Is It a Skill Or a Will?

How often do you hear people at work asking for help and upon providing them insight, guidance or advice they reply, “I can’t do that!”, “that’s too hard” or “it’s too much work!”

Whether they think they can or think they can’t, they are right. It is both a failure of one's mindset and the unwillingness to put forth the required effort.

America may be the land of opportunity but it is not the land of free and easy. If you want to get ahead and succeed in anything in life, your success – and your team ‘s or organization’s successes – will in large part depend upon effort – yours and theirs when you’re the one leading the team.

Just like the Olympic hopefuls trying for a spot in the upcoming Games, you have to dedicate yourself to excellence. that means preparation, practice, testing and trials. Being a professional does not mean that you win all the time, but you need to put forth your best effort each and every time. You have to want to win and you have to be willing to pay the price for your desired success.

As much as I’d like to help sales executives and their teams achieve their goals in revenue growth and profit targets by working smarter, there is no substitute for hard work. That dedication is a given prerequisite and there is no amount of sales magic or secrets that will replace effort.

When managing a sales team or organization, assessing performance must go beyond the measured sales results. Consider the activities and behaviors or your sales team members: What are they doing or not doing, how well and how often do they perform those activities?

What we are hoping to evaluate is effort. As a sales leader, you can work with those persons willing to put forth effort. Your coaching and their willingness to be coached can help improve their results and yours, but no improvement will happen without effort – in many cases, extraordinary effort – and sufficient activity.

You can coach skill, but if your participant is unwilling your coaching will unfortunately go to waste. Your best players have the proper mindset and attitude, are willing to be coached, willing to put forth the required effort, and do their best to perform as required.

So now as you prepare your quarterly evaluations for your team members and plan for the next quarter, consider the skill and effort of each of your team members in addition to their sales results. Your leadership in evaluating the whole person is an important step that will help you tremendously in evaluating your team and developing each person appropriately.