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The Rainmaker

Leadership Communication Training: Expectations v. Reality

Posted by Chris Young - The Rainmaker

Sep 22, 2021 11:45:00 AM

Smart CEOs, managers, and leaders are relentless in improving their team’s communication skills because they understand the value of strong team communication including higher productivity, higher profitability, and reduced stress. 

With these expected outcomes in mind, leaders everywhere seek effective leadership communication training

Leadership communication is a skill set that can be learned, but it requires time and effort to develop effective management communication training programs for your team members. 

Unfortunately, few leaders really get what they are looking for out of communication training. Why? They do not have the right expectations, and the training is often too broad or too general to be meaningful.

This article will explain some common misconceptions about leadership communication that impact people’s ability to get the training they genuinely need.

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Topics: Leadership Communication Training

A Productive Rant About Leadership and Organizational Development

Posted by Chris Young - The Rainmaker

Sep 16, 2021 10:00:00 AM

I have a healthy respect for the ideas of Simon Sinek (and other leadership gurus like him). A clearly well-spoken and self-described optimist, Sinek without question is passionate. While his ideas are not particularly original, they are sound (in the appropriate context) and when incorporated into the operating system of a business or organization, can be fire.

Being the shrewd marketer Sinek is, he has distilled his ideas into powerful sound bites that stir emotion in many - many who are disillusioned and disengaged.  

It is the impact of Sinek’s sound bites that I am most concerned about. Just check out one of the many leadership quote machines on LinkedIn. Sinek’s quotes are a yard light to many providing hope.

And while I cannot pretend to know what Sinek’s motivations are, I have to wonder. Is it to sell books and speaking gigs? Or is it to make a difference in the world in a similar vein that he suggests leaders should aspire to?

While hope alone is not a sustainable strategy, there is much power in personal accountability.

And everything should be viewed within the proper context.

Organizations are complex entities, just like the people they are comprised of. It takes more than sound bites like "people leave managers, not companies" to shape sustainable performance. And while Sinek is right, organizations must start with why, he is seemingly woefully incomplete in his perspective.

Organizations must start with a why, who, and a sound strategy.

In this post, I will share what it really takes to succeed as a leader: maximizing your organizational performance. You can achieve a high state of performance when you align talent management, performance management, and culture to create performance synergy.

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Topics: Leadership and Organizational Development

The Opportunity to Slow Down and Straighten Everything Out

Posted by Chris Young

Apr 22, 2020 3:16:00 AM

How do you buy your milk?

Thanks to the COVID-19 crisis, we no longer buy our milk in a grocery store.

Entering a grocery store represents an unnecessary risk.

Call me old school. Prior to the COVID-19 crisis, I had a bit of a mental block when it came to buying groceries online. 

Thanks to the COVID-19 crisis, we were forced to use the online option and we LOVE it!

No exposure.

Huge time savings.

How many other sacred habits will my family and I sacrifice next?

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Topics: Sales Culture, Sales Strategy

Are you credible, candid, confident, a believer and a hustler?

Posted by Chris Young

Apr 14, 2020 6:59:14 AM

Definition of a Sales Wolf.

A Sales Wolf has the capacity - the experience, background, education and MINDSET to consistently perform in the top 20th percentile of all salespeople in your industry. 

Sales Wolves bring in 80 percent of the results. Think Pareto Principle.


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Topics: Sales Wolf Mindset

Action Defeats Victim Thinking

Posted by Chris Young

Apr 9, 2020 3:16:00 AM

No better high and (sometimes) no worse low.

The sales profession is a mental "grind" filled with rejection, setback and disappointment.

Winning is the ultimate mindset recovery - followed by rest, weekends and encouragement. 

I am passionate about this profession.

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Topics: Sales Wolf Mindset

Black Swan Events Require Bold Action

Posted by Chris Young

Apr 7, 2020 3:00:00 AM

Welcome to your Black Swan Event.

According to Investopedia

A black swan is an unpredictable event that is beyond what is normally expected of a situation and has potentially severe consequences. Black swan events are characterized by their extreme rarity, their severe impact, and the widespread insistence they were obvious in hindsight.


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Topics: Sales Wolf Mindset

The Fifth Essential Competency Every Sales Wolf Must Master

Posted by Chris Young

May 9, 2019 6:40:00 AM

Time and Priority Management.

Time and Priority Management is the fifth essential competency every Sales Wolf must master.

After grad school and a stint as a commodity trader, I worked in economic development for the State of North Dakota (1998-2000). It was a beautiful sales grind. 

Imagine selling the impossible.

Immediately after being hired, I set out to accomplish two things.

  • I minimized attending nonsense meetings.
  • I put into place a strategy to essentially multiple my sales efforts. I identified the best site selection consultants and flew out to meet and develop relationships with them.

I was maximizing my time.

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Topics: Sales Training

When salespeople fail to live up to the culture code

Posted by Chris Young - The Rainmaker

Apr 24, 2019 8:53:00 AM

How would you define your company culture? Your sales culture?

Often, a company’s culture consists of a carefully-contrived paragraph of corporate speak that does not actually say much. Think of most company’s vision or mission statements.

Companies frequently believe they can similarly “set” their culture and, well, that’s that. The resulting, carefully-curated “culture” most certainly does not accurately represent the day-to-day relationships and tone of the organization.

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Topics: Sales Management, Sales Culture

Types of Sales Wolves: The Hunter Sales Wolf and the Farmer Sales Wolf

Posted by Chris Young - The Rainmaker

Apr 16, 2019 9:01:00 AM

The level of quality within your sales talent is one of the only factors that can dramatically alter the success of your organization. Use a hiring scorecard and strategic recruiting to find, attract, and retain Sales Wolves. Surround them with Sales Wolf Managers.

Then everything is easy from there, right?

Not so fast.

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Topics: Sales Performance, Sales Strategy

Why sales coaching is ineffective and what to do about it

Posted by Chris Young - The Rainmaker

Apr 10, 2019 8:50:00 AM

Depending on the length of your sales career to date (as well as your title), you have probably either initiated or solicited sales coaching. Most typically, sales coaching occurs when a salesperson (or team) demonstrates clear deficiency in sales activity or performance.

Sales coaching is typically a reactive step, rather than proactive. More often than not, organizations solicit sales coaching as a futile attempt to turn around a low-performing salesperson or team.

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Topics: Sales Culture, Sales Training

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