26 December 2023 |

Struggling With The Human Side of Leadership

By Alex Alleyne

Picture this: Walking into a role as VP of Sales, greeted by a team that, while full of potential, struggles to hit targets. It’s a scene many of us have faced – a scenario that instinctively triggers an urgent emotional desire to flip the script. This situation was the reality in my last VP role, a pivotal moment that brought me face-to-face with one of the most common yet overlooked pitfalls in sales leadership: the allure of emotional decision-making.

The Shift to Data-Driven Leadership

I was caught in a whirlwind of emotions in those early, pressure-cooked days. Eager to make changes, but working only from my gut. My desire to move quickly toward success overshadowed my rational mind. It felt like our problems were behavioural, A matter more of makeup than process. 

But taking time to dive into the data revealed a different story – our real issue was pipeline generation. 

The Risks of Emotional Leadership

Relying solely on emotions can cloud judgment—overconfidence or panic skew performance assessments or other critical decisions. Emotion-led decisions can lack fairness and hinder the team’s success. Additionally, emotions like ego can blind us to areas needing improvement, affecting our ability to lead effectively.

The Power of Objectivity

As sales leaders, our goal is to think clearly and objectively. Emotions can muddy the waters, making it hard to see the path forward. We need to always counterbalance emotion with logic and data. A pivot to a data-driven approach provided the clarity and objectivity required to identify and address the real challenges.

Action Points for Sales Leaders

When emotions run high, pause and compare your feelings against the data. Is the data supporting your emotional stance, or does it tell a different story? Generally, lean towards data-driven decisions – they’re usually more reliable than gut instincts, except in rare cases where your intuition aligns with experience and facts.