How Transparency Can Transform Your Results

Trust

Every year, Gallup publishes a survey listing the most-to-least trusted professions. As you might guess, bringing up the bottom of the list are members of Congress – and car sales people. Todd Caponi, a self-professed nerd for sales methodology, had a revelation that he felt so passionately about that he left his role as a chief revenue officer of a high-flying tech company to write about it.

In his book, The Transparency Sale: How Unexpected Honesty and Understanding the Buying Brain Can Transform Your Results, he outlines how honesty, authenticity and leading with your product’s flaws actually is an evolution coming to the world of sales – which could mean a new perception of the profession.

It’s a book that I thoroughly enjoyed. Service-oriented leaders will celebrate Todd’s approach to honesty and transparency. Not only did I enjoy his philosophy, I was pleased to see a common friend, Jeff Rohrs, was one of the earliest supporters of the book. That grabbed my attention even more.

I asked Todd to discuss how using unexpected honesty and understanding the buying brain will change the profession for the better.

 

“Transparency is the risk, authenticity the currency, and trust is the reward.” -Dr. Mani

 

How Sales Has Changed

How has sales changed with the advent of the internet, email marketing, and changing consumer expectations?

Since the beginning of time, buyers have sought answers to their brain’s desire to predict what their experience is going to be when making an unfamiliar purchase. “Will this wheel help me move my stuff more effectively, and is it worth the cost of three chickens?” “Will this sliced bread machine save me enough time to make up for the price I’m paying in terms of dollars and potential lost fingers?” For uncounted years, the primary source of information for a buyer to satisfy their predictive need was provided by the individual and company selling the products themselves.

Beginning with the advent of the Information Age in the mid 1970’s, followed by the Digital Age in the 1990’s, the way sellers provide value to buyers in their quest to predict their experience changed dramatically. Buyers now had other sources to gather information, so their expectations changed – simply because they were now better armed. With the digital age, buyers could now self-diagnose their pains and self-prescribe the solution to those pains without the aid of sellers. The good news is that human beings are not great at self-diagnosis and self-prescription. This is why websites like WebMD did not put doctors out of business, and why the internet has not and will not put sellers out of business either. In each case, it required a professional evolution, and those evolutions are not stopping.

 

“Transparency sells better than perfection.” -Todd Caponi

 

The Importance of Online Reviews

When Standing Out Is No Longer Enough

*click above to watch*

5 Factors of Iconic Performance

 

What if standing out in a crowded field is no longer enough?

How do you rise above the noise and become distinct?

What does it take to become truly iconic?

 

Scott McKain is the founder of the Distinction Institute and one of the most iconic professional speakers in the world. He has written numerous books including the 7 Tenets of Taxi Terry and Create Distinction. His latest book, ICONIC: How Organizations and Leaders Attain, Sustain and Regain the Highest Level of Distinction, may be his best ever.

 

In this video interview, we discuss:

  • What an iconic organization looks like
  • Steps that leaders take to deliberately make their organizations iconic
  • What is distinctive and iconic performance

5 factors of iconic performance:

  1. Play offense
  2. Get promise and performance right
  3. Stop selling
  4. Go negative huge surprise to most
  5. Reciprocal respect

 

Some great quotes from ICONIC:

 

“Problems in differentiation are usually not about your why, it’s that you need to deliver a better how.” -Scott McKain

 

“Never forget the high price champions pay to become the distinctive best.” -Scott McKain

How to be a Remarkable Long-Distance Leader

remote leadership

Managing a Remote Team

 

More and more of us are working remotely some or all of the time. Leaders are now challenged with managing teams spread across time zones. Taking on this topic of remote leadership is Kevin Eikenberry and Wayne Turmel in their book The Long-Distance Leader: Rules for Remarkable Remote Leadership.

Kevin Eikenberry is the founder of Kevin Eikenberry Group, the author of several books, and a leadership speaker. Wayne Turmel is the cofounder of the Remote Leadership Institute and also has authored numerous books.

I recently spoke with Kevin about the unique challenges of managing a remote team.

 

“Think about leadership first, location second.” –Kevin Eikenberry

 

Your latest book is The Long-Distance Leader: Rules for Remarkable Remote Leadership and your website on leadership is superbly done. Let’s start with your definition of leadership.

