coach by reaching out to her at sandra.s.dillon@hotmail.com or by visiting her website at www.shinecrossings.com

See Your Revenue Increase When You Switch from Sales Training to Sales Coaching

Sales Growth

Will 2020 be the year when companies have 20/20 vision on how to implement an effective sales training process that delivers the expected and sought-after performance? With US-based companies spending nearly $20 billion per year on sales training, why do they settle for traditional sales programs where 85% of the content is lost within 90 days (SRG, 2018)? The more effective program is strategic and tactical coaching which can potentially increase revenue by 20%.

Ideally, the sales manager would be the coach; however, most sales leaders don’t have the coaching skills or time to invest in their sales staff. For this and other reasons, an external sales coach can be part of the sales training solution—working with the sales leader and meeting one-on-one with a sales rep on day 30, 60, and 90 after the initial training. In most scenarios, sales coaching in itself brings substantial and sustainable benefits regardless of whether formal training is part of the process.

A coach can help the sales professional with approaches to new accounts or how to sell deeper with an existing client. A coach can also help the sales team to:

  • identify and overcome specific account obstacles
  • prioritize accounts based on risk/reward
  • create specific customer strategies
  • review and understand contributors to success
  • develop plans for improvement
  • build general sales skills in preparation and execution
  • increase sales team cohesiveness and teamwork

More companies are realizing the value of individual coaching for its sales team. Group training can still be part of the process, but to sustain the impact of the training investment it should be paired with one-on-one coaching. Coaching is the sign of the future. Are you ready to get on board and make more effective use of your training dollars?

Reference

Sales Readiness Group. (2018). Maximizing the Effectiveness of Sales Training: Five Factors for Developing Sustainable Selling Skills.


About the Author: Sandra Dillon is a professional coach with an extensive background in leadership and business coaching. She works with individuals and businesses as well as designs and facilitates workshops to empower people. She has a passion to help people be the best versions of themselves. You can learn more about Sandra or engage her as your coach by reaching out to her at sandra.s.dillon@hotmail.com or by visiting her website at www.shinecrossings.com

Is DISC in Your Sales Tool Kit?

discprofilewheelSalespeople are usually seeking ways to connect with customers, and some of the most strategic utilize the power of DISC. If you haven’t heard of the DISC personality profile, it’s an acronym representing four behavioral styles: dominance (D), influence (I), steadiness (S), and conscientiousness. People can be a mixture of all four but typically act out behaviors that align with one or a blend of two primary styles. Strategic salespeople leverage the power of DISC by adjusting their approach, words, presentation, and pace to the prospects’ preferred style and the role the customer plays as influencer, approver, decision-maker, or recommender.

DISC (www.discprofile.com) measures (1) the degree a person naturally prefers to be outgoing as opposed to reserved and (2) the extent to which a person is people- versus task-oriented. Although there are many exceptions, people who gravitate toward finance, accounting, and analysis are typically strong C’s. CEOs tend to be D-driven. Commonly, salespeople are strong I’s, which explains why they typically approach their clients with enthusiasm, as if they too are I’s. Strong S-people are drawn toward jobs where they can support teams such as Human Resources and Training & Development.

Salespeople should ask enough questions to determine what behavior styles each client favors. The clients’ preferences and role they play in the purchase decision should influence how the salesperson approaches the sales process. For example, “C” clients will prefer to know the facts, measure the ROI, thoroughly understand the alternatives, and focus on efficiency. They will likely ask a lot of questions and may extend the sales process until they get answers. On the other hand, a “D” client will be about action. Once D’s decide something needs to be addressed, they look to solve it and solve it fast, so they can move on to the next decision that needs to be made. Salespeople should focus on the benefits and minimize the details; otherwise, they will lose the attention of this decision-maker.

High-performing salespeople intentionally get to know the personalities and behaviors of their clients and adapt their style to match. They don’t have a one-size fits all approach. Although salespeople have a tool kit, the DISC personality assessment can be one of their most effective tools when they know how to use it.


