Most small business owners and leaders agree it's easy to lose our minds and shirts making marketing work. Why does marketing fail so often, and what's the root cause? Leadership mindset. Here's why.
In my experience, marketing, sales, customer service, and financial success for all organizations is the function of a leadership mindset. Mindset comes from your character and core values. If you're ever tried to do a great job and follow a leader with less than virtuous core values and commitments they keep, you know how madding it can be.
How do you assess the core values, beliefs, and qualities of character that stem from good virtues versus behavior that drags us down into the trenches of darkness at work? Simple. Leverage professional assessment tools that are scientifically validated and capable of revealing what's in the head, heart, and soul of any leader.
I was born into marketing, sales, and being a servant leader. I learned my earliest lessons in small business ownership and leadership by watching my father manage his small businesses over the years. My father has been to me a legendary small business owner, marketer, and caretaker of humanity. (R.I.P., dad. I'm doing my best down here!)
Most of my professional life has been invested in learning to market, communicate clearly, and help others get what they want. I've been blessed to start, self-fund, and sell two small businesses.
The primary success I've enjoyed has been helping other business owners and leaders get what they want. My goal is to encourage more small business owners and leaders to know that we're all in sales if we care about helping others and making a difference everywhere we go.
Here's the #1 lesson I've learned from my life-to-date work building small companies and learning to love the small victories amid all the failure we find making marketing work well for investors, business owners, and leaders.
The root cause of all marketing failure lies in the mindset of leaders and owners. Mindset is the character and core values, or lack thereof, of the ownership and leadership team of the organization. In other words, marketing only works when willing and able people with aligned core values that are most virtuous make it work over long periods of time.
What else holds us back when it comes to making marketing work? Impatience and lame expectations are among the worse offenses we can make in marketing. We are far too impatient with marketing results. We wing it when investing in websites, search engine optimization, stupid Ninja marketing tricks that never work, and salespeople who can't or won't sell who are allowed to remain part of a failing culture and bottom line. Then we complain that nobody can do their job.
Look in the mirror, leaders! How can anyone follow us well and in good conscience unless we know how to master the "Inner Game" of being the best leaders and business owners we can be? The buck stops with us, the owners and leaders.
The solution to fixing all marketing, sales, and customer service issues always lives in the heads, hearts, and souls of the owners and leaders of the organization. You can't solve any problem at the level it was created and this is very true with sales and marketing problems that choke us out of business.
Leaders must approach marketing as a process that extends for disciplined, inclusive, diverse strategic action planning. Most small company owners I meet do NOT have a written business plan. These are the same leaders who complain to me the most about past experiences hiring and managing marketing and salespeople. Customer service fits into the same matrix because if you run crappy, inauthentic sales and marketing campaigns, your crappy Karma will make life miserable for your customer service people.
Solution #1 is committing to writing a strategic plan of action that includes your diverse team of contributors who help you and buy into owning their part of your plan. Imagine the power of everyone aligning based on shared values and commitments we keep. We know how to get our jobs done right the first time because we are Varsity players and you pay us to practice, train, and play harder than the competition.
There is no exception to the root cause of failed leadership that I'm addressing. I know this now because I've managed thousands of marketing and sales campaigns in my life. I've created thousands and tested them. What I learned is the results always filter back and up to the decision-makers controlling the budgets.
If fear and failure are the mindsets, marketing fails and sales suck. Remember, marketing and sales is a game of failure. You have to be willing to invest, fail, learn, and grow.
If clarity and confidence are your mindsets, you'll hire the best and ditch the rest of the people you attracted who make you mad. But you have to change first from the inside out. Then, you will get players on your team who know their job and get it done right the first time. You would see the difference in financial performance just like you see the difference between champions who take the podium and the majority who look up to the winners.
Let me assure you, most of my marketing and sales tactics don't work well. But they work well enough in the tiny margins of conversion success to transform smaller companies into bigger, better performing organizations lead by servant leaders who take care of their strategic planning and people.
In closing, if you want better marketing, sales, customer service, and financial results, look in the mirror. Perform behavioral science-backed assessments for hiring and aligning the best players for your team. Then, empower them to own the new plan of action with you.
Your marketing and sales results will improve when the core values and commitments of your owners and leaders are in line with the heavenly virtues that are good; chastity, temperance, charity, diligence, patience,
kindness, and humility.
The bottom line is the more virtuous the character and core values of your leadership team, the better the marketing, sales, and financial results for your business.
Virtuous leadership counts for a reason.
Did this article help you? I'm always grateful for constructive comments, questions, and suggestions. If you want to learn more about mastering your "Inner Game" of leadership development, contact me here.