Great teams are led, not hired

On paper the other teams should have smashed us. Man for man: the English, South African and Sri Lankan teams were better than us in most positions. So why was the Black Cap’s World Cup Cricket campaign so successful? I believe it comes down to great leadership and great coaching.

Last month I conducted a Sales Capability Audit for a large company in the construction industry. It was essentially a full medical of their sales environment to determine what they were doing well and what needed improving. Just like the Black Caps’ World Cup campaign, the most successful sales performances in this company were more a factor of great leadership, than individual brilliance.

In one example, an underperforming sales person whom the rest of the company had written off, was transformed into a consistent over performer by his new manager, who believed in him and coached him effectively. However, while my client invested in sales training, like most companies, they forgot to train their sales leaders. I believe that training the sales team without training the sales leaders is a waste of time. 

If great teams are led, not hired; great leaders are developed, not born that way. I have found that there are three key abilities that you need to develop in your leaders:

Vision: creating a better future.
The ability to see potential in others that they don’t see in themselves.

Strategy: translating vision into strategy. 
The ability to map out the game plan for the team and the individual players.

Execution: getting results through people. 
The ability to get your players to put the game plan into action and overcome challenges along the way.

With great leadership, even people with average ability can become stars. 

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