You Are A Leader (Like It Or Not.)

“Leadership is influence; nothing more, nothing less.” - Dr. John C. Maxwell.

I have heard dozens of people try to define leadership. Most of the time they were doing it in the context of what makes a great leader, great. Dr. Maxwell is paraphrasing the accent Chinese proverb, “If a leader doesn’t have anyone following him, he is simply taking a walk.” To lead, you must have people that are following!!!

Leadership Success Is By Working Together Like Gears

The reality is that you and I have worked for good leaders and those that couldn’t lead a starving man to a steak. As you move through your career, the thing that separates those that thrive in their organization, versus those that languish, is they have learned how to lead. Sometimes they have the position and authority to lead. More often they have the moral right to lead based upon their contributions. Contributions to their customers…. Contributions to their company…. Contributions to their boss…. And most importantly….Contributions to their peers.

True Leaders Often Don’t Have The Title

Ask yourself this, have you ever been in a meeting where one of your colleagues drove the conversation even though they weren’t the “boss?” Of course you have. We have all been in that meeting. Why do you suppose that happens? I have an idea… You don’t have to be the “boss” (or named leader) to lead.

In fact, if you wait until you have the title, you will never be the leader. In my career I have had the privilege to promote over 200 people to leadership positions. Guess what I based EVERY SINGLE ONE of those decisions on? That person’s CURRENT influence. Sure, performance and work ethic had influence in the decision. But overwhelmingly I have looked to promote people that others were already following. Call me lazy, but I have always wanted to run with those that were already running.

Tim’s Six Leadership Tips

So how do you gain influence with you boss and your peers? I have six, sure-fire ways to gain influence and join the leadership ranks of your company.

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Every success I know has been reached because the person was able to analyze defeat and actually profit from it in the next undertaking.

William Moulton Marston

#032: Jackie Kohorst-Payne: Grit + Professionalism Always Wins

Where is VB headed?

Are You Stubborn Enough

Have you ever meet someone that you instantly knew was a true professional and that you were really going to enjoy collaborating with? Someone you knew was going to make you better? I first meet Jackie in early 2016. Her story of grit, determination and triumph inspired me then, and it continues to inspire me today!

Not only is Jackie inspiring, she is a world class professional and leader. In today’s episode Jackie breaks down where they VB industry started, how it got to where it is now, and where it is headed. I know I have never heard

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Doing The Work SUCKS!

But the results are worth it

Most people who begin a career in sales are a little pollyannaish over the trajectory of their career. When I began my VB career in 1998, I thought insurance salesman took clients golfing, out to lunch and then were done with their day at 3:00pm. Perhaps I’m exaggerating a little but I never expected to have to work as hard as I did. (My natural state is lazy. Not kidding.) I am incredibly glad that I chose to volunteer for success and do the hard work necessary to succeed in the great adventure of professional sales.

As I have watched literally thousands of new, straight commission salespeople begin their career,

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Luck is the last dying wish of those who want to believe that winning can happen by accident. Sweat on the other hand is for those who know it’s a choice. So decide now because destiny waits for no man. When your time comes, and a thousand different voices are trying to tell you you’re not ready for it, listen instead to that lone voice of dissent. The one that says you are ready. You are prepared. It’s all up to you now.”

Nike Commercial

#030: Ron Jones – Let’s Go Fishing

Go to where the fish are biting!

Ron Jones Fishing

I actually meet Ron on a fly fishing trip in New Mexico. The trip was an award for a contest we had won from our carrier at the time. We would soon become fast friends and peer mentors.

This is also one of the “lost SIV episodes” that I recorded but was unable to release during my hiatus from SIV.

In this episode Ron talked about one of our favorite subjects…. (no, not fishing)

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The 5 Words That Will Kill You Sales Career

You don't understand, I'm different!

You Don’t Understand, I’m different!

I'm Different

After 20 years of recruiting, on-boarding and training sales people, it never ceases to amaze me when a new salesperson says this to me. The sad fact is that almost all of the new agents I have worked with, at some level, believed it (whether they expressed it out loud or not.)

How do I know? Their actions made it crystal clear.  They failed to follow the sales system they had been given. They thought that they were smarter than the other poor rubes that they worked with. If someone else, who was following the system, was having success, they must be cheating, lying, stealing, or just plain lucky. “There is no way that person is smarter than me,” the agent who isn’t following the system thinks.

The reality is that they are probably right. And that will absolutely kill their chances for success. Over my career I have noticed that the “smarter” someone is, or thinks they are, the less likely they are to follow the system to the letter.

Put The Pressure On The System

In Joe Buzzello’s fantastic book The Cap Equation  Joe recounts a story of his father (who was never in sales by the way) rather pointedly expressing to Joe that he had never actually done

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#029: Les Heinsen – Optimism Isn’t Enough

Time Doesn't Always Equal Improvement

Les and Sharon Heinsen

Les Heinsen is one of my heroes. I don’t use that term loosely. I won’t take time to explain that statement here. I covered that 4 years ago the last time Les came on the SIV Podcast. During his time with us then, he gave an absolute Masters Class on leadership. Listen to it HERE

I asked Les to appear again today to dig in to the concept he taught me 15+ years ago, “Just because time passes doesn’t mean that things are going to get better.”

One of the things I admire most about Les is his optimism and ability to encourage others. He is someone that believes in his people and helps them to see the future as it could be. As optimistic as Les is, he fully understands that optimism isn’t

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