Do you have control of your mindset as a sales professional?
In this 3-part series, I speak with the amazing Libby Gill. Our conversational journey goes from human behavior, comfort zones, helping your prospects buy from you (which equals a scary change in their mind), and ultimately, we end up talking about how a positive mindset is a key for success – in sales and life!
In Part 1, Libby and I talk about:
- Shawshank Redemption Mindset
- Leading Millennials
- Bringing everyone together by having a Mission and Vision
- Marry the Vision…Date the Strategy
Libby Gill knows change. She grew up on two continents and went to eight different schools before putting herself through college waiting tables. Starting her career as an assistant at Embassy Communications, a television company founded by the legendary Norman Lear, Libby survived three mergers to emerge as the head of publicity, advertising, and promotion for Sony’s worldwide television group in just five years.
After her first career heading communications at media giants Sony, Universal, and Turner Broadcasting, Libby founded LA-based Libby Gill & Company, a leadership consulting and executive coaching firm. She guides individuals and organizations to lead through change, challenge, and chaos by deeply engaging employees in a shared future-focused vision of success.
In her consulting, coaching, and keynotes Libby helps her clients:
- Reframe change as an opportunity for massive growth
- Re-energize your best performers to reach their full potential
- Reinvent your corporate culture to embrace ambiguity
Her clients include Abbott Medical, ADP, Disney, Ernst & Young, Facebook, First American Insurance, Hyundai, Microsoft, Sony, Sutter Health, Viacom, Warner Bros., Wells Fargo, as well as non-profits and small businesses. A global speaker, Libby has delivered keynote presentations on three continents and in 36 US states for organizations including Acura, ADP, Bank of America, Capital One, Cisco, Disney, Honda, Intel, Kellogg’s, Marriott International, Medtronic, Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines, United Healthcare, Vanguard, and many more.
Libby is the author of five books, including the award-winning You Unstuck, Capture the Mindshare and the Market Share Will Follow, and Traveling Hopefully. Her latest book is The Hope-Driven Leader: Harness the Power of Positivity at Work. A former columnist for the Dallas Morning News, Libby has published book chapters and peer-reviewed articles for numerous journals and trade publications. Business leaders including Zappos.com CEO Tony Hsieh, Stephen M.R. Covey, Dr. Marshall Goldsmith, and Dr. Ken Blanchard have endorsed her work. Currently, she is co-authoring a book about Rice University’s Doerr Institute for New Leaders with former Brigadier General and Director of the Institute Thomas Kolditz, Ph.D.
A frequent media guest, Libby has appeared on the CBS Early Show, CNN, Inside Edition, NPR, the Today Show, and in BusinessWeek, Time, the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and many more. Libby lives with her husband in Los Angeles and is the proud mother of two millennials sons and step-mom to a step-daughter and step-son.
Her Books: https://libbygill.com/books/
E180 – Transcript
Jason: Alright. Welcome to the sales experience podcast. My name again is Jason Cutter. On today’s episode I have Libby Gill now she’s an executive coach, leadership expert, speaker, bestselling author. What I found most fascinating about Libby is that her professional corporate experience prior to what she does now was in television and cable marketing, running PR and campaigns. For some companies you might have heard of like Sony pictures, Turner broadcast, and universal. Yet now she’s focused on helping leaders and groups on identifying who they are and why they need to take bolder risks. Libby, welcome to the sales experience podcast.
Libby: Thank you. Happy to be here.
Jason: I’m so glad. And when we first spoke we discussed about a few things and I thought this would be great for where we want to start the conversation. The first one was mindset, which I know you focus a lot on. Obviously we’re talking about sales on this podcast, but you deal with leaders, founders, executives on mindset, and so what are you seeing? What kind of challenges do you experience and how do you help them kind of make the shift
Libby: At its most simple. There’s sort of two types of mindset. One is the fixed mindset. It’s the way it is, can be effective with people who want to continue to handle things in an orderly fashion the way it’s been done before. And that might be okay. And then on the other side is the growth mindset. And I think that’s where you and I and a lot of people fall into that side of there’s gotta be a better way. We can change it, tweak it, grow it, develop it, and really working with people to see a belief in a different or better way. And it’s so funny in all the organizations that I’ve talked to over the years, cause I’ve been doing this part of my job, I hate to date myself, but almost 20 years now, it seems to fall into kind of two camps when they send in that change leader.
