How are you successful as a sales leader? You probably care a great deal about what you do and why you do it. Sure, you probably like to make money. But if you could make all the money you could ever want but felt unfulfilled and bored, how long do you think it would be before you would decide to do something else that made you feel challenged and significant? Exceptional sales leaders have a personal mission and a purpose for what they do that rises above the ordinary. Their goals are aligned with that mission.
A purpose is a constant in the midst of ever-changing objectives. If you remain focused on it, you will achieve meaningful objectives. Purpose is like an engine, providing power and propulsion. Goals and objectives provide direction and a destination. We need both.
What do you care about? To what lengths would you go to demonstrate it? Are you doing what you care about?
It is hard to imagine anything great being accomplished without someone caring a great deal about accomplishing it. The depth of your devotion to a goal or purpose will determine how energetically you tackle problems. It will determine your enthusiasm and that of others you want to influence to join you in your effort. It will determine your ability to persevere when you face setbacks.
For example, when you care about something, you won't easily settle for no as an answer, whether that is winning a tough sale or leading a challenging project. You become creative, looking for solutions instead of looking for excuses. You get others excited. You accomplish the impossible. Think about what you care about. What have you always enjoyed doing? What do you dream about? What gets you excited? If you don't know, make it your goal to find out. Read, talk to others, follow your curiosity, and trust your instincts.
In a popular movie, one of the lead actors says toward the end, "The Greeks didn't write obituaries. They just asked, ‘Did he have passion?'" That struck me as meaningful, regardless of whether the Greeks actually wrote obituaries or not. Living without passion is like living without life. There isn't much excitement, there isn't much sparkle, and there isn't much to look forward to. So why wouldn't it be a good idea to assess the sum of our lives by assessing how much passion we had about what we did, who we were, or what we lived for? From time to time I see newspaper stories about people who were outstanding in their lives, people who did things that made them memorable. Their acts might have set records or simply have modeled unselfishness. In each case, there is usually an element of greatness about how they lived and who they were.
Movies entertain, but they often communicate a message. I especially like the ones that are based on true stories or are inspirational, and I've seen some that are particularly applicable for people who want to be sales leaders. The movie Music of the Heart offers a good example of what a difference passion can make. It is based on the true story of a woman whose passion for music helped her to achieve not only her immediate goal of landing a job, but to inspire students to find greatness in themselves and parents to creatively work together to save a school music program. Another is Mr. Holland's Opus. One more movie to see is Rudy, based on a true story about a boy who dreams of going to Notre Dame and playing on their football team, which seems like an impossible dream because everyone says he is too small to play. These movies inspire because they're about people who accomplished a great deal because they cared a great deal.
"If I were to see myself the way you see me, I would have to retire."