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4 Leadership Styles to Avoid

4 Leadership Styles to Avoid

Paul McCord

The Good Buddy

The Good Buddy is everyone’s friend. Managing is a popularity contest that he intends to win. He’ll be a great drinking buddy, a top notch shoulder to cry on, a guy you can trust to cover for you. He’ll make sure the office atmosphere is loose, that everyone feels welcome, that the office is a fun place to be.

Discipline? Well, that’s not something you’ll find in his office. An insistence on hitting quota? Something else that isn’t a priority. Coaching? Nope. Lots of back slapping and high fiving, but no coaching. Decisions? Don’t expect The Good Buddy to make the hard decisions because he might hurt someone’s feelings.

The Good Buddy is weak and lets his team members run the office. Ultimately, most everyone in his office ends up unhappy.

The Super Closer

We all know the Super Closer — the guy or gal who believes they can close anyone, anytime. They generally have a massive ego, more than likely a strong sales history, an A type personality, and little respect for the others on their sales team. The Super Closer sees their charges as grunts who know nothing about sales and whose only job is to go out, work through the chaff to find the prospect, then call in The Super Closer and watch the master work.

The Super Closer is concerned with one thing and one thing only—today. Get today’s numbers, Numbers, numbers, numbers. By gosh she’s never missed a quota and she’s not going to start now. If you suckers can’t get the business—and God knows you can’t, she’ll close it for you. Her sales team doesn’t have to worry about anything except getting her in front of a prospect.

Planning? Who needs it? Reports to management? All they care about are quotas being met and exceeded, so she’ll tell them what they want to hear and then worry about making it true.

The managers above have developed their own definition of what a manager is because:

- They misunderstand the nature of their position. Most companies don’t train their new sales managers. The assumption is that good salespeople will know what needs to be done. Consequently, most companies simply instruct new salespeople to call their manager if they have questions, maybe give them a day or two introduction to the reports and paperwork they’ll need to complete.

- They believe that today is more important than future days. Get today’s numbers today and worry about tomorrow tomorrow. This often comes from a demand by management—stated or unstated — that numbers be met today. Many senior managers mouth a long-term growth philosophy while demanding numbers be made today so they get their bonus–and to hell with tomorrow (Wall Street anyone?).

- They aren’t manager material to begin with. A great salesperson will not necessarily be a great manager. Often great salespeople make terrible managers. They know what they are good at and want to continue being the sales superstar but with a management title. Converting to be a real manager is impossible for some of these sales stars.

- They can’t make the adjustment from being one of the group to being the leader of the group. They want the new position but they don’t want their relationships to change.

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