About the Author: Sandra Dillon is a professional coach with an extensive background in leadership and business coaching. She works with individuals and businesses as well as designs and facilitates workshops to empower people. She has a passion to help people be the best versions of themselves. You can learn more about Sandra or engage her as your coach by reaching out to her at sandra.s.dillon@hotmail.com or by visiting her website at www.shinecrossings.com

Consistent Success: Are You Doing This One Thing?

success

After studying the attitudes and behaviors of successful people, Gschwandtner (2018) proposes there are 5 key attributes common among successful people in any profession. Consistently successful people do the following:

  1. Understand and operate with strong core values
  2. Focus intently on a life goal or mission
  3. Build and architect their lives
  4. Manage their career decisions wisely
  5. Practice persistence and consistency

As a Leadership and Life Coach, I work with individuals to help them increase performance in one or more of these areas. Driving on one attribute, let alone all five, can be daunting depending upon where one stands on the continuum.

For people who want to make changes that deliver consistent success, I suggest starting with a Core Values Evaluation to understand the top values that drive who they are. They are the foundation upon which everything else is built. If one doesn’t design a life upon his or her core values, the structure will be shaky, and in many cases, may crumble under its emptiness.

Coaching can help drive improvement in each of these behaviors shared among successful people. Ask me how I can help you become more successful in the ways you define life success.

Reference

Gschwandtner, G. (2018), Five Tips to Achieve Consistent Success, Selling Power, July 2018.


About the Author: Sandra Dillon is a professional coach with an extensive background in leadership and business coaching. She works with individuals and businesses as well as designs and facilitates workshops to empower people. She has a passion to help people be the best versions of themselves. You can learn more about Sandra or engage her as your coach by reaching out to her at sandra.s.dillon@hotmail.com or by visiting her website at www.shinecrossings.com

Sales Success: Where do You Focus First?

Zig ziglar

As a coach, I’m an advocate of always having a vision for every area of your life, whether it be marriage, career, or what you want to accomplish in the position you currently have. In my opinion, salespeople have some additional pressures, because their success is usually dependent on influencing others as opposed to working on tasks that are easily self-controlled. You could say that sales people have pressure to “close the deal” by the “close of business” which is no small task.

With so much emphasis on closing the deal, where does the salesperson spend most of his or her time, energy, and effort with a customer? A search for the best sales training would have you believe it’s anywhere but the beginning, as promotions abound for “selling with stories,” “driving to a close,” and “sales presentation training.” I’m sure there are useful insights delivered by each program, but what I believe is missing is how to take the very first step with the customer, which is the farthest point from winning the deal.

Instead of focusing on the end, I suggest the focus be on taking the first successful step with the customer. You’ll never have the opportunity to make a second first impression, and a first impression is made within the first 10 seconds. Studies show there are two questions a person will try to answer about you when they first meet you: (1) Can I trust you? and (2) Are you competent?

Maybe the best way to successfully close business is to focus on how to open business—the first conversation. I’m not referring to idle chit-chat or talking about your credentials. Forget about the weather or traffic, which are meaningless banter. I’m talking about forming a genuine connection based on finding out who you know in common or asking questions about your prospect’s background?

If you’re good with your opening, your customers will be able to answer “yes” to their two burning questions. When you earn trust and credibility, usually everything else that follows falls into place.


About the Author: Sandra Dillon is a professional coach with an extensive background in leadership and business coaching. She works with individuals and businesses as well as designs and facilitates workshops to empower people. She has a passion to help people be the best versions of themselves. You can learn more about Sandra or engage her as your coach by reaching out to her at sandra.s.dillon@hotmail.com or by visiting her website at www.shinecrossings.com

Are You Suffering From Death By Meeting?


unproductivemeeting


Businesses usually drive toward cost-effective processes and spend money on value-added services. Therefore, I find it perplexing that during my long tenure in Corporate America, businesses have neither mastered nor intentionally attempted to improve meeting efficacy. Employees complain that meetings have consumed their work day. By current statistics, middle managers spend 35% of their time in meetings and senior management upwards of 50%.

