The Sales Hacker Podcast
The Sales Hacker Podcast

Episode · 3 years ago

Friday Fundamentals: EP 38: The Importance of Transparent Leadership

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

How transparent is your leadership team? We're talking about WHY it's important to be a transparent leadership team. 

Hey everybody. Sam Jacobs, happy Friday. I hope whatever day it is wherever you are, the humidity is low, the sun is shining and it's pleasant outside, which are all things that attends not to be in New York in August. However, we're here for Friday fundamentals. As you know, Friday fundamentals is those short five to ten minute formats over the next couple of weeks. Last week we had Colin Cadmus, the VP of sales from air call. They're growing incredibly quickly. Colin as a thought leader, observation leader insight dropper on Linkedin. Last week he talked about how to set your team up for success when you're working remotely. This week we're going to talk about transparent leadership and why it's so important. Now, before we do that, we want to thank our sponsor. Friday fundamentals is brought you by outreach. Outreach triples the productivity of sales teams and empowers them to drive predictable and measurable revenue growth by prioritizing the right activities and scaling customer engagement with intelligent automation. Outreach makes customer facing teams more effective and improves his ability into what really drives...

...results. Colin, welcome back to the show. Thanks, Sham. Thanks again for having me again. How have you been over the last week since I spoke to not bad. Momentum and strong. Things are good. Everything's changed. Yeah, it's a whole different world. Yeah, all right. Well, we've got you on the show today to talk about the importance of transparent leadership, so I'm going to just set this up for you by asking what is transparent leadership and why is it absolutely critical in building a high performance sales are going to station? Yeah, so transparent leadership to me is it's the key, it's the foundation to building a culture of trust amongst your team. and to me, again, it's the foundation. You cannot lead a sales team successfully without having trust amongst them. And as I interview, you know, hundreds of sales people over my career, the number one reason I think, that people are leaving their companies is that they don't trust their leadership. And so it all comes down to to this important topic. Great and temptable, tell us how to do it. How do you provide transparent leadership?...

Yeah, so my style is probably a little bit different than than normal. I get told often by other executives, whether they're in my company or former companies, whatever they say. They say your way too open with your team, and my response is always I know, and that's exactly why we're crushing it. And so what do I mean by that? So I take transparency kind of to, I guess, an extreme level and one of the things that really turned me on to coming to air calls. It's transparencies, one of our values, and our CEO actually shares my views on this and he practices what he preaches as well. And so on the sales side, I think there's a couple different pieces to it. Right. Obviously there is the transparency around the details of the company, whether it's what you're presenting to your board, whether it's what your targets actually are, what your churn numbers actually are, things like that, and so we're incredibly transparent about those things. Here are board documents literally get shared with the entire company. Probably eventually...

...will cause some sort of a problem, but I know once we ipoh like we're scared that we won't be able to do things like that. But for now we do it after every board meeting. On the sales side, I think one of the things that's very different that I do and I wasn't sure how it was going to work out when I first did it. I chose to do it two quarters ago we were in a really tight spot. We were in a tight spot where we were a little bit understaffed on the account executive side and our quota capacity was much smaller than the targets we actually needed to hit as a company. And so as I was thinking through planning for this quarter, I'm thinking, okay, I guess I just need to raise everyone's targets. Guess I need to just beef everything up and, you know, get our quota capacity to be over what our actual targets are. And as I thought through that and was about to move forward with that, I started to have hesitation and I felt this is not the right move. Right just raising up someone's quota just because is not motivating, it's not inspiring and it's probably the first bad decision that I will make here that will lead to...

...my demise. And so I had to think of a different way to do it because I knew that that was just going to lead to a lot of bad things. And so I finally came to the conclusion that why not just be honest with them? Maybe it's as simple as that. And so I changed my whole plan for my my quarterly kickoff meeting, and I came in the next day. I threw away all my slides, I threw away all my thoughts about how I was going going to kind of BS them on why we're raising their goals and I just put up the company plan and I walk them through exactly what I was debating in my head yesterday, which is we've got a problem here. We need to put up more sales than all of your quotas could possibly add up to, and I was going to raise your goals. It seemed like the logical thing to do. But I don't want to do that because it's not fair to you and there's really no other reason to do it other than we're behind on hiring and that doesn't fall on you. So here's what I want us to do. Everyone's goals stay the Saame,...

...but we know what we need to do as a company right and so success for you is hit your goal. If everyone here hits their goal, we party, we celebrate your successful but we're all here for another reason to which is to build a company that's going to Ipoh, that's going to do big things. In order for us to do that, we need everyone to hit a hundred twenty five percent of their goal, and so we have these two numbers that we're going to look at. Let's get rallied around that bigger number and let's get after it. And if everyone hits it, that's awesome. You're going to earn incredible accelerators. You guys are going to make a boatload of money. But again, if you don't, it sucks for the company. But you guys were still successful. And so we got the team rallied around that and the energy was absolutely enormous around that number. Everyone in the company knew what that number was that we were chasing. Everyone was excited to get there and no one was upset about, you know, goals being raised or anything like that, because we didn't do it. So that, for me, was was the evidence that I need. Need to know that, when in doubt, just are on the side of transparency and you can...

...build a relationship with your team that's incomparable. And since then I have gotten so much closer with my team. We have a level of trust that I don't think I've ever had in a previous company. I know it doesn't compare to what a lot of my sales friends tell me about, you know, with their companies and a lot of the people that have hired. They come here and they tell me these stories about how their CEOS or or their VP's of sales or whatever. You know, they would only trust maybe fifty percent of what they said, if that and my greatest fear is getting to a day were even a single person that that works with me feels that way. And so to me, that's that's what transparent leadership is. It is the secret sauce and I guess you could say that's the the key ingredient to everything I'm trying to do here. And it does come with downsides, but I think the pros out way the cons. Yeah, I love it, and it then will. The main pro is that, again, to the point of authenticity and credibility. First of all, it gives you more margin for error as a human because you're because they never feel like you're bullshooting them on...

...some other element. They feel like Collins allowed to be a real person because he's been real with us the whole time, and it just gets there buying, you know, because they understand, they have all of the information, they have all the context and so much of what people need to be successful. They need to do what they need to do, but they need to note the context in which they operate and why what they're doing is important. So I just completely agree with you and I love that story. Yeah, yeah, I guess the one other, the one last note I'd add to that is it. It also is. I'm I'm a huge advocate for like, no excuses, right. That's a big part of the culture that I try to embrace. It think you have to do in sales. It's so easy to have so many excuses and you can't have a culture built around it. And so for me, with the transparency, I'm also always open and honest with them, with with how I feel about things. Right. So if something's not working here or I even disagree with something our CEO is doing, I'm pretty open about that stuff, right, and my Ceeo knows I'm like that and it's my personality and it's how I am. And if I don't like something in people know that and if I do like something, people...

...know that. So it puts them in a position where they're going to just be less likely to complain about certain things because I'm like yeah, I know I get it right, but they also see that I still put the positive attitude on and we move forward and it makes it so there's just no point of even talking about those things because we already agree and there's downsides and there's things that are perfect and we're all working on them and etc. So I think it ties into that as well. Yeah, it's awesome, calm, thanks so much for being on the show. If folks want to reach out to Colin, you can at Colin and then cadmus. C ADM US. He's on Linkedin. He's sharing great thoughts all the time. If you want to reach out to me, I'm on Linkedin. Linkedincom for the word in for M F Jacobs. If you haven't ready the show on Itunes, please give it five stars and we will talk to you next time. Thanks for being on the show. Con thanks him.

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