CEDIA View: Successful Leadership
CEDIA’s March Survival of the Fittest Webinar focused on leadership competencies. Presented by Jim Schwab and Dick Butz of Career Consultants Group, the Webinar covered the attributes of successful owners/managers, sales people and technicians.
While today’s business focus is on survivability, our presenters reminded us that successful leaders build and maintain a team that outperforms its competition. With the stress of running a business in today’s economy, managing your business is about managing yourself and your people.
What Kind of Manager Are You?
Jim Schwab discussed the attributes and competencies of successful owners and managers. In addition to being motivated and ambitious, success is also based on your ability to be innovative and creative, handle stress and mistakes with composure and build a strong team of people. When polled on how well their skills (or those of their managers) met the attributes of a good leader, 31 percent of participants said exceptionally well and 54 percent said moderately well.
Schwab continued to outline successful sales attributes, including being bold, assertive, confident, unafraid of failure and rejection, able to make favorable first impressions and in need of excitement. When polled on how well their sales people met these attributes, only 20 percent said exceptionally well and 68 percent said moderately well.
Finally, Schwab described the attributes of a successful technician, which included valuing education, having attention to detail, holding high standards for themselves and others, and adjusting to heavy workloads. And when participants were asked how well their technicians met these attributes, 39 percent said exceptionally well and 41 percent said moderately well while 19 percent said not well.
While these polls are not scientific, it is interesting to note that the majority of owners and managers say they have the qualities needed to be successful leaders but do not feel as confident in the strength of their sales staff. Whether the owner is responsible for sales or has a paid sales staff, it is important to review the competencies needed to be successful at sales. Sales strength is crucial for today’s electronic systems contractor, and understanding what makes a good salesperson and assessing your own sales leadership is important to survivability. Finally, it is important to assess your staff and understand why they have, or don’t have, the competencies needed for success.