Lead, follow, or stop trying to sell technology

“Leadership is a choice. It is not a rank.” — http://www.ted.com/talks/simon_sinek_why_good_leaders_make_you_feel_safe/transcript

If you haven’t seen the Ted Talk on leadership by Simon Sinek, this is a must see. I do enjoy watching these, but usually they are not this impactful. “Leadership is a choice”. So why would anyone choose to lead when it is so much easier to just follow the rules, get promoted, and become a manager, and what does all this have to do with technology and things that interest me, and hopefully you.

Sitting at breakfast with two friends, one in sales, one in pre-sales, we were talking about what it would take to be really great at our jobs. We came to the conclusion that the great tech sales companies generate excitement. If you remember the 80’s, Pontiac had a successful ad campaign around We Build Excitement They did not build excitement BTW.

What we need in the IT industry are motivational speakers. No one likes when someone comes in and does a powerpoint product pitch. I have actually seen people fall asleep in such sessions. Not ideal. In order to lead, we have to get in and generate some excitement, show people why the technology is exciting for them. Instead of trying to make products that fit our customers environments, we need to build the products that our customers don’t know they need and get them excited about following us on the journey. We are changing an industry here, imagine if Steve Jobs had made the phones most people wanted. Instead he came out with a product no one wanted and created a culture around it and an entire industry was born.

So my challange to you, look at your vendors if you are a customer, look at your products if you are a vendor. Are you excited about what you are selling or what you are buying? If not, maybe you are not talking to the right people. Don’t buy a product because it is safe, don’t buy based on what you have always done, take some interest, get excited, and buy ino a strategy.

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Lead, follow, or stop trying to sell technology

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