Josh Seibert is the winner of the David H. Sandler award and the author of the book Winning From Failing. After 20 years of training and developing clients, Seibert was motivated by the feedback that taught him about the value of the Sandler training system beyond what he thought it was. The learning and the re-learning that happens from the life cycle of a client can’t be stated from a features and benefits standpoint; Josh tried to build a comprehensive view of a corporate learning culture from a high-level performance standpoint. It’s the why and how to connect the why with customers and clients.
It’s hard to transition from seeing failure as more than a four letter word. We all know we learn much more from failure than we do from success. We strive for success and celebrate them. The continual learning process is from failing and if we don’t embrace that as a learning culture then we really don’t grow and end up only ever celebrating. The pain from failing can strike home the learning of a new practice or behavior that can lead to and create success.
The end result of the book is to build and lead a corporate learning culture of high performance. The book contains Seibert’s experience in the navy and his experience as a manager and developer in financial services. It contains his failures and lessons—if he could go back, Seibert would fail quicker to end the suffering faster on the trajectory of the growth that he has seen that has led him to today. The mindset of the book challenges you to meet and fail at a quicker pace. The aim must be to fail fast, fail often, and have all new failures.
Pushing ourselves into failing situations may seem foreign, but it is how the cycle of adult learning works. The biggest challenge comes from the level of the organization that is engaging. Leadership and management are a critical component to building a learning culture. Over a life cycle training becomes tactical. It’s a tactical tool to the end, but stand alone it will not cause learning to happen. The biggest challenge is to get organizations to recognize and realize that management is a crucial component of that learning path and we have to start at management and leadership first. Training must be about discovery through the Socratic method and not be completely dependent on the war-story method of training. We are hopeful that telling passes on lessons, but telling is not training; their development as a manager and a coach is challenging and becomes difficult when it is relative to finding the time and the immediate pay-off that they are looking for. We have to be better coaches, mentors, and trainers as leaders in order to enable productivity through others as opposed to demanding it from others.
We build an addiction that employees have because we don’t let them fail. We must behave and embrace the mindset that allows failure to happen. The value of failure in the long run is much more valuable than the immediacy of the failure in the short run. Managers may point and click and expect a meaningful result, but it’s not lasting or sustainable if we aren’t coaching and engaging. We must give ourselves permission to fail in the hopes of gaining productivity through others. If they’re going to believe that we will let them fail, we have to allow ourselves to fail. We must cause failure and allow it to happen in a controlled environment in order to enable us to allow it in a live environment.
We can expect failure in a controlled environment because there’s no risk. When someone first learns a skill, put them to task to take that knowledge and attempt it in a controlled environment with a roleplay. It’s a safe and okay place to fail, stop, and begin again. This conditions us to understand that failure is okay because it is low risk. The next step is taking it to the field. Do not be there when it is used to rescue the salesperson. Use new tactics and skills on safe calls. Using it out in public or during dinner; safe places that allow us to adapt and apply new knowledge can lead us to understand that failure is okay when it is not catastrophic. Failure can be recovered from. Put environments together to allow and expect failure and it’s a whole lot easier to accept it as opposed to let it be relegated to the area where it can sabotage our year and our identity.
When the skill becomes the behavior or habit then we no longer have to think about it and it becomes muscle memory. Unless we allow that change to happen through failure, we won’t move it from the place of uncomfortable into the subconscious steps to take in order to achieve success. It is important to realize the steps needed to take in order to find success and then intentionally build out a system that allows for failures to push us into the growth that we want to see.
A manager or leader needs to help constituents to learn competencies. The first category would be attitudinal that is related to their self-image and self-worth. Individuals under your leadership should be rejection proof and see an aligned value of themselves with how they see themselves. These competencies separate the identity from the role. The second category is the behavioral area which requires a salesperson to write and develop their own goals which defines why they will bring in revenue and drive their own productivity. A manager being able to connect the dots with the corporate goals to a salesperson’s goal and develop a solid plan of action. A good strategy that matches the skillset of the salesperson will lead to companywide success.
Last is the required technical proficiency necessary from a sales system to be able to execute successfully. Everybody needs a support system and a successful and dependable selling system with techniques that are just natural and if a manager focuses on the attitudes, behaviors, and techniques necessary for a salesperson to succeed they’ll be necessary to help a salesperson develop through them rather than forcing them out by virtue of expectation and dragging negative results out of forced behaviors. Building a selling system that can support your success in the future is an important step to take in retaining control of your growth and demanding the results you can imagine. If you’d like to know more, reach out and we’ll set you on the right track to discovering what is the value of change.