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The Center for Sales Strategy Blog

Sales Leadership: Are You a Boss or a Leader?

Sales Leadership Are You a Boss or a Leader

“People don’t leave jobs; they leave managers.”

“I quit.” It’s what a record-breaking 4,478,000 workers told their employers in August 2019. The reasons for quitting varied from compensation to lack of engagement, but one in two employees left their job to get away from their manager.

At one point in our life, we’ve all worked under a superior that could make or break our day. When it comes to sales leadership, there’s a big different between being a boss and a leader. Which one are you?

The Difference Between a Boss and a Leader

Infographic: Top 15 Reasons Your Employees StayIn order to make things happen in sales, a new skill of sales leadership is required. Sales leadership is quickly beginning to be recognized as one of the attributes that can turn average organizations into high-performing ones. While sales leaders still focus on numbers and statistics, their priority is now to be mindful of what drives their people, to ensure they feel inspired and empowered for optimal performance.

Check out these differences to get a better understanding of your current leadership status.

  • A boss drives a team; a leader coaches them
  • A boss stimulates fear; a leader generates enthusiasm
  • A boss says, “I;” a leader says, “we”
  • A boss places blame; a leader fixes
  • A boss gives answers; a leader seeks solutions  
  • A boss takes credit; a leader gives credit

How Can I Become a Great Sales Leader?

Highly effective sales leaders stop putting work ahead of their sales team. An article published in Harvard Business Review states, “Leadership refers to an individual’s ability to influence, motivate, and enable others to contribute toward organizational success. Influence and inspiration separate leaders from managers, not power and control.”

Many sales managers spend too much time in reactive mode. They rush to put out the next big fire and ignore the disconnect around them. Being a proactive leader requires taking a step back from the day-to-day operation to work on the business and its people as opposed to working in the business. The business will not improve and flourish unless new ideas evolve, and people grow.

Are you asking questions and listening more? Are you facilitating rather than dictating? Most importantly, are you supporting, encouraging, and inspiring rather than judging and intimidating? If you answered yes to these questions, congratulations! You’re a leader not just a boss.

Talent Insight

Topics: leadership sales talent