Where Is William Wallace When You Need Him?
To set the stage, let’s think back to William Wallace (or as we know him: Mel Gibson in a kilt) screaming from horseback, face painted in the antique blue and white, holding a broadsword in the air, screaming: FREEDOM!
There are a lot of ways this one can go. I’m going to share my personal experience with a very unscientific anecdote that, while it happened a few years ago, has stayed with me for the duration.
I was conducting a workshop for a company’s new sales professionals – frankly new professionals – and since it was the beginning of the year, I decided to facilitate an exercise where we define and discuss our core values. I find this exercise powerful in its simplicity since so much of what we are and what we do is governed by our core values.
The audience was composed of Gen Yers, approximately 40 of them, and me, the Lone Boomer (sans mask and Tonto). I asked them to list their core values, that handful of the very important values that we engage in daily: instinctively, intentionally and intimately. OK, everyone was ready and I began calling on them to share what values they were committed to presently in their lives. The usual suspects were there: authenticity, truth, accomplishment, family, learning, determination and others that are foundational to a fulfilled life.
Then it hit me – I asked how many had security as a value. Most raised their hands. And now the punchline: How many had freedom as a value? Answer: one. And she was a leader in the room. So many feelings came to me then and I fought them all so as not to proclaim judgment on their answers. Their answers said a lot to me about younger generations and this time in history. How can the most free nation in the history of the world create a room full of young professionals who do not value freedom as a core value?
And to dig into this further, how could a room filled with young professionals who don’t have freedom as a core value be in sales!!!
The sales profession is the MOST free career one can have in any business. Name another position in corporate America where you get to determine your pay every day? Your job is to meet people! Create connections, and serve clients based on what they want. Every day is different! (if you do it right that is…)
I’m ranting, I know. There is probably a book in here, especially since in the past I’ve talked about wanting more for the sales professional from a servant leadership perspective. From a perspective that truly acts on the “client-first” agenda no matter what they’re required to accomplish for their employer. Now, I am shifting. I want the sales profession to be more demanding of those who come through the door and ask for this difficult and beautiful career role. The sales profession deserves people who are courageous, resilient and recognize the gift of freedom. Until then, it’s only a job.
“Hello curious human. If you’ve made it this far, then curiosity and awareness are two of your superpowers. Do you have the COURAGE to go to the next level? Consider the wild idea of investing in you! New programs are available! Why wait any longer?!? Here’s a link to start creating that discussion right now!”
Be big. Be cool. Be hippo.
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