I was talking with a salesperson and they said something that got me thinking about sales leadership.
“I think my boss would like it if we were all goldfish”
Of course I had to ask what that meant! I bet you’re wondering too.
“that we would each stay in our little bowls, be happy swimming around looking exactly like the fish next to us, all needing the same food, only having to clean the bowl out once a week AND looking pretty when anyone walks by.”
I have to admit, I was stunned. How about you?
Regardless of the truth of the salesperson’s statement, at that moment – on that day, it was their reality.
- Goldfish – a team that is all the same, where individuality wasn’t something desired or encouraged.
- Stay in our Little Bowls – sit at your desk, with your headset on making calls, and leave me alone.
- Same Food – management will be exactly the same with everyone on the team – exactly the same.
- Weekly Cleaning – we’ll meet, when it’s scheduled.
- Look Pretty – make me look good, and never make me look bad.
I’m curious if I were speaking with your team, would they believe you; wanted goldfish, a cool 40 gallon fish tank, or to be swimming in the ocean?
A cool 40 gallon fish tank; allows for variety, room to swim, ability to interact with the other fish, and has room to grow.
The ocean may seem like a scary place to some, while exciting to others; the risks are higher, the possibilities are endless.