Sales Coaching Blog

Can Newton vs. Can’t Newton: A Lesson in Leadership

Posted by Paul Bilodeau

March 2, 2016

Guest Blogger: Paul Bilodeau - presenter at the 2016 Sales Coaching Summit

In an article by Gregg Rosenthal of Around The NFL, we are left with the clear message of just how “This has been the season of Cam Newton.” It was unanimous (48/50 votes) that the Panther’s QB was by far this year’s MVP. His size, skill, speed, strength, enthusiasm, and passion are truly intoxicating. And the fans, media, opposing players, coaches and teammates were all clearly drinking the ‘Cam Kool-Aid’.

It’s impossible not to get swept up in the excitement he generates and the energy you feel by just watching him in action. As Rosenthal writes, “the type of player who lifted teammates to another level.” As a leader, this is what we strive for. Having that much impact on the ‘level of play’ of the people around you.

Cam_Newton.pngGreat leaders are keenly sensitive to the visual message they are sending to those around them. Their team is constantly watching. They are watching your body language, your pace, your facial expressions and all of this communicates your message. If the message is positive and confident, the people around you begin to believe in their own abilities and the abilities of their teammates. They see small successes and build on each other and suddenly we believe it, “we can actually win, we can achieve this.” From here, the momentum propels the team to reach goals once referred to as aspirational.

Throughout the 2015 season Cam Newton demonstrated how he could be an effective leader. He also taught us how a leader’s message through body language can be contagious, and stimulate exceptional momentum that results in exceptional performance.

Unfortunately, that contagious message, Your Message, can prove to be infectious. If the message you are delivering is conflicting, uncertain, and defeated, that same leader can negatively impact the people around them. In Roger Ailes’ book, “You Are the Message,” he recommends leaders are best served to act more as a thermostat, regulating the energy and intensity, versus a thermometer, reacting to the environment with transparency.

During this year’s Super Bowl, we watched an amazing athlete with outstanding leadership qualities drag his team down to a state of disbelief, doubt and defeatism. Before the end of the first half, Cam Newton’s (or should we say, Can’t Newton’s) body language screamed to his teammates and to the 112 million viewers “I don’t believe we can turn this around.” Even my 13-year-old son (a major Cam fan) said, “Dad, it looks like he’s given up.”

Leadership Lesson

When times are tough and recurring adversity is taking it’s toll on the team…remember that they are intently watching their leader. How are they responding to this? Do they still believe? Are they still in this fight? Unfortunately the Carolina Panthers offense, who are used to inspirational Can Newton, followed the lead of Can’t Newton.

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Learn more about EcSell's 2016 Sales Coaching Summit speaker, Paul Bilodeau:

Paul_Bilodeau_Head_Shot-853464-edited.pngPaul Bilodeau — an entrepreneur, facilitator, sales leader and speaker — has a passion for developing sales leaders and creating customer-focused cultures within professional organizations.

His more than 23 years of experience in sales, combined with 12 years in managerial roles, provides him with energetic presentation and facilitation skills that reflect a deep understanding of "frontline" sales and "behind the scenes" strategies.

Through his company Sequential Selling Inc., Paul successfully launched the IMPACT Selling® System in the Canadian marketplace in 2007. He became The Brooks Group's top distributor soon after signing on as a reseller. He helped his extensive international client list increase their sales effectiveness by introducing The Brooks Group’s principles and strategies into their organizations.

Because of Paul's passion for the sales training industry and success with The Brooks Group's methodology and practices, The Brooks Group acquired his company in 2011 and Paul relocated to the U.S. to join the organization full-time.

As VP of Marketing and Sales, Paul is responsible for leading and executing The Brooks Group's sales growth strategy. He is a vital member of The Brooks Group's executive team and his input and expertise are invaluable in helping the company continue to grow and transform.

Career & Education

Paul has successfully consulted in a leadership capacity with over 47 different business-to-business organizations. He has held senior management positions for companies such as Purolator Courier, Intergold and Cannect Communications. Prior to his role as VP of Sales at The Brooks Group, Paul acted as President of Sequential Selling Inc. (formerly People Performance Consulting Inc.)

 

 

Topics: sales leadership, Great sales leaders

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