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Category Archives: Leadership

Cloudy Outlook

10 Ways Sales Managers Fail

By | Business By The Book, Leadership, Sales | No Comments

Just like sales, sales management requires training. It’s an uphill battle to walk into such a complicated role and see success without any help. Unfortunately, far too many organizations take their top performing salesperson and turn him or her into a sales manager. Other organizations just hire someone for the Sales Manager position and say, “go do it!” That simply doesn’t work. It doesn’t work because – more often than not – we see sales managers (veterans and rookies alike) making mistakes. Here are 10 ways Sales Managers fail: Unilaterally raising quotas on star performers… or making quotas impossible for…

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5 Things High Performing Sales Managers Should Be Doing with Excellence

By | Business By The Book, Leadership, Sales | No Comments

The sales manager plays a critical role in determining a sales organization’s success or lack thereof, and that pressure and responsibility requires a unique personality and the willingness to wear many hats. Leading a sales team to high performance levels isn’t a “one size fits all” task, as successful leadership in one company’s culture may not produce the same result in another. High performing sales managers are skilled in adapting their leadership style to fit the needs of their unique sales team. While this flexibility is key, there are 5 things that every great sales manager should be putting to…

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Innovation From a Peanut

By | Business By The Book, Leadership, Ownership & Purpose | No Comments

By Joel Montgomery When I was young, I said to God, ‘God, tell me the mystery of the universe.’ But God answered, ‘That knowledge is for me alone.’ So I said, ‘God, tell me the mystery of the peanut.’ Then God said, ‘Well, George, that’s more nearly your size.’ George Washington Carver was born into slavery in 1864 on a farm in Diamond Grove, Missouri. Carver was raised by his white masters, Moses and Susan Carver, and from an early age he had a fascination with plants. George Carver hungered for knowledge and when there was no school for black…

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The Perfect Brainstorm

By | Business, Business By The Book, Business Improvements, Leadership, Leadership | No Comments
Startup Stock Photos

  Poet Robert Frost once described the brain as something that “starts working the moment you get up in the morning and does not stop until you get into the office.” Okay, so you can jump start it again with a stiff cup of Folgers. The point is, much of what passes for work in the workplace requires—admit it—very little of your cerebral cortex. The mundane tasks that constitute the average workday are often far from intellectually stimulating—but that’s probably a good thing. A certain amount of routine helps us balance the stressful elements of operating a business. Too much…

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How Hard Can It Be to Start a New Insurance Agency?

By | Business By The Book, Growth Strategy, Leadership, Ownership & Purpose, Sales & Marketing, Starting Up | No Comments
Insurance Agency

Q: Thank you for all of the resources on sales and marketing that you offer. I am planning on becoming an independent insurance agent for a large insurance company. Will your resources here, including Venture Academy help me get leads and will that be my biggest obstacle in selling supplemental insurance? A: Our sales and marketing resources and video training do not include “leads”, but cover how to think about your sales pipeline and how to manage it in order to build your business. Selling insurance and building a book of business is a long, slow process. In my opinion,…

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Developing the Ability to Think Like an Entrepreneur

By | Business By The Book, Business Development, Education, Leadership, Venture Academy | No Comments
Developing the Ability to Think Like an Entrepreneur

Q: I have truly enjoyed your Venture Academy series during the past year. It was an incredible investment value. Your personal stories on how you honed your entrepreneurial talents were most interesting. With your experience and understanding, would you suggest apprenticeships, or reading books or a combination — developing talents from example and discussion — as the most effective method of successfully forging dividend-paying business talents and to think more like an entrepreneur? A: I’m glad to hear you have benefitted from the videos. I would recommend both apprenticeships and reading. In terms of reading, I would recommend becoming a…

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Move, Shoot, and Communicate

By | Business By The Book, Leadership, Leadership and Employees, Running a Business | No Comments
2LT Myers

“Move, Shoot, and Communicate” was a standard phrase I learned as a young officer in the U.S. Army regarding the three essential capabilities to develop, build, and perfect in order to be successful in battle. And the faster a troop leader can perform and lead the soldiers, the more effective he was at gaining ground. I remember a cartoon I saw as a lieutenant that stuck with me: it featured an armored personnel carrier tearing down a tank trail at a high rate of speed with a caption that read “speed is my camouflage”. That resonated with me. While some…

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The Necessity of Morality in Business

By | Business By The Book, Leadership, Leadership, Running a Business | No Comments
Morality in Business

Q: How do you explain the issues with capitalism when it comes to the potential for companies to do anything for a dollar out of greed? A: We’ve seen plenty of examples of companies selling harmful products or swindling public investors or mistreating employees. It really boils down to the fact that capitalism only works under the guiding hand of morality. And the truths of moral law can only come from a higher authority. Our Biblical values as Christians act as a counterbalance to potentially greedy decisions that might have a negative impact on customers or investors. I remember sitting…

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Failure is a Necessary Part of Success – A Lesson from the Army Rangers

By | Business By The Book, Leadership, Leadership and Employees, Running a Business, Starting Up | No Comments

During U.S. Army Ranger training, we were trained in hand-to-hand combat, including how to fight with knives and how to defeat an opponent with a knife (or unfixed bayonet). We “fought” with rubber knives which helped us gain expertise without a lot of physical damage to each other, although a good stab carried a sufficient a level of pain to motivate one to fight hard and skillfully in order to avoid another one. I will never forget the instructor’s advice when he told us to expect to get cut and shed some blood when we were in a knife fight….

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Running a Startup is Like Fighting in a War

By | Business By The Book, Leadership, Leadership, Ownership & Purpose, Running a Business, Starting Up | No Comments

Launching and running a startup is a lot like fighting in a war: You have imperfect information and inadequate resources You operate in the middle of mass confusion and chaos You will definitely take casualties and the life expectancy of the Lieutenants (your management team) is short, but if too many Lieutenants get killed, sooner or later, the Company Commander (you, the founder/CEO) gets replaced You have an all-volunteer force that buys into what they are doing because they believe in the cause, they like the excitement, and they willingly take on the known risks You forge fast and deep…

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