When it comes to sales, mindset means everything. A mindset will translate into habits, then into activities and tasks. At the end of the day, the mindset finally results in a person’s daily behavior.
Forming a mindset must be done as early in life as possible. My own son, for example, is aged 15 and currently in high school. He wants to be a professional basketball player, which means he must begin training and forming a mindset right away. If one starts too late in such an endeavor, they have no chance in today’s competitive world. In addition to the mindset, they cannot gain the skills, training, and routine. All of that takes years to build.
This is equally true in business. It takes a long time to build a mindset. If you arrive too late, you have no chance. A person entering the corporate world has no hope of coming in late, and then, boom, everything just works out. An example would be the contentContentContent refers to a material or document released in various forms (such as text, image, audio, and video) and created to inform, engage or influence specific audiences. creation in my company, which I have steadily worked on for over 10 years. I can confidently say that, as a CEO in my industry, I have created more content than any other company in my field. No one could jump in today, begin creating content, and come anywhere near what I have done.
Being Part of the Organic Whole
Why is mindset so critical for every person in an organizationOrganizationOrganization is a cohesive group of people working together and formally bound by a shared identity (e.g., one team, company, club, etc.) and a common purpose (e.g., business growth, athletic victory, etc.).? Simply because innovation must come from all parts.
A single individual is often credited with incredible innovation. Steve Jobs is a singular example of this. He is revered for his incredible innovations with devices such as the iPhone. The fact is, however, Jobs had a great team. He was the leader of that team and its inspiration, but the innovation came from many others as well.
Often, employees within a company perform only the minimal duties of their jobs, behaving more like robots than people. They should be acting as part of a real organization, which is a living organism.
What if one of your bodily organs suddenly decided not to be part of the organic whole? If it simply made its own decision to perform some other function or go off on vacation? The body is always fully functional, and if one part of it is not working, we are quick to react.
Given the complexity of today’s world, a company cannot perform innovation with just a few employees. You need the whole team. For that reason, people within an organization must be brought to this organic mindset on a daily basis.
The Mindset Shift
We must shift individual mindsets to achieve an organic whole. Part of the reason that this approach has disappeared is the separation of the company into separate divisions and departments. While organizationally, such separation is necessary, that doesn’t mean it should leadLeadLead refers to a prospect or potential customer (who can be an individual or organization) that exhibits interest in your service or product; or any additional information about such entity. to a total mental separation from the company, which it too often does. We lose what Austrian economist Fredmund Malik calls the “holistic approach.”
Begin with the individual. Ask them to answer this question: “Who am I?” Follow that with the question, “Who am I becoming?” Influencing the individual influences the team; the team influences the department; the department influences the division; and the division influences the entire company. In the end, then, it all comes back to the individual and helping them define how they live within the company.
The Elimination of Restrictions
A person’s mindset can be restricted. In fact, a person often restricts their own thinking with negative self-critical thought processes. When you restrict yourself through your thinking, shrink yourself, or downsize yourself to a certain role, It is no longer about growth.
Throughout our lives, we’ve all observed children growing up. When a child is little, everyone is excited about their first day of school. Then, everyone enthusiastically watches as the child graduates from grammar school, then middle school, then high school, and perhaps from college.
After the child has grown, though, the “cheering on” ceases. It’s as if because a person has stopped growing physically, they can no longer grow mentally, emotionally, or spiritually. With this viewpoint, we limit people. How do you feel when you run into someone who hasn’t seen you for, say, 25 years, and they say, “Oh, you haven’t changed at all”? To me, this is an insult. If you hadn’t seen a child since they were five, and you then saw them when they were 15, what would happen if you said, “Oh, you haven’t changed at all” to them? They’d be crushed!
A person can continue to grow beyond the growth of their body. The beginning of a mindset change is informing people that positive change is indeed possible.
Shift the Scale to the Other Side
A mindset shift could be likened to the shifting of weights on a scale. A person with an incorrect mindset is like a scale with weights all on one side. The person assumes that the weights are permanently there and that change is impossible. They feel, for example, that the boss is constantly working against them—always demanding hard work without a raise. Someone with that kind of attitude is not part of a team.
It is the stance of many unions that the bodies of employees and management are separate and opposed. Instead of working as a cohesive whole against outside forces such as competition, the economy, and the environment and working to strengthen the customerCustomerCustomer is an individual or an organization that purchases a product or signs up for a service offered by a business., technology, and partners, parts of the company are divided up and opposed, and the organization is therefore weakened. As Abraham Lincoln said, “A house divided against itself cannot stand.”
How are those negative weights shifted to the other side of the scale? How can we get people to have a better mindset and realize that change is good not only for the company but, in the end, for them as individuals?
The Progression of Little Wins
Shifting the mindset comes about through consistent small wins. This series must continuously overpower the negative attitudes, such as “I cannot make it” which, if left unchecked, overpower the individual. They have no reason to push themselves to get better. These negative attitudes gain more influence if they are confirmed by others in the environment who say, “Yeah, this guy cannot make it.”
A person is propelled forward through confirmation of positive wins. For example, I recently reactivated the Peloton exercise machine in my house. Yesterday evening, I took a 30-minute Peloton ride, and the voice from the device was constantly affirming and backing up my efforts. It was not easy because the program consisted of peddling up mountains and taking sprints. But the voice from the machine said, “You are still in! You’re still there, you’re still biking!” This is constantly a positive confirmation.
A mindset shift does not occur through a one-time action or event. Our company has an unbelievable group spirit, but it evolved over many years. People finally realized I was a trustworthy leader, and without funding, I was bringing in people to build a substantial company.
Start With You
This change needs to begin with yourself. In my last article “Sales Ethics Characteristics” , I provided two exercises that greatly aid in the elimination of negative thoughts. They consist of writing down the complete answers to two questions: “What would I lose by getting rid of this negative attitude?” and “What would I win by getting rid of this negative attitude?”
It also greatly helps to listen to podcasts, read books, watch videos, or go to conferences to reinforce positivity. Surround yourself with people with the same mindset.
A shift in your own mindset will result in your influence on others’ mindsets, too!