With all the experience employees have in meeting participation, one would expect them to be masters in planning and leading meetings. Instead, statistics reveal employees agree that the majority of meetings are unproductive or just plain wasteful. In laymen terms, employees are suffering from Death by Meeting. Ask yourself whether you commonly experience any of these symptoms?

  • You’re more interested in reading your incoming iPhone messages than what’s being discussed in the meeting
  • You plan the rest of your day in your mind or worry how you’re going to get the work piling up on your desk done while sitting in meetings
  • Your thoughts speak, “This meeting is a waste of my time.”
  • You question why you were invited
  • You get annoyed that a few tend to monopolize the conversation or too much time is spent catching up a few late attendees
  • You bring your laptop so you can get other work or personal to-dos done
  • You come late to meetings and find excuses to leave early
  • You avoid meetings by asking for a summary afterwards
  • You know shortly into the meeting it will run over or end on time without any decision
  • You routinely attend meetings with no clearly defined purpose or definite resolution so a second meeting will be scheduled to continue the discussion
  • You believe an email could have handled the situation

Meetings can be a powerful internal business tool and require strategy, planning, and execution. Great meeting skills can be learned. Ask me how I can help you or your organization leverage the power of effective meetings and treat those Death by Meeting symptoms.


About the Author: Sandra Dillon is a professional coach with an extensive background in leadership and business coaching. She works with individuals and businesses as well as designs and facilitates workshops to empower people. She has a passion to help people be the best versions of themselves. You can learn more about Sandra or engage her as your coach by reaching out to her at sandra.s.dillon@hotmail.com or by visiting her website at www.shinecrossings.com

What to Keep in Mind During Your Next Negotiation


WinWin


Whether you realize it or not, people are always negotiating, because most of what they want or need in life is controlled or owned by someone else. Negotiation is underway when a parent bribes a toddler with candy for good behavior or a boss offers comp time for putting in extra hours on a critical project. Much of our daily conversation involves the underlying theme of negotiation as seen when you pitch a project or make a recommendation you want the team to endorse. Below are a few concepts that may help you achieve a win-win outcome in your next negotiation.

Understand the Other Person’s Negotiation Style

Understanding the other person’s inherent negotiation style can be helpful in how you approach the conversation. On one hand, you may encounter someone who is very straight-forward and puts their near final offer on the table right away. What about the person whose first offer is usually half-way between what they are willing to settle for? At another extreme, I had a boss who wouldn’t start to negotiate until you asked a third time for something you wanted.

With perseverance and the belief that I had to have “such-and-such” for my business, I figured out over time that I didn’t get to start negotiating until I had hit the second “no”. Further into the relationship, I asked him why he took this approach with me and my peers who asked for money to support their businesses. He answered, “I’m not sure they couldn’t find another way until they’re asking me.” I can’t say I agree with his approach, but I certainly learned to work with it. Many of my colleagues never figured out our boss’s style or got the level of support they wanted.

Figure Out What the Other Person Wants

Understanding people’s negotiating styles leads into the second key negotiation concept which is to figure out what the other person wants. In the case of my former boss, he further expanded on why he adopted his negotiation style. He believed business leaders inherently made business decisions that made their lives easier without considering whether it was most cost-effective or had the ROI that merited the investment [note: this worldview that is difficult to change]. If you asked him a third time, you crossed over a hurdle in his mind that you were at least serious and passionate about your request. That marker meant you then got a seat at the negotiation table.

My boss would get daily requests to approve small to large expenditures for operations, sales, and marketing to sustain or grow the businesses. He told me if he signed all the Authorization of Expenditures (AFE) that crossed his desk, the company would be broke. Although he didn’t say it in so many words, I figured out that in order for him to sign an AFE, he needed to believe (1) there really was a problem that needed to be addressed, (2) all possible options where explored, and (3) the recommendation was the most cost-effective solution with an adequate return on investment.

