Can we cook our carrots and burn our sticks?

There are many different management styles that one could use to motivate sales people and to drive performance. Unfortunately, too many managers utilize the proverbial “Carrot and the Stick” approach. This type of management style is one that I don’t agree with and one that can negatively impact not only sales performance, but also your leadership credibility over the long term.

Marguerite Cole, President & CEO of Success Factor-LLC, who is widely recognized for her global expertise in developing World Class Sales Leaders, recently posted her thoughts on this antiquated but often used management style. I thought I would share Marguerite’s perspectives and if you are a sales leader looking to deliver astounding results, I highly recommend that you follow her blog.

I have personally known Marguerite for over 15 years and her insights offer a unique perspective on the challenges facing sales leaders in today’s complex and ever changing sales environment.

Marguerite Cole

What is people management and what are good management practices?   Simply put, management is getting a person or persons to perform in a way that delivers a desired result.  It does not take into account the desire of the person being managed or the validity of the result; the result should be clearly defined and ‘hopefully’ measurable—you know when you have achieved it.

Winston Churchill once said, ‘However beautiful the strategy, you should occasionally look at the results.’

Let’s think about this applying the carrot and stick approach.  Anecdotal research explains this idiom two ways:

The Carrot and the Stick idiom- depicting using a carrot hanging in front of a donkey’s face to get him to move forward, and ‘correcting’ the donkey with the swat of a stick to deter non-compliance.  Putting this in simple English, if you stay compliant you MAY get a carrot; if you are non-compliant, you…

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Categories: Sales

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