Teams and Choices… Part 1


Over the years I’ve had the opportunity to witness countless new salespeople as they launch into what is, for all practical purposes, the highest paying potential career that they will ever consider during their lifetime.

Unfortunately, most don’t make it, and it is often easy to see the myriad reasons why (though I must say, the following hang-ups don’t tend to stick around long with the people I coach, but alas— I digress).

For some, it’s the conversation that goes on between their own ears. Others spend their time on seriously unproductive activities or seem to be extremely undisciplined in their work habits.  Many work for sub-par companies with average products, and still others are overcome by fear, procrastination, or issues of rejection or self-worth.

But there is another group, and often this includes many who have amazing potential, who struggle with issues of integrity— but not in the way you might think. No, these are people who have high integrity, but who view their profession as one that doesn’t.

In some cases they had little-to-no training, and have relied on their own experiences with salespeople (some of whom may have been less than honest) for their role models. Of course, this is unnecessary and unfortunate because there are just so many great resources available.

Others were mentored, but by individuals of questionable knowledge, abilities, and ethics, and this ultimately created a disconnect (usually subconscious or unconscious) between their values and what they perceived to be the required path to success.

It shouldn’t be.


I said earlier, a career in sales likely holds the greatest potential to accumulate wealth that most people will ever experience. But you must be good. You must stand strong. And you must stand tall.

In the past two weeks, I’ve spoken with several people who fall into this last group. Both have high integrity. Each is struggling— no doubt frustrated. And both asked to buy me lunch or dinner to talk about their respective opportunities.

Now I must say that in each case, I believe there is potential for the right person to do well. However, if either of these individuals is to succeed and maintain their personal values, the current culture of the organization is going to require them to step away from their leader’s example and create their own culture within the culture.

This is possible — I’ve done it — but it can be absolutely exhausting and life-consuming in the process. Often, it just makes sense to look elsewhere.

A further thought on teams and choices next time.


Photo Credit:

NASA Goddard