“Leaders are born not made.” Or “Leadership is the capacity to translate vision into action.” These are just two of the popular leadership quotes out there.
But they’re not much help at all for businesses looking for leaders who can help their teams hit sales goals, and boost those all-important metrics of revenue and growth. For one thing, behavioural theories say that leaders can indeed be made. And experts insist that sometimes business leadership is about setting vision and empowering others to do the translation.
So what is leadership and how can it help your business grow? The realistic answer is that there are as many leadership theories as there are leaders themselves.
There’s transactional leadership – where people are rewarded for good behaviour and punished for deviations. It might be effective – but it hardly drives people to unlock the potential within them and give it their all.
Then there’s charismatic leadership, where a person’s sheer force of will inspires teams to do better. It’s great when it works, but it requires a strong central figure. And whisper it – but the leader might be seen as more important than the team.
Or consider democratic leadership, where everyone’s involved in decision-making. That’s great because it sets collective goals, but slow because everyone has to concur and move together.
And then there’s laissez-faire leadership where teams are essentially left to their own devices to achieve goals in whichever way they want. It seems a bit loose, but can be effective when dealing with experienced and motivated teams.
At Coady Performance, we believe that narrow prescriptive views of leadership are a bit beside the point. There should ideally be only one metric of leadership – and that’s results-led. Leadership performance should be measured qualitatively in terms of motivation and level of satisfaction. More importantly, it should be measured quantitatively – in terms of sales growth, business targets achieved and additional revenue generated. Transparent measurement leaves no doubt as to the efficacy that focused leadership can bring to the table and encourages businesses to invest more in it.
The order of the day is to take insight from leadership theories, and then operationalise these into a delivery framework to boost sales growth.
In fact, at Coady Performance, we’ve created a framework that rests on five key pillars – Targets, Metrics, Support, Networks and Rewards.
This framework takes the best lessons from the leadership theories mentioned above to create an implementable framework for performance.
Targets – Coach teams on creating a pipeline of new deals while improving depth and trust in existing ones.
Metrics – Measure clearly and transparently, by focusing on key metrics such as sales, revenue and other business-related KPIs.
Support – Build team expertise and tactics flexibly, giving the high-performers the space they require while building skills and frameworks fairly for the entire team.
Networks – Encourage teams to build internal networks to collaborate, and also introduce them to industry decision-makers and key enablers outside their immediate work circle.
Rewards – Reward clearly and fairly, based on agreed-on performance. But also ensure that positive behaviours, such as pitch meetings and networking efforts are rewarded as well.
In short, our aim is to deliver the sort of leadership that creates tangible and measurable business results. We believe that it’s not just about rewarding transactional sales efforts but also about initiating a beneficial culture of performance that builds towards success.
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Blog published by Mike Coady