Bill Benjamin is arguably one of the foremost thought leaders on leadership, coaching and emotional intelligence in N. America. His organization, the Institute for Health and Human Potential (IHHP) does amazing work for their clients throughout the world. EcSELL has worked with Bill and his partner, Dr. J.P. Pawliw-Fry, on several occasions and will continue to do so, for their work is based on science, best practice and is delivered with passion-they are not a bunch of fist pumpers with no substance to what they preach.
I mention the above to make a point about leadership and coaching. While Bill at IHHP is clearly educated and highly effective in the art, science and delivery of leadership and coaching, he is formally taking part in programs to enhance his personal skills as a leader and coach. Bill never seems to quench his thirst for learning, for he understands his team at IHHP, as well as their customers, will only learn and grow as much as his ability to lead and coach them. Poor leaders and coaches limit the development and productivity of their teams, while the antithesis is true of great leaders and coaches.
In business, athletics or any achievement driven endeavor, it's plainly evident great coaches and leaders get exceptional results from their teams. Yet, in spite of all we know, not enough emphasis is placed upon improving the skills that are critical to leadership and coaching success. According to the latest research from Bersin and Associates, "Organizations that implement strategic, four-level leadership development programs are simply better companies. They deliver markedly greater financial returns, they adapt more rapidly to business change, and they endure tumultuous business cycles." Bersin also reports that only 37% of respondents rate the leadership capabilities of their top executives as "excellent".
Are sales departments that leadership starved?
When looking at those in a sales management role, EcSELL research shows only 15% of our respondent's rate their leadership and management skills or those of their Sales Managers as "extremely strong". We are evaluating coaching skills in our current research, and early returns don't appear to show markedly different numbers.
Patrick Sweeney, President of Caliper Corp, states that coaching is an important component of leadership, but not all leaders are great coaches and great coaching does not denote great leadership. Is this all getting complicated? Well, come to our Summit in April and allow Mr. Sweeney to explain the traits and skills that great sales leaders posses, but more importantly, learn how to affect your ability to lead and coach.
And finally, ask yourself this question: Are the leadership and coaching skills that you and your sales management team possess getting the most from your sales team?