Whether raising a child, navigating the geopolitical stage, or leading a sales force, there are three fundamental pillars of power that have defined the very existence of civilization.
Consider the days of pre-commerce. A man, family, or clan would migrate to a suitable place and simply settle down. They would create their own shelter, plant their own crops, and hunt their own food. ‘Things’ were either self-made or taken from others. In some instances, such as war or debt, laborers themselves were even confiscated. Everything accomplished was through force or the Pillar of Might. This can be theorized in the Darwinian Theory of the survival of the fittest.
The transformation from the Pillar of Might to the next pillar of power began with the advent of commerce. In today’s terms, that is the Pillar of Money. We began to pay for goods, or services for land, food, and labor. It’s not only the giving that gives it power, but also the ability to take it away. And, Money is exceptionally powerful if backed up with Might! Example: You punish a 5-year-old for not doing something you asked. You pay an allowance to 12-year-olds to do the things you ask, with an explicit understanding that you can take that away if they do not and further understand that they would be punished if they continued to defy you.
Another might be in dealing with rogue nations: Incentive, embargo, or force.
Or a company that manages its employees in a similar fashion: paycheck, demotion, or a reduction.
The current transformation to the next pillar is quite perplexing: the Pillar of Mind. Knowledge, or Information, is the most sought-after commodity since the discovery of gold! Certain big box stores want to know who is going to buy what before the consumer even knows. Governments want to covertly aggregate information, foreign and domestic, about everything. Search engines collect the personal information of their internet users and catalog it for a competitive advantage. It’s liquid knowledge!
Example: You advise a 21-year-old on life issues. That guidance comes with wisdom. Non-competes are proliferating in the sales community and enforced to the letter, in spite of the spirit for which they were written.
For sales leaders, the challenge has become: If no one knows what you know, it has no value beyond yourself. Yet, if everyone knows what you know, do you have any value at all?
This is where so many of today’s leaders have hit an outright barricade. Static knowledge has subterfuge leadership! For fear that should they teach their people how to become self-sustained successes, their own services will no longer be needed. These leaders would rather feed their team for a day than teach them to fish. All in the vain of remaining seemingly relevant.
Salespeople, however, innately want to grow and increase their abilities. With their ‘leader’ in this protection mode, the salespeople become confused, angry, marginalized, and, eventually, apathetic.
By protecting their station, today’s sales leaders render their own position essentially worthless at best. The Pillar of Mind is most valuable when others know that you know something that they do not know, yet they want to.
The adage, “It’s not what you, it’s who you know” has now been replaced with “It who knows what you know.”
If you are a sales leader that is in this flat spin, you have 3 options: Eject, go down with the plane, or pull out of it now!
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