Understanding the Human Behind Sales and Leadership
“I will prepare and someday my chance will come”- Abraham Lincoln
I got my BA in Politics from the University of San Francisco in 2012. USF is a Jesuit intuition that prides itself on a well-rounded education with an emphasis on an individual's impact in a global society. I started USF in the fall of 2008, I just turned 19, a recession was sweeping across America, and there was a presidential election that is still shaping the American political landscape to this day.
I was the only freshman in a senior-level politics class about presidential elections in the first semester. This class was my crash course on high-end political theory, strategy, and ethics. I would not change my education at USF for anything. Little did I know that the lessons I learned in this class and while at USF became the foundation for the leader I am trying to become. I am a leader, whether coaching on the bench, advising guys with issues off the ice, or helping customers with their needs. Being upfront and honest are two of my core values that I wanted to always have in my personal and professional relationships. What I have realized is that in both Politics and capitalism, those companies and people do not use the same ethical and moral views as I.
“Gossip- The toxic habit of those with tacky poor character.”- Ty Howard
Everyone has to do what they can to make their numbers. Making your number isn't that easy in a typical year, let alone the situation everyone is in now. What was confusing to me was why they were breaking a major pillar of sales. This quote from Tiffani Bova rings true, “How you sell matters. What your process is matters. But how your customers feel when they engage with you matters more”. The process matters much, and if the process is not starting based on trust and mutual respect, there is no foundation for long term success.
This unethical strategy angered me in a way so much it was causing me to reassess my strategy. Then it hits me, everyone is human, and everyone makes mistakes. I could not control what the vendor was doing. But I can focus on myself and giving excellent service to my customers. I will acknowledge the rumor only when necessary and trust that my process of customer first selling built on trust. A trust that can be lost exponentially faster than it is earned. I want my customers to feel that our relationships are a partnership with me because I care about them personally and professionally, making my numbers take care of themselves.
Is it a systemic problem?
Especially in 2020, which is a presidential election year, but most recently, it feels like every year is an election year. We live in a world of "misinformation" and "misleading" to persuade people to their point of view is standard, while demonizing those who disagree. At USF being from New England and going to prep school seemed to put me in the minority opinion on many issues. These constructive arguments in school helped me reinforce my beliefs as well as open my eyes to see the range of views and opinions in society. Knowing there isn’t one right answer to any of these issues. Since I graduated from college, many new avenues of getting information have developed. These avenues have led us to a period of what I would consider the "tyranny of the minority”. This new period is creating business and political factors the founders could not even imagine. These factors are causing political and professional rifts not seen in this country for decades.
“The culture precedes positive results”.- Bill Walsh- Hall of Fame, and Super Bowl Winning Football Coach