Leadership Begins With You

I’ve been studying human nature, behavior, thought process and interpersonal communication since I was about 7 years old. That’s a LONG time.

It still amazes me how the psyche of humans operates. Our core motives. Our choices, the reasons we have for our decisions and then how we respond, react, hold to or change our reasoning and beliefs around those choices.

When it comes to the title or label of ‘leader’ – that is a word that brings about many interesting observations regarding people. In fact, I can’t even count anymore how many times I have seen this scenario:

1. You  have a natural leader who is there, steadfast, ready to lead and serve every time. They are often quiet, have a willing heart and contribute to the effort with little or no resistance. In fact, they will contribute to a situation simply because they want to.

2. You have those who title themselves as a leader. They come on with confidence and an attitude of “I am -or should be- in charge.” They often have a strong sense of ego… dare I say they are often very egocentric?  They bring with them an attitude of entitlement and will lead if there is profit in it for them.

Now here’s the funny side of observation:

The first one, the true leader, often, if you point out, admit to, or encourage them to step up into a formal role of leadership … they quickly say “Why? I’m not a leader.”

The second type of person, will come up to you and say – or even declare “I am the leader. I want to be THAT Person.”

Guess who typically does the BEST job when they are in a formal role of leader? …Yep. It’s the first one.  Why? Because they are meek, humble, willing to learn, and have a heart of giving. That is the true sense of leadership from the beginning of time.  Also, they typically take that same mind set and way of living into all areas of their life.

God made us to have balance in our lives. That also means balance in the areas of life we lead.

We first and foremost have to lead ourselves. If you cannot lead yourself and take responsibility or be accountable for what you do, how can you lead others?

Areas in our personal daily life that we need to start to lead ourselves in are:





Personal Family

Spiritual Family




These areas we need to lead ourselves in are not the end all- rather a great starting point.  Take care of yourself and get your house in order first.  Do it with heart of servitude, meekness, humility and willingness to learn.  THEN-go forth and bring to other situations you are in the same type of heart and diligence. You will be justly rewarded from the leadership you do and show.

Have an awesome day,

Debbra Sweet


Relationships when Selling – understanding the game todays

I found this post yesterday and thought is was of high value in understanding how people have transitioned in their lives and in their way of thinking.  For those who have to lead in life, lead in business, lead in selling, this snippit brings some clarity to help us keep patience and understanding in how to work with others.




Is Relationship Selling Dead?

Doyle Slayton | Jun 02, 2010 | Comments 37

Written by Jill Konrath, author of
SNAP Selling and Selling to Big Companies

It sure feels that way today! You rarely reach your prospects on the phone and when you do, they quickly brush you off. When you’re in meetings, they want you to get right to the point.

Sometimes they’re so busy multi-tasking, that you’re not even sure if they’re paying attention. Even your long-term customers fail to return your calls for months, making you wonder what you did wrong.

Welcome to the new normal! Your prospects are suffering from Frazzled Customer Syndrome, a debilitating condition brought on by increased expectations, excessive workloads, unrealistic deadlines and fewer resources.

They’re good people who are doing their very best to survive in a frenetic workplace. Their calendars are overflowing, they’re constantly falling behind and they feel powerless to stop the escalating demands on their time.

The truth is, they don’t need another “relationship.”

They barely get to see their best friends anymore. They even eat lunch at their desk everyday so they can get more done. It’s all work, work, work. New relationships are a low priority.

But you want a relationship! Of course you do. You’re a relationship seller. Your best customers love you. They value your work. They refer others to you.

And, you love them back even more and take great care of them. Working with people like this feeds your soul – and pays well too!

Wanting to replicate these strong relationships is natural. But establishing that great connection can be a real challenge when dealing with stressed out people who seem more intent on pushing you away than inviting you in.

Here’s the good news! Underneath all that rude, brusque behavior are normal human beings who desperately want relationships with people who they can trust to help them achieve their goals.

That person could be you. But first, you need to understand what’s going on in their mind in order to create the connection you want.

What Your Prospects Think

Whenever you deal with frazzled prospects their brains immediately start firing off alert signals: “Warning. Pay attention. Salesperson.” While you may not see yourself that way, they do and that’s what matters.

They evaluate your voicemails, emails and initial conversation to determine if having a more in-depth conversation with you is worthwhile. They make lightning-quick decisions to allow you access to them based on these criteria:

  • Is this aligned with what I need to accomplish?
  • How big a priority is it? What’s the urgency?
  • Does this person provide value?
  • How simple is it? Will it take lots of effort?

Unless you can convey all this very quickly, you won’t get your foot in the door. But it doesn’t stop there. To retain or grow a relationship, you have to keep your focus on these decision-criteria at all times too.

Relationship selling today goes far beyond the warm fuzzy feelings that you get from working with people you like and vice versa. It’s about creating partnerships where you’re a contributing team member, working towards your client’s short- and long-term success objectives.

SNAP Rules Change the Game

You need to follow the new SNAP Rules to be successful with the “new” relationship selling. Here they are:

Rule 1: Keep It Simple
Your goal is to ensure maximum simplicity in everything you do. That’s going to require you to look at all aspects of your interactions with your prospects to see where complexity can be eliminated or minimized.

When you keep it simple, you make it easier for your them to buy from you.

Rule 2: Be iNvaluable
Today’s crazy-busy prospects want to work with sellers who “know their stuff” and bring them fresh ideas on a regular basis. Perhaps you’ve never even seen that as your role. But today it’s essential to turn yourself into the competitive differentiator.

When you become invaluable, people choose you over competitors, are less price conscious, and remain loyal.

Rule 3: Always Align
This is all about relevance and risk. At the onset of your relationship, clients need to see an immediate connection between what you do and what they’re trying to achieve. As they move through their decision-making process, they need to know that the alignment extends into core beliefs they value in the people they work with.

When you’re aligned with their critical business objectives and core beliefs, clients want to work with you.

Rule 4: Raise Priorities
It’s an absolute imperative to work with frazzled prospects on their priority projects. With their limited capacity, that’s all they can currently focus on. Because your prospect’s priorities are constantly shifting, you need to be alert to what’s going on in their organization.

When you raise priorities, your sales process goes much faster and you get the business with less competition.

Relationship selling isn’t dead. In fact, it’s more alive than ever before. You still need to connect with your prospects on a personal level, but it’s no longer sufficient.

You have to earn the right to have a relationship with them first.

They want your expertise focused on their priority business objectives, issues and challenges. They want you to continually bring them fresh ideas and provocative insights. They’re looking for you to simplify the complex and make their life easy.

When you do this, they’ll be friends forever.

Want to learn more about the new rules of selling to crazy-busy prospects? To get four FREE sales-accelerating tools and download two chapters of SNAP Selling, visit www.SnapSelling.com