Leadership = Salesmanship

My first boss in industry started a company from scratch, took it public and still runs it today.

He was such a ridiculously intense person.

We fought and argued every... single... day.

I was his chief of staff.

His job was to demand the impossible from everybody in the company.

My job was to make sure nobody quit the next day after they found out what he wanted.

In the end, we delivered the improbable.

I’ve often thought about what qualities he had that allowed him to build a public company from his kitchen table.

Sure he was smart, but plenty of smart people (myself included) haven’t been able to do what he has done.

He didn’t have an Ivy League degree.

He didn’t come from wealth.

He wasn’t an engineer.

He didn’t work at MBB.

Despite all the things he didn’t have, there was one thing he had in spades...

He could SELL.

He sold a former Fortune 500 COO (who used to manage 10,000 employees) to work for his 15-person company as his COO.

How the heck did he pull that off?

He sold the former CFO of a famous Hollywood movie studio to become CFO of his then 20-person company.

How did he do that?

He sold several hundred employees to work for below-market salaries, to work late at night and on weekends, and to be grateful for the opportunity.

Here’s the thing I realized about him.

His ability to sell allowed him to overcome all his other weaknesses. He was incredibly good at getting others (including me!) to help him with his vision.

That’s when I realized...

Great leadership and great salesmanship are one and the same.

If you want to be a leader in your career, you must be good at selling your ideas to others.

If you are not, you will not be effective.

If selling is not a natural skill for you, you might consider my program on How to Sell Your Ideas in Everyday Life. It will be available for a limited time next month. To be notified when the program is available and receive my articles about selling in everyday life, just submit the form below.

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