Consider yourself lucky if you have created an environment where collaboration really truly does what it means – in practice, as well as in theory.
I hear the word bandied about so much that it is becoming another one of those buzz words like ‘paradigm shift’, ‘peel back the onion’ and ‘paralysis by analysis’.
An example where LEGITIMATE collaboration can occur is in a mastermind group. A true mastermind group allows you to bring your challenges to the table, where everyone can contribute to your growth, where the group are collectively working toward a common theme and the power is in the numbers.
‘No man (or woman) is an island’
and we all need each other to help us step up.
But many people don’t quite get the true meaning of collaboration. Many people are after what they can get or what they can take based on a quick fix approach, a lack mindset, fearful of someone copying them, taking their clients or just sitting back with their arms crossed to see what unfolds.
The secret though is two fold:
It’s having the ability to ask for help and having an intention to serve the group.
Paraphrasing the words of Dale Carnegie ‘What the world needs’, he said ‘is a philosophy of achievement, a compilation of success principles from the country’s greatest businessmen and leaders to show the commonality of their stories, and serve as inspiration and enlightenment to those wanting more in life.’
I am SO VERY fortunate to belong to a couple of mastermind groups and have also created a very successful one here in Melbourne for women in the B2B space who have a responsibility to sell or to lead salespeople. Called The Hive (for Women Who Sell), we are entering our fourth year and each growing in the right way because we have the right people in the group. We are about to begin a series of events for ‘trailblazing women who want to do B2B sales differently’.
Every year I invest in my growth by travelling to the USA to partner, collaborate and shoot the breeze with my fellow women sales professionals headed up by the likes of Jill Konrath, Lori Richardson and 30 other 100% cool sales experts. I have always had the bar held high for myself and that bar allows us all to deliver year on year through a collective desire to see each other succeed.
Here in Australia, I struggled for a few years trying to find the calibre of person I wanted to hang out with and as a result, tried on different groups for size and fit. A few years ago I was invited to collaborate and help launch the Sales Mastermind Australasia group with the likes of some pretty cool guys like Cian McLoughlin, John Smibert, Tony Hughes and Wayne Moloney amongst others.
Right fit is critical.
The right people might be in front of you and you don’t recognise them, they could be in a Meet Up group waiting for you to join them or you may have to align yourself to some cool people you respect and create your own group.
So here are 3 important keys to help you on your journey:
1. GIVE: Whichever route you take, you MUST go in with the intention to contribute and share duties, ideas and a part of yourself, else you are just a hanger on, boosting numbers. This isn’t sustainable and either you will leave or the group will fold. The group also must be transparent sharing financials, following up and ensuring regular and consistent communication.
ACTIVITY: List 7 different strengths, skills or areas of expertise you can bring to a group so you know what you have to contribute to others or provide as insightful thinking material.
2. GET: Let’s not kid ourselves – altruism is great but there must also be an ROI for your time and effort. What will it cost you to be involved and what do you want to achieve? Be specific. Don’t be afraid to show your vulnerability and ask for help. Share your challenges, ask for advice and then act on it to show respect for other people’s time, efforts and energy.
ACTIVITY: Do some maths. Time, effort, involvement and preparation at your hourly rate will give you an ROI. Are you getting anywhere near that as a return or do you find others are gaining from all your efforts?
3. GUTS: Have the guts to push yourself, to elevate your profile, to learn new skills, to ask different questions, to think differently, to say what you say you will, to do what you have never done, to respect those in the group, to pull your weight.
ACTIVITY: Commit. Who is holding you accountable? Who are you holding accountable? What collaboration is happening outside of the group and are you involved?
PLUS A BONUS: Here are 2 resources for you that 2 of my groups have separately collaborated on – Women Sales Pros (USA) with ‘Sales Leadership Tips To End The Year Strong’ and Sales Masterminds Australasia with ‘Sales Leadership 2016 – 12 Sales Thought Leadership Perspectives’ that have been designed to create value for those in the sales domain.
Download and enjoy one or both of these educational, inspirational and insightful perspectives, right now.
A mastermind group may be too hard for you, you may not be ready, you may want to begin your own.
Either way, remember those famous words spoken by the late Jim Rohn:
‘We are the average of the (five) 5 people we hang around with’
Be Bold, Brave and Brilliant
Bernadette McClelland is CEO of 3 Red Folders – a modern day saleswoman and keynote speaker on business growth, personal leadership and sales performance.
BIO: Business environments wanting to increase their revenue and profits, and differentiate themselves in a competitive market, ask for Bernadette McClelland because of her thought leadership on sales performance, her ideas on thinking beyond resilience and her fresh perspectives surrounding personal leadership skills — all designed to master the outcomes that matter.
Bernadette has proudly coached Harvard MBA students on their sales enablement curriculum, been the Master Asia Pacific coach for Anthony Robbins across twelve countries, authored five books on leadership and sales transformation, won a coveted Telstra award for Business Excellence, and continually shares her ideas around behaviour, the brain and business growth on stages in the UK, Europe, Thailand, India, NZ, Australia and North America.
Believing that sales performance is a leadership issue, you will also find her heading Melbourne’s human potential based sales performance consultancy, 3 Red Folders, as she navigates lead generation, message to market and digs deep into sales process activities with her clients in the mid-tier sector as well as founding ‘Women Who Sell’, an initiative designed to bring more women up to speed in their sales success.
Book your Conference or Sales Kick Off Meeting today!
Image Courtesy of David Santaolalla