From my days as a salesperson working with large corporations to now, running my consulting business, I have had the opportunity to see the inner workings of various corporations.   Throughout this journey, I’ve encountered leaders I would eagerly follow and others I’d rather avoid.  The question is, which type of leader are you?

I believe it boils down to these two questions:

  1. Do you share the credit for success?  When that big client was landed or the deal was closed, do you generously distribute the credit or do you claim it all for yourself?
  1. Do you accept responsibility for failures? When things don’t go as planned, perhaps a team member lost the account or lost out on the opportunity, do you pass the blame to others?

Regardless of your personal effort bringing a project to fruition, it is important to recognize that the true reward is reflected in the company’s financial success.  However, your employees will need your support and recognition along the way.  They need to understand that their contributions, no matter how small, were vital to the overall team’s achievement.   Salespeople thrive when they know their efforts are valued and acknowledged.

On the flip side, when a deal is lost it is the leader’s responsibility to accept responsibility.   You are the one who can make the tough decisions and implement necessary changes to position the team for success in the future.

Whether you lead a small team or a $1 Billion dollar organization, stay humble.