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Thought For The Day

Embrace Personal Accountability or Choose Failure

© The Gulas Group 2010

Recently Dan Stamp the CEO of Priority Management Systems sent out an article titled," Ten Most Common Causes of Failure. " Number one on the list was, blaming other people for problems rather than accepting personal accountability. Twenty years in the professional development business can confirm that this blame game is indeed the road to failure. Here is a list of a few of the areas that lack of personal accountability, "blame game" creates failure in the workplace: sales development, time management, communication, emotional intelligence, project management, team work, goal setting, personnel recruiting, and change management.

Let's explore three related areas where the" blame game" creates havoc for growing revenues. These areas are sales development, goal setting and time management. A typical sales person needs to grow revenues by maintaining existing accounts and adding new accounts to their portfolio. As a New Year begins some sales people realize just how time consuming it is just to maintain their existing accounts. They begin to rationalize that they can get no assistance from the corporation in the way of resources. This perceived lack of resources creates a feeling there is no need or no real sense of urgency to set meaningful goals for the New Year. In addition the last time they set some meaningful goals they did not happen, so why set themselves up for the guilt and failure.

The thinking is why should I break my back to prospect, I can just get the increases in sales from existing accounts so there is no need to face rejection and ask for new business. In fact if the company would provide me some training on prospecting and closing plus the staff to delegate too I could spend more time prospecting. The conclusion then is because they will not help me I now can blame them on my lack of success in opening new accounts in the New Year. This typical salesperson has just embraced complacency and failure for the next year.

Here are some reasons why complacency set in. Number one the sales person did not challenge their comfort zone by creating a dream to motivate them in a way to overcome any barriers to sales production. From that dream create a goals setting event with a action items, dates ,rewards and deadlines. Despite the lack of resources this sales person could use creativity and innovation to discover ways to leverage the existing staff with delegation and collaboration skills.

Pointing fingers and blaming the company will not lead to any new development skills in and around prospecting, delegation and time management. What if this sales person invested in themselves? For instance most banks now pays 1 to 2% return on your money. If the sales person would take some of their own savings savings and invested it in themselves to learn how time management could provide an additional hour a day of productive time. During that additional twenty hours a month the sales person could prospect for new business and set a goal to open ten new accounts per month for a total of 120 new accounts annually. Assuming the sales person receives a 20% commission an average sale of $5000 per account that is total revenue of $50,000 times twelve months for total revenue of $600,000 times 20% or $120,000 on this initial investment. By sulking and blaming the company for not providing the resources and not investing in you this sales person lost $120,000 Most of us would classify that as choosing failure.

What could you do in this New Year that is fast approaching to invest in yourself?

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