Thanks for the feedback! I love this question, Skip, and while there are a hundred great definitions, here is one to consider: Leadership is the actions taken to help and encourage others consistently in the direction of a desired future outcome.  It is a verb (action), not a noun (a position).  And, nothing gets better without leaders.

 

“Use technology as a tool, not as a barrier or an excuse.” –Kevin Eikenberry

 

What unique challenges do long-distance leaders have?

The obvious one is that you can’t interact with some of your people face-to-face, and you likely won’t communicate with them as often.  So that means that every interaction is important – and you should work to communicate beyond email (turn on those webcams) as much as possible.

One less obvious is that it isn’t just you and the remote team member who have to adjust.  If you are like most teams where you have a hybrid – some work together and others are remote – you have to help the whole group learn how to collaborate and communicate most effectively in this new world of work.

 

“Few things can help an individual more than to place responsibility on him, and to let him know that you trust him.” -Booker T. Washington

 

Pitfalls of Long-Distance Leaders

How to Compete With Giants

compete with giants

Overcoming the Odds

If you enjoy reading stories of victorious underdogs, you will love Competing with Giants by Phyong Uyen Tran is Deputy CEO of THP group, Vietnam’s leading beverage company. The book is a compelling read as it takes you through the journey of a mega-successful family business. Imagine turning down $2.5 billion. What did it take to get there? How did they scale the business? What insights can we learn from Asia’s growth?

More to the point, what can all business leaders learn from her experience?

I found this book an incredibly fascinating read and reached out to learn more.

 

Turning Down 2.5 Billion Dollars

Take us inside you and your family’s emotions. What was it like to turn down a $2.5 billion offer from Coca-Cola?

When Coca-Cola made the offer, they certainly wanted to dazzle us by sending a private jet to take us to their headquarters in Atlanta. Even though my younger sister, Bich, and I were more or less a decade into running our family enterprise, we were impressed by the effort that they had put forth with the offer. However, Dr. Thanh, who is my father as well as the founder and CEO of Tan Hiep Phat (THP), was calm and collected. As usual, his words were economical, and he listened carefully to all that was said in the meeting. It was extremely difficult to read through his poker face. 2.5 billion dollars was a lot of money, but to my father, the decision had been made when the term of the offer would limit THP from developing any new brands and would limit THP from selling our products outside of Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia.  It goes against the vision and mission that we have set for THP. There was no meeting of the minds, and that was that. Almost too simple of a decision.

 

“Great leaders also possess a future-orientation that allows them to seek out opportunities with a positive attitude rather than focusing on difficulties, which is a past orientation.” -Phuong Uyen Tran

 

What lessons should other entrepreneurs learn from your experience?

How to Reach Peak Leadership Fitness

leadership fitness

Elevate Your Leadership Game

 

There are many parallels between physical fitness and leadership fitness. Both are journey’s into self-discovery. They require you to set goals, persevere amidst obstacles and follow a game plan. They also require commitment, passion, initiative and self-awareness. Both have the potential to inspire others, and your best results only come with effort. An important distinction is that the stakes are much higher with leadership.

I recently read Peak Leadership Fitness: Elevating Your Leadership Game by leadership coach and fitness expert Timothy J. Tobin. I spoke to him about the intersection of leadership fitness and physical fitness.

 

“Leadership is not a skill. It is a collection of skills. If someone tells you to work on your leadership skills, ask for specificity.” -Timothy J. Tobin

 

What is peak leadership fitness?

Peak leadership fitness is about being the best leader you can be. It is aspirational and involves continuously working towards elevated interpersonal and technical skills, adaptability and growth through learning, and delivering consistently positive results. Becoming leadership fit requires strong, accurate self-awareness, frequent and ongoing personal improvement, physical energy, emotional connection, and mental toughness.

 

“Leadership by its nature is subjective…you are only as good of a leader as those around you perceive you to be. -Timothy J. Tobin

 

Conduct a Readiness Assessment

Before a physical regimen, doctors recommend a series of tests to determine your readiness. How do leaders conduct a readiness assessment?