Well-balanced managers

I’m reading a book called Life’s a Pitch by Philip Delves Broughton. It’s about how central sales is to organisations. We seldom think of sales as a pivotal function but let’s face it — without people out there selling, those ‘back at the ranch’ would all be out of work.

One good point that I want to share with you (and the book is filled with good points and worth reading for many reasons, not just to find out what it takes to be a good salesperson) is that when it comes to working with customers, good relationships are vital — EXCEPT when you’re selling products and services as one-off transactions. Then, the hard-sell, no-relationship method is the one to go for. For all  other types of sales, working with your customers as partners and building solid, trust-based relationships is the go.

But the main reason for this blog is to give you Earl Nightingale’s checklist of seven items necessary for living a full life, reproduced in Chapter 4. (Nightingale was a mid-20th Century legendary speaker and sales maestro.) Living a full life is important for managers because just as managers with empty lives tend to be poor managers, managers with rich and full lives tend to be good managers. (A sweeping generalisation I know, but a truism nevertheless, I think.)

So to be a good manager, follow these seven rules (paraphrased first by Broughton and now by me):

  1. Have a worthwhile goal; without a goal, you end up living hour to hour, always reacting, never setting your own course.
  2. Work to keep you attitude positive for lots of reasons, not least of which because your own attitude determines other peoples’ attitude towards you.
  3. Think for yourself. Otherwise, you’re buffeted by circumstance and biddable by others.
  4. Remember the Boomerang Principle — you get back what you give.
  5. Always be truthful.
  6. Invest in your own development so you can keep growing.
  7. Remember that you become what you think about most of the time — your thoughts determine your fate.

Put this list somewhere where you’ll see it every morning. Read it over and over until it becomes part of who you are.

Discussion questions

Does your organisation deal in one-off or multiple transactions with its customers? What can you do to more fully adopt Nightingale’s seven items for living a full life?