How Will You Walk Down the Leadership Path of President Obama?

It seems all of America transitioned from the ‘old’ legacy political leadership into a new age under the direction of President Obama as he took the oath of office of President today at noon. Under the gaze of the entire world, he delivered what seemed to be an inspirational speech doubling as a ‘call to arms’ for all Americans to do their share in turning around the misfortunes our country is facing today.

I happened to sit down to lunch with my old friend DJ immediately following the coronation and the first words out of his mouth were, “So tell me, are you drinking the Kool-Aid along with all the others?”

“No,” I replied, “but I did admire the eloquence of his speech. He is my president and I hope you feel the same.”

This is a wonderful day in our history, no doubt. But what will the political leadership look like at the end of the week? Already today, six cabinet secretaries have been confirmed. They’re holding back Secretary of State Clinton’s confirmation because of alleged shenanigans by president #42. 

What is President Obama telling us through the nomination of Mr. Timothy Geithner to head up the Department of Treasury? According to Fox News tonight, he will have to explain to the Finance Committee, his initial failure to pay payroll taxes he owed while working for the International Monetary Fund. Four years of avoiding paying taxes he owed? How can that be change to believe in?

How can an American working for the International Monetary Fund who neglects to pay four years of payroll taxes show any credibility as the Treasury Secretary? This is either way too much of the transparency Mr. Obama has ordered, or look for this nominee to be replaced. What would you do if you were in his shoes?

As sales managers, how will you walk down the leadership path of Mr. Obama now that 2009 has just begun? Does your written plan have specific goals to which all of your team can subscribe?  Are your mutual expectations crystal clear? How is your leadership addressing these economy challenges? Upon the coronation, the Dow slipped below 8,000. I’d say there is lots of work to be done.

I shared with DJ that I had just come from a new partnership meeting with a firm that assesses the strengths and weaknesses of sales team performance. During a dynamic exchange that went on for well over an hour, Greta turned to me and said, “At the end of the day, it’s all about the results, isn’t it?”

How can it not be?

Here’s what that leadership path looks like to me. Chart a course that is practical and has specific targets. Hire the right people that fit the profile of natural ability combined with demonstrated experience who can positively affect the dynamics of your team. Get them on board by defining specific results to be achieved. Put a system in place that can easily manage through necessary course corrections and persevere until the results are achieved.

It’s tough to know what Change We Can Believe In really means. That’s a lot like saying, Our Sales are Going to Grow This Year. Or, like the sales producer telling his manager that he’s got a ‘gut feeling’ the opportunity is closing this week.

For those clients who finished up for 2008, they’ll keep on doing what lets them keep growing sales year after year after year; refining the path that works every time. For those of you whose sales were flat or down for 2008, the time for charting a new practical course is now.

What’s your next logical step?

Tags: , , , ,

Leave a Reply