What have I done

One huge misunderstanding is that by being a decent person you have the right to have it easy.

That’s why many find it difficult to find a meaning when something bad is happening. What have I done? Why me? Isn’t it unfair, after all that I have committed and given?

But one should be kind, supportive, helpful, available, loving, not because of what they get in return, but because it’s the right thing to do. And because it prepares much more effectively to manage both good and bad times.

A different metric

When you measure leads, all you are going to get is leads.

And there might be some very good reasons why you measure leads. You might know that a given amount of leads will translate into a given amount of deals. You might know that one lead has a monetary value attached to it. You might know that people feel motivated in trying to get more leads. You might have evidence and proof of these and many other things. But when you measure leads, all you are going to get is leads.

So, what happens when the team that sits in the other room, the team that gets leads as an input and needs to transform that into deals, cannot complete that transformation reliably and consistently?

Well, of course they are going to say that the leads are not good, that they are not quality leads.

And that’s exactly how the relationship between marketing, sales development, sales, and sometimes customer success, works in most B2B companies. There’s always somebody, further down the funnel, that complains because the quality of what they get is not good enough.

Because when you measure leads, all you are going to get is leads.

Quality needs a different metric.

More than a higher salary

If your team complains about something, it’s not because they are spoiled, naive, or junior. If they complain often, that’s even more true.

There’s probably some deeper issues behind their behaviour. They might not feel motivated, or they might have the impression they are not free to make their own decisions, or they might just be disoriented by the continuously moving targets.

It’s your responsibility as a team lead to figure that out, because you can’t really start talking about performance, goals, development, until you clear the air and tackle the complaints.

And “tackle” is not about blindly accepting all request, but rather managing them.

“Here is how we are going to do this”.

“Here is why we can’t do that.”

“Here is who is going to be responsible for the other thing.”

And so on.

Being a manager is more than a higher salary.

By the end of this week

What’s one thing you can get done this week?

Perhaps it’s something you are waiting feedback on, something that got stuck in a process, something you are waiting to kick start in the new year, something you have never found the time for, something that would require help from somebody else.

Will you commit to get it done this week? Will it be done by Sunday evening?

Small commitments we take with ourselves, and the developing capacity to deliver on them, make all the difference in the world.

Forceful

You can’t pretend to know what’s better for others. Not even your dear ones.

And you can’t pretend others will come to you when they need something. Or express that in a way that makes what they need clear.

What you can and should do, instead, is to be aware of and vocal about what is better for you. And be adamant about it.

It might actually be so that it will help others figure out their own stuff. Or at least, if you are the person that will help or not.