Sales Leadership: What the Best Leaders Don't Do

leadership sales leadership women in leadership Nov 18, 2023

Here are 5 things great sales leaders DON'T do that the poor sales leaders do all the time.

I’ve been privileged to work with, observe & learn from incredible sales leaders. There are a few things the very best sales leaders have in common, & it's more often about what they DON'T do.

1. Inspiration Over Demand: Building Loyalty the Right Way

Great sales leaders understand that loyalty is not a demand but an inspiration. Instead of forcing allegiance, they craft a vision that captivates the minds of their salespeople. Transparency, honesty, and shared commitment become the pillars of loyalty, earned through inspiration.

Leadership Unveiled

Leadership is not just a position; it's a multifaceted concept that transcends authority. Leadership is about influencing others to achieve common goals. It's a blend of skills, vision, and emotional intelligence, all geared towards fostering growth, both individually and collectively.

Meaning of Leadership

Leadership means guiding a group towards a common objective. It's the ability to motivate and influence others positively. A great leader inspires, empowers, and creates an environment where individuals can thrive.

Importance of Leadership

Why is leadership important? Effective leadership is crucial for achieving goals, maintaining a motivated team, and navigating challenges. It fosters innovation, builds trust, and sets the tone for the entire organization.

Leadership Skills

What are the key leadership skills? Communication, emotional intelligence, adaptability, and decision-making are among the critical skills. A great leader continually hones these skills to navigate the complexities of the business landscape.

2. Development Over Usage: Nurturing Growth

Exceptional leaders don't view salespeople as mere tools to be used for results and revenues; they see untapped potential. They invest in training, coaching, and opportunities, valuing personal growth and the broader potential of their team.

Leadership Growth Mindset

Leadership is a journey, not a destination. A growth mindset is fundamental for great leaders. They see challenges as opportunities, failures as lessons, and continuously seek ways to develop themselves and their team.

Valuing Personal Growth

Great leaders recognize the significance of personal growth. When individuals within the team thrive personally and professionally, the entire team benefits. The best leaders foster an environment that supports ongoing development.

Investment in Training and Coaching

How do leaders facilitate growth? They invest in training and coaching, providing the necessary tools and knowledge for their team to excel. This proactive approach not only improves performance but also builds a resilient and adaptable team.

3. Constant Improvement Over Settling: A Commitment to Growth

The best sales leaders never settle; they are committed to constant improvement. Kai-zen! This commitment sets the standard for their team, fostering a culture of excellence.

Continuous Learning

Great leaders are avid learners. They understand the value of staying updated on industry trends, management strategies, and sales techniques. This continuous learning not only benefits them but also enriches the team.

Seeking Feedback

Feedback is a powerful tool for improvement. Exceptional leaders actively seek feedback from their team, peers, and superiors. Constructive criticism is embraced as an opportunity to refine their leadership style.

Innovation as a Result of Conflict

Embracing conflict is a hallmark of great leaders. Rather than avoiding it, they see conflict as a catalyst for innovation. Diverse perspectives and healthy disagreement are the seeds of positive change and growth.

4. Engaging Conflict Over Avoiding It: Turning Challenges into Opportunities

Conflict, when approached constructively, becomes a pathway to innovation and growth. Exceptional sales leaders welcome alternative ideas and encourage healthy conflict as a means of positive change. Poor sales leaders do whatever they can to stifle and avoid conflict.

Conflict Resolution

Effective leaders possess strong conflict resolution skills. They address conflicts promptly, facilitating open communication and finding solutions that benefit all parties involved.

Innovation through Diversity of Thought

Conflict often arises from differing opinions, which, when managed well, can lead to innovative solutions. Great leaders understand that a diversity of thought sparks creativity and drives the team forward.

5. Release Over Tight Holding: Fostering Independence

Outstanding sales leaders understand the delicate balance between guiding and letting go. Holding onto team members too tightly can hinder their growth, so great leaders celebrate and encourage team members to explore new opportunities. Sounds counter-intuitive and strange but it's true.

Validation of Development

When team members explore new opportunities, exceptional leaders see it as a validation of their development efforts. The success of their team members is a testament to their leadership, fostering a culture of achievement.

Encouraging Independence

Fostering independence is crucial for team development. Great leaders provide the necessary support and guidance while allowing individuals the autonomy to explore and grow.


If you enjoyed these insights into sales leadership, here's more for you. Download 10 additional sales leadership learning lessons here.

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