Possibly you may be wondering what do fog lines and guard rails have to do with traveling the sales leadership road? Probably more than you realize.
Fog lines are the outside white lines that let you know you are close to running off the paved road onto the shoulder if there is a shoulder. These lines were not always part of the American road system, but started appearing in the late 1950s to early 1960s. Recent court decisions affirm that fog lines are part of the roadway.
For those in sales leadership, fog lines are part of your sales’ behaviors specifically your positive core values (business ethics). When you cross the fog line, you have crossed or compromised your values. This compromise might be something as simple as a little white lie about:
- The delivery date of your solution
- How many people actually have downloaded your app
- Your total number of new customers or total annual sales
Another simple crossing of the fog line could be gossiping about other employees to your competitors.
Now the guard rails keeps the car on the road especially when there is no shoulder and immediate danger lurks on the other side of the guardrail such as a steep mountain cliff. Guard rails are the positive core values (think business ethics) each professional business person holds true and will not cross.
How many times have you failed to honor your positive core values? Did this failure impact your ability to lead as well as to increase sales?
Personally I believe one’s positive core values have a direct correlation to one’s sales leadership effectiveness. There are some who agree with me including the author of From Values to Action.
Many in sales leadership roles have not invested the time to commit to writing their positive core values. Maybe the organization’s values statement is enough for them. Yet, when we know what our own guard rails are, then we have much greater clarity when we cross that fog line and begin to compromise our sales leadership.