With that in mind, all my requests came with a detailed PowerPoint presentation that covered all those hot topics. I got him to say “yes” to every slide message, so that when I got to the last slide which asked for money, he couldn’t help but say “yes.” And he did say “yes” every time, but…

Leave the Other Person in a Happy Place

…this brings me to the third important negotiating concept—try to leave the person you’re negotiating with in a happy place. Although I got what I set out to achieve, I noticed a bit of disappointment in my boss’s face. Knowing his personality, I assumed he hadn’t felt as if he had contributed to the solution. I had identified the problem, analyzed the options, and recommended the solution too thoroughly.

Although I’m not usually one to have patience in playing games, I am, however, a strategist. So, when my next request came around, I executed my usual strategy but left out a meaningful small component that I knew he’d find. He did suggest, “What about doing…?” My response was, “That’s a great idea. I’ll incorporate it into the plan and then move forward. It shouldn’t change the cost.” He smiled and said, “Great, send up the AFE and I’ll sign it.” The outcome was the same, but I left my boss feeling like he’d contributed to the success of the project which was the cherry on the top of the negotiation outcome.

Wrapping It Up

Many of the other business leaders never figured out how to successfully negotiate with our boss. They hadn’t taken the time to understand his negotiation style, what he wanted to hear in order to say “yes”, and certainly didn’t know how to leave him in a happy place. The reality is that negotiation can easily be a win-win. You need to focus less on getting what you want and more on putting yourself in the other person’s shoes.


About the Author: Sandra Dillon is a professional coach with an extensive background in leadership and business coaching. She coaches individuals and businesses as well as designs and facilitates workshops. She has a passion to help people be the best versions of themselves. You can learn more about Sandra or engage her as your coach by reaching out to her at sandra.s.dillon@hotmail.com or by visiting her website at www.shinecrossings.com

Leadership Strategies: Target Your Message to the Right Sense

5 senses


People were created with five senses, although a few may claim they have a sixth sense. If you’re blessed with this intuitive sixth, you may not need read any further since you’ve probably already put into practice the concept to follow. For those who rely mostly on their core five, you may achieve greater influence if you tailor and direct your message toward the sense your intended receiver relies on most.

Leadership is about influence, and in many cases, influencing means getting people to see your point of view, do specific things, change behaviors, and think in different ways. Communication can be in the form of written, dialogue, and immersion into a situation to gain firsthand information. What many leaders may not realize is that each person has a preferred method by which want to receive information, usually because they process it more effectively in that format.

Although these preferences are individualistic, in my experience there also appears to be preferences by generational cohorts. Millennials seem to prefer visual communication based on how they learned via video technology. GenX, who grew up using PowerPoint as a primary business tool, typically prefer written communication to read over and digest. The Baby Boomers and older prefer to talk in person, or if necessary, have a conversation over the phone. They remember the days when a 20-ft telephone cord helped them stay connected with friends and family dinners/conversations were mandatory seven nights a week.

Regardless whether people fit their generational cohort, they typically give clues in how they prefer to receive information based on the words they use to start their responds. When people responds with “see” and “looks” as in “I see why” or “It looks good,” most likely they prefer to receive information visually.  Even if they heard the information, they will tend to respond with “It looks good.”

People who prefer auditory will likely respond, “I hear you.” Then there are those who say, “I feel…” as they weigh how people will feel about the decision. More women than men typically say “I feel…” when expressing their opinion, with men preferring to opt for “I think…” or “I believe…” If you provide information in the format that the receiver prefers, you may be more influential in your message.  What’s your preferred sense?


About the Author: Sandra Dillon is a professional coach with an extensive background in leadership and business coaching. She coaches individuals and businesses as well as designs and facilitates workshops. She has a passion to help people be the best versions of themselves. You can learn more about Sandra or engage her as your coach by reaching out to her at sandra.s.dillon@hotmail.com or by visiting her website at www.shinecrossings.com