Being in a leadership position is an honor we work toward, but once there, you may find yourself unsure of how you go about handling success. Have you ever found yourself proud to be put in charge, but not quite sure how to proceed? As a seasoned leader, I find that the most important place to start is to consider and understand the needs of those you lead.

An effective leader

Here are some of my insights into what makes an effective leader.

Authority and responsibility – Accepting a position in sales, or any other form of leadership, is a choice you make. Such positions mark you as a representative of your company and enable you to expand your realm of influence. This is a large responsibility and one you must treat with respect.

Develop power wisely – Find and master the tools you need to succeed. As you progress in your sales and leadership roles, you will develop additional gifts and talents through “hardwired capacities.” Learn from others in your company and from your manufacturers’ reps. Let “iron sharpen iron.” 

Permission – When I proved to my parents I was a safe driver, I was given the keys to the family car. Likewise, as I climbed the sales management ladder, I was given the keys to the businesses I was managing. If you believe in yourself and work hard, there will come a time when you are trusted with permission to lead. That permission comes with an understanding that you no longer have to ask what to do but are expected to know what to do and to report on it.

Life-satisfying privilege – In his book, See You at The Top, Zig Ziglar wrote: “The real opportunity for success lies within the person and not in the job. Success is not a destination, it is the journey, it’s the direction in which you are traveling. The privilege of leading people is that you can get what you want, instead of having to want what you get.

Designed for accomplishment

Handle your success by carefully considering your position of authority, responsibility and power. The permission you have been given to lead is a life-satisfying privilege. As Ziglar would say, “You were designed for accomplishment, engineered for success, and endowed with the seeds of greatness.”

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