DMi Article
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DMi Article: Leadership

“the pace of change today is faster than its ever been but as slow as its ever going to get”

Two pieces that recently appeared in the Yorkshire Post Business section struck a real cord with me. One appeared on 14th August titled “Mission to take business leaders to the summit of their skills”, the other appeared on 23rd August called “What it means to be a Sales Leader in 2018”.

Both of these pieces covered the need to develop leadership skills throughout the business which is something that we at Horses4Change and D M Integration Ltd refer to as secure based leadership.

In his article “What it means to be a Sales Leader in 2018” John Iandolo comments upon the ever-increasing challenges that face Sales Leaders and the faster business reaction times. This is something that we have been seeing for some time and has led to a comment that Dave Manning has made on many occasions that “the pace of change today is faster than its ever been but as slow as its ever going to get”. As John says “the biggest change to the role of sales leaders has to be a material shift to focus on people – customers, colleagues and partners”. This will mean a huge focus upon leadership development, looking at communication, listening and building secure based relationships. This is exactly the focus of the Horses4Change Leadership development Workshop which recognises that 93% of communication is none verbal and that to build secure based relationships the first thing to do is to look in the mirror and inside yourself in order to see how your behaviour is interpreted and to fully understand what Dave Manning refers to as your ‘automatic way of being’ (AWB) in other words what makes you tick and drives your behaviour. John also comments upon the need to attract, retain and develop talent which again is a key focus of the Horses4Change programme.

Integration is the key to success, integration of all business functions, KPIs, behaviour and processes. Integration is also the key to simplification, effectiveness and performance. The days of silo thinking and functional behaviour need to become a thing of the past. A totally integrated business planning and execution process must become a key focus for every business. Of course short term results are important but a balance between short term performance and long-term strategic execution and that will require a clear change of focus for sales leadership as it is for all business functions.

The role of sales leaders in the future will be less of ‘deal maker’ and more of a customer and market development role which will require much greater insight, dialogue and customer collaboration that has been required from top sales people in the past. Sales leadership will need to be the architect of truly end to end supply chain and customer relationship management. The traditional sales skills of listening, qualification and closing will still be required but they will need to be supplemented by personal leadership development techniques in the leaders of the future.

The other piece by Stuart Cameron comments upon how his career to develop himself and capability among Corporate British managers and believes that “employers time and money in honing skills and capabilities”. He believes as we do that there has been a chronic underinvestment in management and leadership skills while at the same time a huge investment in systems. In other words the technology development has left behind people development. Four out of every five UK leaders have no formal management qualifications and have probably been promoted based upon functional competence and expertise not leadership capability. This is what Stuart Cameron calls “accidental managers”. QUOTE “Don’t be an organisation of accidental managers invest time and money in developing secure based leaders (distributed leaders).”

This is backed up by the UK governments Productivity Task Force who state “the single largest contributor to the UK lacking levels of productivity compared to G7 nations is the under investment in the essential skills of people to effectively manage individuals, groups and businesses” This must be one of the UK’s biggest concerns as we rapidly move towards Brexit and beyond.

Dave Manning

DM Integration Ltd