06 December 2023 |

 3 leadership qualities for 2024

By Gabrielle "GB" Blackwell

As the end of the year approaches, it’s a great time to reflect on what’s been working, what hasn’t, and what’s needed in the New Year.

As I’ve gone through this reflection, it’s got me thinking about the kinds of qualities I’ve seen make the biggest impact on my team and what I should do more of going into the new year. 

Here are the three leadership qualities I believe will be ultra-necessary for sales managers in 2024:

  • Genuine care for your people
  • A sense of humor
  • We before me orientation 

Genuine care for your people

Early in my management journey, my grandfather told me something pretty profound about caring for people. He said, “take the success of your people personally. Treat their success first and foremost like your success and people will go the extra mile for you”

Easy ways to demonstrate care to your people:

  • Don’t wait until 1:1s to check in. This can look like sending a slack at the beginning of the day to say good morning or reaching out in the afternoon to see how their day is going. 
  • Ask them how they’re doing to start 1:1s. It can be really easy to dive right into reviewing deals and pipeline without first connecting on a human to human level. Remember to take a moment and ask, “how are you?”. 
  • Seek feedback from reps. If you have a project or initiative you’re going to roll out, get your reps involved by asking them for feedback. It’s as easy as saying, “I’m thinking about a new campaign to roll out for sports teams in our books of business. What do you think would help most in targeting these kinds of companies?”. 

A sense of humor

When done well, humor can “relieve tension, build trust, boost morale, facilitate leaders to build a better relationship with others at work, foster a positive workplace culture, and increase productivity”

Not bad right?

Time and time again I’ve found that bringing levity or laughter to what would otherwise be a tense or uncomfortable situation is just what’s needed to help people adjust and stay motivated on the job.

Of course, you’ll need to do the work to develop trust with your reps and read the room appropriately to avoid coming off as inauthentic or inappropriate. 

🏀Assist: Unsure of where to start in being funny? Check out this resource on how to be funny.

We before me orientation

Anytime I’ve been on a sports team where every single person – coaches included – were in service to the team, we were a force to be reckoned with. And anytime I’ve been on a team where individualism reigned supreme, we always fell short of our potential. 

It’s no different in sales. 

When managers are focused on creating an environment where everyone on the team has access to the same levels of success, more people become successful.

When managers are willing to advocate for what their team needs, regardless of the potential discomfort or fall back they’ll get, that’s when their team will go the extra mile to take care of their manager. 

And when managers are more invested in the success of the people on their team rather than focusing on the manager’s individual self interest, that’s when you see teams rise to the top. 

What else would you add?

I asked folks in my LinkedIn network what leadership qualities they believe will be the most important going into next year. Here are a few highlights:

I’d say authenticity is key too. Leaders who are genuine and transparent will earn trust and respect. Like leaders who openly share their successes and failures.” – Gigi Gupta

A greater commitment to curiosity. We need leaders who are students of their industry, the evolving landscape, and their teams!” – Zach Walker

Accountability over paternalism. This means that…every team member is held to the same standard of accountability…this approach ensures that our collective performance is driven by merit and contribution, not by tenure or personal relationships.” – Shawn Cook

What would you add to the list?

Visual of the Week

I have construction going on in my place which means the dogs and I are spending a lot of time hanging out in the bedroom! Here’s my current point of view!