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Leading from the Middle

leadership 19 Dec 2018

Leading sales teams from the middle is the power section where strategies are set and a winning culture established - but too often old principles are executed and decisions are blocked.

In the recent Masterclass of the Institute of Managers and Leaders Australia and New Zealand, I spoke about radical sales management improvements connected to the fundamental change of the B2Bsales arena. Traditional sales managers still hide themselves behind KPIs to please their bosses and fine tune existing sales processes without realising that the customer buying behaviour now dictates the reality.

Leading sales from the middle is a reality of few wins and many losses. Most sellers don‘t reach their targets set by old rules and thus change their employers all 15-18 months, often to see it similar at the new place. As a consequence, companies invest less in onboarding assuming to rehire quickly.

Only a fresh approach connects prospects with suitable solutions. Then sellers can guide their...

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Leading Sales and Marketing from the Middle

leadership sales 23 Nov 2018

Amid a fundamental change for the sales profession we enter the age of the well-informed buyer. So, how can sales and marketing navigate across their buying journeys instead of sticking to old sales cycles? How can you operate effectively in the sandwich between top management and your teams while delivering KPIs and developing people?

Leading from the middle in sales and marketing

The typical dilemma of a sales and marketing leader is leading from the middle. Delivering KPIs for top leadership, coaching and mentoring teams toward achieving those KPIs, and serving customers by escalation support. All of this while fighting the internal, often political battles that could knock the balance of company culture. If the requested KPIs are purely based on revenue, more sustainable elements are coming short. Leading from the middle is often a reality of many losses with few wins.

Although many companies continue to operate their sales and marketing structure as they have at the start of...

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Leaders of Influence

leadership 09 Sep 2018

This book from Samantha Jansen Publishing covers various angles and insights to leadership from individuals who lead and inspire teams and individuals daily. The authors Diego Londono, Renee Giarrusso, Mihir Thaker, Con Nichols, Jim Penman and Gunnar Habitz are driven to impact society, make a mark and leave a legacy.

Lead Not Manage

My contribution describes a fictional journey from an individual contributor in the customer success team at a Sydney based software company who just moved up to become an accidental manager. I strongly believe those promoted future leaders can add a lot of value out of their fields of expertise before embarking further as an intentional leader. I added real events and occasions such as a Masterclass event of the Institute of Managers and Leaders and the new Chartered Manager designation into the story.

Six Australian Leaders Share Their Secrets

Leadership is all about taking ownership, communicating...

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Leading Without Managing

leadership 02 Apr 2018

Many organisations moved over the last few years to lean structures with less hierarchies and reduced number of managers. Senior individual contributors are requested to take leadership functions without carrying a management title. How to move into a leading role without formal structure and education?

Famous statements differentiate between a manager and a leader. John Kotter, Leadership Professor at Harvard University, described leadership as “aligning people to the vision” while “Management is a set of processes that keep an organisation functioning”. Leadership pioneer Warren Bennis differentiated it by contrast: “The manager does things right; the leader does the right thing” and “The manager asks how and when; the leader asks what and why”. Quoting Simon Sinek for the mentioned types of individual leaders:

“A boss tells people what they can do to achieve a goal. A leader asks people what they can do to advance a...

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Accidental Manager from Technical Specialist to Manager & Leader

leadership 23 Mar 2018

Technical specialists are undoubtedly the essential cogs and gears of any successful organisation. From accountants to IT experts to data analysts, these skilled professionals earn promotions through years of dedication and proven results.

Often with little experience and training in management and leadership, these managers struggle with moving from daily technical tasks to long-term strategy. On the flip side, professional specialists looking to be promoted to managers are often disregarded by senior leaders who overlook their leadership potential.

The Institute of Managers and Leaders’ Masterclass explored the transition between staff member and manager, equipping the participants with the skills to take the next step in your career.

I enjoyed contributing to the panel session of this sold out Masterclass event about my leadership journey together with other experts in their fields. My highlights of this Masterclass:

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Leadership Without Management

leadership 20 Jan 2018

Many famous statements differentiate between a manager and a leader. While the reality is never just black and white, most quotes are designed to show these as two different elements. Quoting Warren Bennis: “The manager does things right; the leader does the right thing.” and “The manager asks how and when; the leader asks what and why.”

John Kotter, Leadership Professor at Harvard University, described leadership as “aligning people to the vision, that means buy-in and communication, motivation and inspiration” while “Management is a set of processes that keep an organisation functioning”. The winning balance between “Managers handle processes” and “Leaders inspire people” is related to concrete situational requirements. The same company might need an innovative leader at their helm at one time and an operating manager in another circumstance.

Over the last couple of years, many companies moved to lean...

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