Beliefs drive just about everything in a business, a career and a life and in fact it’s our beliefs about what we can accomplish that sets us up for success or failure. If you’re like most of the leaders with whom we do business, you probably believe your company can shatter every sales record it’s ever set. You probably believe you have what it takes to travel to the next level and beyond.
And here’s where it gets tricky: people might say they believe the company can generate greater success and they might even think that it can. But their doubts show up in their behaviour, and in the presuppositions they make about the action they need to take in order to further the business.
For example, say your VP of Sales has a history of making budget by pressuring clients to buy from him through use of “power over” tactics that make the client feel dependent on your company. His reason for applying force to make budget is that this has always worked in the past, so why change a winning game? But, recently your clients’ service reps are starting to hear grumbling from clients. If your service reps believe that they can share feedback openly with the VP of Sales, they will just relay the fact that this old tactic is no longer working, and the VP will lever this insight, follow-up with the client and possibly shift the approach.
This type of collaborative, interdependent feedback is central to being successful in VUCA. It serves to highlight the impact that stress is having on your clients, which allows your company to build a closer, more authentic relationship with clients, adapt and flex according to feedback, and move forward on a win/win basis. Unfortunately, the influence of VUCA on the VP Sales has limited his bandwidth, popped his blind spots and made it difficult for him to participate in anything approaching open sharing of customer feedback via the sales reps.
When a VP, or anyone in a senior position, is over 40 years of age, you can count on this type of situation existing below the radar. This is a classic case of a life-time of business experience informed by a 100+ year old approach to strategy, structure, process and rewards that worked phenomenally well to force desired results year after year. This approach was the preferred approach for 90% of that person’s life. This type of experience generated beliefs that have now been filed in the “don’t go there unless you want to experience some pain” compartment of that VP’s memory. After all, in the past he bought a new swimming pool for his nine-year-old son using this approach. Just five years ago, he won an interoffice competition for highest sales volume at a time when the business really needed the win.
Stay tuned for the next blog on the topic of beliefs. And, in the meantime, if you’d like to find out how Light-Core can support your organization to unprecedented returns in the months and years ahead, we invite you to get in touch. We excel at helping businesses thrive in chaos.