Written by Will Kloefkorn, Sales Manager at the EcSELL Institute.
Nearly two weeks ago the world lost one of the greatest coaching minds that ever lived - John Wooden. Since that day I have became infatuated with Mr. Wooden as a coach, leader, teacher, and most importantly a human being. In two short weeks of learning, it has become easy to understand why Coach Wooden attained such high levels of success with his teams. However there is one quote, of many, that seems to keep playing over and over in my mind ...
""No written word, no spoken plea, can teach our youth what they should be, nor all the books on all the shelves, it's what the teachers are themselves." - John Wooden
Not a day goes by in the sales leadership profession where somewhere a sales manager says to themselves; I am too darn busy this year to improve my skills as a leader and a coach. In fact, there are way too many sales managers who live by the excuse of "there isn't enough time" or "I'm too busy". When it comes to professional development and skill improvement these sales leaders unfortunately are not leading by example. At age 98 John Wooden stated during a radio interview that, "listening and continuous learning were the keys to his success as a leader and a coach; and that he still had a desire to learn at the age of 98 just as he did when he was coaching".
John Wooden's players took notice to the example that he set for them as players and as young men. It is almost certain that your sales producers are taking notice to the example you are setting as sales leaders and coaches. I believe that EcSELL Institute President Bill Eckstrom said it best by stating "What Sales Execs and Managers need to believe is that professional development "evolution" begins with them. Without growing their skills to better lead and coach, they are, by default, limiting the growth of their teams".
I believe that Coach Wooden would strongly agree.