In a recent blog, we talked about aspects of leadership, and how to encourage your sales partners to view you as a leader. However, then we got to thinking: There’s a difference between acting like a leader and simply being a leader.
What defines a leader? What qualities does a person possess which lead them to naturally behave in ways that inspire people to look up to them? As the saying goes, “Any one who must say ‘I am King’ is no true king.” It’s certainly useful to have some guidelines for how to interact with your sales partners in a positive, productive, and respect-inspiring fashion… but what qualities should someone cultivate within themselves, to bring out their natural leadership potential?
1. Boundless curiosity
In all our consulting work, we’ve never met a great CEO, channel manager, or other leader who wasn’t always willing to learn more about the details of their operation. Any business organization fits together like an industrial machine, full of moving parts interacting with each other. This is certainly true of channel sales ecosystems! Great leaders understand this naturally, and seek to increase their understanding of how all these parts fit together.
One key insight they gain from this is:
2. Knowing when to not meddle
As a wise man once said, “If you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice.” Inaction is still a form of action – and sometimes it’s best to let things proceed at their own pace. We all have horror stories of managers so focused on micro-management that they tweak and twiddle without ever actually improving anything, just because they feel a constant need to fiddle with things. Meddling simply for meddling’s sake rarely, if ever, produces positive outcomes.
Know when to take a step back and not fix that which is not broken. Focus your time and energy on matters where you know a hands-on approach will create definitive results.
3. Constantly crave a challenge
We always know we’re going to have a successful partnership with one of our customers when we’ve sat their channel manager down, explained the challenges which will come from adopting new channel solutions... and their eyes light up. A great leader never shies away from a challenge, when they know there are huge benefits to be reaped from confronting that challenge head-on. They crave it. They need challenge to keep themselves interested and invested in their jobs.
Challenges are what make life fun. A leader who always seeks the easy and unchallenging path will rarely guide his team correctly.
4. Prefer to seek balance, rather than extremes
If you look up guides to leadership, on the face of it, the advice can seem contradictory: “Be humble, but have the confidence to act.” “Be compassionate, but willing to make painful choices.” “Drive your team to greater effort, but don’t run them ragged.”
These sorts of platitudes all point towards one key quality: understanding and valuing balance points, rather than embracing consistently extremist measures. A great leader knows that there are always more options on the table than a simple either-or choice. They’ll look at the opposite ends of their potential actions, then pick something in between that’s more balanced.
LogicBay Brings You The Tools That Enable Great Leadership
Our software and methodology may not be able to help you find the great leader that lies within, but we can give you the tools that make the day-to-day life of a channel manager much easier! Our all-in-one platform can consolidate nearly every aspect of your channel management, while enabling better communications and interactions with your partners.