This week we have talked with a number of sales leaders who seem to have an extra pep in their step. And why not – they have closed the books on their 4th quarter, spent some well-deserved time relaxing with their families during the holidays, and now, like countless others, they are looking for “resolutions” to become better people and professionals in 2013. Will they? Possibly, but the cards are stacked against them. A study conducted by Richard Wiseman a few years back showed that New Year’s resolutions were destined to fail at a rate of 88%. Some of the reasons for this absurdly high failure rate according to Wiseman consisted of people making too many resolutions, not telling others their goals, and not putting enough thought into the change they truly wanted to commit to, amongst a few others.
Let’s focus on the first reason that Wiseman gives; making too many resolutions. To me, this makes perfect sense. If you are an executive sales leader this week, coming off of an extended vacation, you likely could sit down and identify a multitude of areas you would like yourself and your management team to improve this next year, but the problem is you are busy due to that same extended vacation and thinking about those opportunities for improvement can become overwhelming, especially given the hectic nature of you and your teams day to day responsibilities on the horizon. However, do not let this overwhelming feeling stop you from taking the time to set at least one very important opportunity for development this next year. We see this best practice be very effective at the EcSELL Institute with our new members and it most always leads to more sales team performance. Below is a list of 5 proven methods our members have used to ensure personal development will take place this year.
- Identify just one critical area for self-improvement that if you looked back in one years’ time you can say I know we drove more performance because I improved in the area I identified.
- Share that opportunity for self-improvement with your team, other colleagues, spouse, and friends so that you are held accountable for improving.
- Challenge your team to come up with one critical area of improvement for them. By taking the lead you will likely get some critical buy in and likely some of their answers will surprise you.
- Think about offering a minimal reward for benchmarks in improvement. Although we would like to think that professional development should not have to be an initiative, positive reinforcement can be beneficial when trying to change a culture and encourage self-directed improvement.
- Don’t let the improving stop at the end of one year. None of us are finished products.
Best of luck to everyone in 2013!