When Your Team Is A Team To Its Core

Yes yes. I know there are sales leaders who purposely ignore the ways of sport teams.

They cite the false allure of a passing management fad, the implausibility of a workplace world championship calling and the wild imbalanced reversal in the ratio of Training to Doing.

When they learn the competitor that’s just beaten them disagrees, it’s incredible how quickly they turn.

And in part, that’s why I write many a sport & selling post.

Today I’m drawn yet again to Sir Dave Brailsford.

From a piece written by someone similarly interested in high performance cross-fertilisation, Matthew Syed. Wonderfully sub-headed; treat people like idiots and that’s how they behave.

Here’s the key paragraph;

“When you give cyclists responsibility, you empower them. Bringing riders into decision-making, while retaining ultimate authority, has been one of the most important cultural changes we have made.”

Imagine swapping in ‘salespeople’ for his cyclists and riders.

This philosophy even coins its name; CORE. Standing for Commitment Ownership Responsibility Excellence.

There’s a suggestion this builds on military learnings from Iraq. The 2005-8 turnaround from The Surge. When commanders truly empowered soldiers; “the decentralisation of authority created intrinsic motivation”, and “people who make the decision are more invested in it”.

Also channel Women Hockey’s Team GB. Rio Olympic Gold Medal Champions. ‘Players decide the time of daily training and written rules and behaviour by which they’re held to account’.

And in what’s possibly the most beautifully damning prose of the whole piece, football gets its deserved kicking. “The class divide (gaffer-manager against player-labourer) is seen for the sordid anachronism it is”.

I can see eyebrows raising, cartoonesque beyond the pate, already.

Let a salesforce stipulate their own codes of conduct? Define their own targets? Self-police their own activities?

Are you crazy?


Do you want high performance, or not?

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