Sep 30 2011

What Do You Look For In A Leader

Published by at 8:11 am under Signtronix,Signtronix Reviews,Signtronix Signs

By Kirnan Lewis

Who can you remember that was a Great Leader in your Childhood? Your life? Your Career? What traits really stand out in your mind about them? I have been honored and blessed to have known few in my life. Let’s look at the definition of a “Leader” and that may help bring those special people come to mind.

“Leader” ~ The Principle Player in an Organization. These folks could be in business,

in your family, your church, etc. So, what traits come to mind when you think of these people?  Almost always four traits stand out in my mind: (1) Honesty (2) Trustworthy (3) Loyalty (4) Respect.  These qualities are very seldom (possibly never) born in people. They are something that is taught to them by others usually by example of those that have been a part of and an influence in their lives.

Would it be safe to say that these “Qualities” are also what Managers are looking for in their Dealers? Having been a Regional Manager for 5 short months, most of my experience in “leading people” was in my 5 years as a District Manager and 25 years in running my own business.  We have all had those Dealers that are very high maintenance! Their orders are incomplete, sloppy and you wonder if the contract will even get to the factory before it cancels. These Dealers usually lack these 4 traits and possibly many others. How can we instill these qualities and traits in the very people we claim to be leading? There are many ways of doing this, but this is just about one in particular, and I bring it up at risk of stepping on toes and possibly getting some emails about it, but here we go!

LEADS… What are you doing with them?  I know that ALL factory leads go out to the Regional Managers, and they have sole discretion as to what they do with them. I read and hear of some Regional Managers taking them and selling many of them.  I would venture to say that those may be the only contracts they write and possibly the only time they take their samples out of cold storage.  Now, I’m not the one to say that this practice is right or wrong.  It’s your region, and your business. However, I remember as a Dealer, how excited I was when I was getting “leads” from my RM and how much I appreciated the fact that he would give them to me! It did a lot for me but even more for my opinion of him as a leader.  When they stop, that can also affect them in the opposite way. Whether you think it or not, these Dealers know we get leads from across the country everyday.  If they aren’t getting any, they know who is!    Want Dealers with these 4 traits?  Here’s one sure fire way to do it…..SHARE YOUR LEADS with them!  Besides what it does for them, here is YOUR return on YOUR Investment:

1) Respect ~ Your Dealers will gain respect for you as a person who does not hoard the leads.  Their income and bills are just as important to them as yours are. Earn their respect!

2) Honesty/Trustworthiness ~ If you tell your Dealers “we just don’t get many leads,” they know you are not being honest and if they can’t trust what you say, then they simply can’t and won’t trust you as a leader. It lets them know you are simply in this thing for yourself, and what they can do for you.

3) Loyalty ~ If you do this, you will instill these qualities in your people, and they will be loyal to you. I have met many Dealers across the country and talk to them fairly often. They are not a member of a “Team”.  In actuality, they are not out there, loyal to their RM, trying to build the region.  They are simply a sole salesman out there doing their thing for themselves and them alone. Many times, there is no “Team” because the leader has not instilled and demonstrated the above traits in them.   Want a loyal Dealer?  Show your loyalty to them!  Do we really have dedicated teams? If we earn their respect, and we are honest and trustworthy, we can create loyalty within our people. Then we have a “Team”.

This is just food for thought.   Good Luck, Good Skills, God Speed to you.  Manage your time and your people for effectiveness!

“Confidence building is an essential.”  ~Milton Mannix



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