Sales and Sales Management Blog

June 5, 2008

Guest Article: “Seven Ways to Thrive as a Leader in a 24/7 World,” by Kevin Eikenberry


Seven Ways to Thrive as a Leader in a 24/7 World
By Kevin Eikenberry

Blackberries and Wifi and blogs (oh my!). And your list likely goes on – email, IM’s, forwarding your phone number, wireless everything and 24 hour news channels. While it might be trite, we truly live in a 24/7 world.

Many of us didn’t grow up in a world quite like it is now – with the plethora of options for being connected, getting information and communicating. It wasn’t that many years ago when email and cell phones were new. Now a cell phone that connects to your email is old news!

The challenges of a 24/7 world are many, but as a leader there are four that are especially important to consider – both as an individual and in your role as a leader.

* We have the option of always being connected.
* We are awash in information.
* We have too many sources of information to choose from.
* Many people are increasingly addicted to all of it.

One crucial step to thriving in any situation is to identify and understand the challenges you face, and then identify ways to overcome, benefit from or eliminate those challenges. The ideas that follow are meant to help you do all three of these things.

Your Seven Ideas

Remember that these ideas about thriving, not merely surviving. This may mean that one or more of them is a bit more radical than you have considered or even think prudent. While you have to use your own judgment, I encourage you to do more than consider these ideas – but actually try them!

* Manage your expectations of yourself. How much time do you want/need/have to be a connected info-holic? (Please note that these are three different questions – ask yourself all of them). Consider your answers carefully, and then make choices about your own expectations of yourself in an informed way.

* Manage your expectations of others. As a leader you may choose to be connected and/or be on your computer at all times of the day or night. Unless you have a conversation with your team, they likely will begin to model your behavior. Maybe you choose to do email or send links to ideas you find at an odd hour, that’s fine, but you need to explicitly tell others what your expectations are for them. Let them know that “just because I’m online at 5 am doesn’t mean you need to be” or whatever is appropriate in your situation.

* Turn off Tuesday afternoons. Face-to-face communication and the phone are amazing communication tools, and sometimes you will get more creative work done if the TV or web browser or email inbox is closed for awhile. Whether you pick Tuesday afternoons, Friday mornings, or whatever, consider a time during the work week when you disconnect from your toys and tools – and if you are a leader to have others do it as well. Personal experience and a variety of organizational experiments show that productivity may go up dramatically during these times.

* Find information sources and tools that work for you. Focus primarily on the tools that work for you. Use them appropriately and focus your attention on them.

* Turn off at night. At least one night a week (preferably more often) turn off the cell phone and don’t open the computer. If you find yourself lost without the computer open, you need this advice the most. If you really want to be reading and/or learning, open a book. Encourage your team to do this too – especially if you find yourself getting messages from them at all hours of the night.

* Chill out and think. This idea addresses all four challenges mentioned above. If you remember what it was like before Web 2.0, interactive cell phones and more, you know that you could still get real work done. If you don’t remember or weren’t alive yet, trust me, you can get real work done. This idea is to just relax a little bit. When you are disconnected and unplugged be good with that. You don’t have to have your Bluetooth headset on during dinner, and you don’t have to take (or make) a phone call while in a public (or private) restroom. Relax a little. Use your disconnected time to think, rather than react to your technology.

* You can’t do everything (so don’t try). Even if you are really wired to technology, and even if you love it, know that you can’t know everything about everything, because everything is so much bigger than it used to be. There will always be one more video site, cell phone option, all news blog or website. Be OK with that and refer back to idea #4.

A final note. A smart friend of mine called as I was writing this article and reminded me that some leaders are on the other end of this spectrum – either anti-technology or at least not challenged by these issues. If this is you, you need to recognize that many of your team could use the ideas above. And maybe you need to be a little more open minded to learn some of the benefits they are gaining in this 24/7 connected world – without falling into the their traps.

Potential Pointer: The communication and information options that are available to you in our 24/7 world are amazing! Always remember those options are tools designed to serve your needs, not make you a slave to them.

Kevin is Chief Potential Officer of The Kevin Eikenberry Group, a learning consulting company that helps Clients reach their potential through a variety of training, consulting and speaking services.

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Business-2-Business Cold Calling–No, You Don’t Have To

Last month I conducted a one-hour teleseminar on how to turn business-to-business cold calls into strong, interest generating calls that result in appointments. This was supposed to be a one-time offering since I don’t really work in the area of prospecting via the telephone.  However, the seminar was such a hit and so many have requested that I do it again so that others in their company can attend, I’ve decided to offer it once more during June.

Let me give you some of the reactions from the last teleseminar:

David Collins said “this is by far the most productive teleseminar I’ve ever attended, bar none. Your approach isn’t like anything I’ve heard before and the best part is after a week of using it, I can say without any hesitation, ‘It Works!’”

Lynn Groves says “I’ve taken numerous telephone seminars and teleseminars and none come close to giving me the real honest to God help this seminar has given me. Funny, this seminar at $67 is one of the least expensive I’ve attended and is worth more than all the others put together.”

Andy Ramos says “without a doubt, the most effective seminar I’ve attended in the last three years.”

What are they raving about? They’re talking about what they learned that gets them to:
• the decision maker without having to lie, deceive gatekeepers, or try to manipulate people
• how to create real interest in the decision maker
• how to know before they call what the company’s needs and issues are
• how to get their voice mail messages returned almost 100% of the time
• how to make a real, welcome connection with the decision maker, not a cold call
• how to set themselves apart from every other salesperson even before they make the call

This isn’t some miracle cure or slimy gimmick. This is a disciplined, effective process that turns time wasting, ineffective cold calling into a real conversation and connection with decision makers.
Join me on Tuesday, June 17 at 5PM Central Time (6PM Eastern, 4PM Mountain, 3PM Pacific) for the most effective phone training you’ll ever get.

REGISTER HERE—still only $67.00 for this career changing teleseminar.

Seating is LIMITED and we ran out of room for the last seminar, so register early

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1 Comment »

  1. […] IM??s, forwarding your phone number, wireless everything and 24 hour news channels. While it mighthttp://salesandmanagementblog.com/2008/06/05/guest-article-seven-ways-to-thrive-as-a-leader-in-a-247…Dateline Wharton Wharton Journal-SpectatorThe Wharton County Library will be hosting Lisa Janstram […]

    Pingback by interactive reading training — June 24, 2008 @ 4:05 am | Reply


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