Hiking is like sales and leadership development. Both require one to push through mental and physical barriers and stumbling blocks. Sometimes the road is straight or even downhill, but at other times you have to climb over rocks and even negotiate dangerous terrain to get to the next part of your journey.
Hiking is like sales and leadership development. Both require one to push through mental and physical barriers and stumbling blocks. Sometimes the road is straight or even downhill, but at other times you have to climb over rocks and even negotiate dangerous terrain to get to the next part of your journey. An adventurous spirit is a definite advantage, whether you’re out hiking or coaching, mentoring, and developing your up-and-coming sales and business leaders.
When I interviewed Brandon Schaefer as a key leader for Millennials Matter, I recognized this same adventurous spirit in him. We first met in Minneapolis about five years ago at an event for business owners and senior leaders. I was immediately captivated by his Five Capitals concept and his insights on how we can become authentic, holistic leaders. I’ve included much of the interview in Millennials Matter.
Here are some additional insights from the interview that I found helpful.
Brandon acknowledges that working with Millennial leaders is often hard for experienced business owners. He hears about their challenges as they’re trying to embrace this new generation of leaders to capture competitive market share, tap new markets, and grow their businesses.
“You know, we can say every generation is different and unique,
but this generation, for many, has been a head scratcher!”
~ Brandon Schaefer
What can experienced leaders do to harness the strengths and talents Millennial sales leaders bring to your business?
Attract great sales talent by aligning vision and values.
I asked Brandon what his recommendations are for company owners and business leaders to find and retain great millennial salespeople.
Brandon admits that good talent is always hard to find, but he is confident that we can become better at it by aligning vision and values. This happens when we understand what our up-and-coming sales leaders want – companies they believe in; leaders who will support them and help them find balance; and organizations that will fuel their passion. One research study showed that 92 percent of the Millennial participants believe business success should be measured by more than just profit.
This extract from Millennials Matter might provide further clarity on the importance of casting a clear vision of company values:
“As a rule, Millennials want to understand how their jobs fit with the big picture. They want to know that the boss sees them as a vital component to carrying out the larger vision of the company. When the grand vision is shared with them, they gain a sense of purpose, which makes them feel like an important part of the team. Casting vision and confirming company values are must-haves in a business owner’s attraction and retention strategy, particularly if they’re building their business growth and transition strategies on integrating Millennials into their team.”
What can you do?
- Remember that vacation time, salary, and bonus checks alone won’t attract the best Millennial sales talent.
- Millennials have an integrated, seamless approach to align their values with yours, but they need clarity about your business vision.
- Keep in mind that the Millennials have observed that financial focus doesn’t produce the life they want. Our up-and-coming sales leaders want to have a healthy work-life balance.
“You have to make sure your vision and values are in order
and that you’re setting young people up for success.”
– Brandon Schaefer
It takes an adventurous spirit to attract great Millennial salespeople. To inspire and motivate you, I leave you with these words of encouragement from Brandon Schaefer: “In reality, we just need to get started, get trying, and trust that we’ll get better and better.”