At the core of what I believe about success in life is personal accountability and responsibility. This is certainly true in sales. If you are not hitting quota, have you taken the time to evaluate your own actions, attitudes and beliefs? Or, as so often happens, are you blaming the economy, the local market, your boss, the crappy CRM system that was installed, or maybe the prospective buyer who doesn’t call you back? It is easy to blame other people or situations when things don’t go well. But, in truth, each of us holds the key to achieving whatever it is that we want. If success – personal or professional – is eluding you, perhaps it is time to look in the mirror. Due to the week that I’ve been having, I’m looking in mine right now.
I’m a Law of Attraction gal, which means that, I believe, we attract every experience into our lives for a purpose. Yes, even the ugly stuff. As I write this post, I’m reflecting on the common “themes” that have shown up in the interactions with others that I’ve had this week. One of the biggies is trust followed by attitude, accountability and respect.
Trust ranks first on my list of values, because I think that trust is the glue that makes relationships – business or personal – work. And, trust is tricky, because once violated, it’s pretty difficult to undo the damage. What I find hard to determine is when to pull the plug if trust in a relationship has been breached. Trust can be eroded, slowly, with small infractions that, in the moment, seem OK to let slide by. But, how long do you let it go on before you realize that the pattern isn’t going to change?
Next up is attitude. Attitude is a choice! You can choose to see the world as full of possibilities, or as a world filled with people out to get you. True, some of us are naturally predisposed to the positive, and your attitude is still your choice. I’m a “see the possibilities” type of person, but that doesn’t mean that I don’t have days when I want to tell the entire world to take a hike. Even when I don’t feel sunny, I choose to find something positive to get me back on track. People who constantly gripe about what isn’t working do not seem to understand that the more that they complain, the more garbage they attract into their experience. If you are in sales, attitude is everything. Having lived by a quota my entire career, I know firsthand how important attitude is to sales success. You have to know that if today’s deal falls through, there is something better on the horizon.
Dovetailing attitude is accountability. For me, this means that each of us accepts responsibility for our own actions. If you screw up, admit it, apologize and move on. It serves no purpose wasting precious time trying to justify why you did (or didn’t) do something. In 2009, far too many sales people used the economy as an excuse for not closing business. Don’t get me wrong, the economic situation definitely made securing new business more challenging, but people were still buying. If they were not buying from you, is it possible that because you were hiding in the corner blaming the economy they simply did business with someone else? Whatever is showing up in your experience right now, positive or negative, you created that situation. Now, it is up to you to be honest with yourself and accept responsibility for the results.
Finally, there’s respect. Maybe you don’t agree with my idea, opinion or suggestion, but please, do me the courtesy of considering my perspective before pushing your own agenda. When working in teams it is critically important to respect the diversity of style, thought and experience that each person brings to the table. One person doesn’t have all the answers, nor is their way the only way. If a member of the team decides to fly solo and make independent decisions that affect their teammates, it shows a complete lack of respect for everyone in the group.
It has been quite a week. I recognize that the circumstances that I attracted where meant as important signals to help get me back on track. These circumstances have made me realize that little compromises along the way have led to bigger problems. If you, like me, have been allowing your values to be compromised, even in what seems like tiny ways that you are willing to let slide, it is probably time to step back and ask why. If you don’t, you may find yourself angry and resentful about having to deal with the aftermath of your earlier choices. My attitude this week has quite frankly, sucked. I’ve been short tempered, and in my personal life, in particular, I have been anything but respectful when expressing my displeasure. In the end, I know that earlier choices led to these outcomes, and for that, I am accountable.
So, what about you? What values do you comprise, and what will be the price paid for allowing it to continue?