Libby: And I always feel so sorry for anybody who’s labeled the change agent because it’s like you’re walking in the door with a target on your back. They just don’t even want to see you. But about 25% of people seem to be ready for that and waiting for somebody who’s going to unlock that. It’s like it’s time to change. It’s time to be bold and branch out and everybody else is on a kind of a continuum of, Oh my gosh, just, I’m going to just hide under my desk to, well, we’ll wait and see how this goes and I’ll, and it’s really developing. I mean, if we’re going to stick around, we’ve got to grow and change.
Jason: Right. And like I think it’s a Shawshank redemption. You get busy living or get busy dying. Right? I mean it’s all about you’re either changing and growing in some way or you’re dying and decaying because there is no like stable. Some people think there’s stability, but there’s not, there’s, you’ve got to always be evolving in some way.
Libby: Yeah. And who would want to do the same thing and God bless my relatives, but I have people in my family that same job for 30 years and yes, they’ll flow up through it somewhat, but I just think, how can you even be in the same field for that long? Wouldn’t you want to go experience another industry or discipline or part of the country or other country or something new and exciting? It’s just that it’s just how my brain works and my ex husband, good guy, but he used to refer to me as the malcontent because it was like, okay, I got this job now what’s after this one and what’s, you know, it was that. I’ve just thrived on that sense of there’s something else ahead of this one.
Jason: Yeah. What else is out there? What can I do? What can I learn? What can I be a part of? I am the same way as you. I, you know, would never imagine myself being in one of those roles where I’m doing the same thing or something similar for a very long period of time. Right? Like somebody who’s working at a factory for 30 years and that’s what they do. And nothing wrong with it. Everyone’s got a different mindset. Like you’re saying. There’s the fixed mindset where somebody is happy with that. They like their comfort zone, they like what they know and what they do and that makes them happy. And it’s possible to, and I’m sure you’ve seen this where there’s people, let’s say like myself, where I have a growth mindset in some areas and then some areas I have more of a fixed mindset, you know, in my life where I, maybe I like these routines or I’m okay with this structure, the same kind of monotony day in and day out where I don’t have to think about it because it’s so fixed. And then there’s other parts where it unleashes and I’m just, you know,
Libby: Well I think that in technology when you’re, it’s like, don’t make me get a new phone. I just got used to this one. You know, it’s that kind of sense of you don’t want everything to change all the time. But the most inspiring and exciting leaders are the ones who can see the future and in a very realistic and palpable way, and paint that picture for everybody else so that it’s kind of, Oh, I get what he’s talking about, or I get where she’s going and I see where I connect to that. And that’s when people get really excited.
Jason: Yeah. And that change agent that change, you know, manage your person who’s coming in and facilitating this owner’s kind of wild idea of change or what they want to go about can be very painful for everyone else in the organization who maybe it’s not, they’re not on the same boat as the owner or founder or executive that wants to go that way. And they struggle with it. And usually, and I don’t know if this is what you’ve seen, but usually it’s because there’s not some core values and kind of mission and purpose that facilitates.
Libby: Well, that’s the thing is you’ve got to make that not only that big picture of where we’re headed so clear, but you’ve also got to tie people to the outcomes so that when there’s a change, here’s the business outcome, here’s where we’re going and why and here’s the potential benefit to you. You’re going to learn something new. You’re going to be compensated, you’re going to grow, you’re going to take a big risk and feel great about yourself. Your team is going to be seen differently and we’ve got to be really, really mindful and I see this a lot with people who, if I could think of a new word for millennials, I would love to, because I think they get slapped unfairly with me. They’re slackers. They’re, it’s all such nonsense and it’s more on their older, their senior leaders who have to be mindful of the fact that there is no longevity in their lives.
Libby: They didn’t see institutions or marriages or churches or anything last. So why should they expect to be treated as though they’re going to be there for another 10 or 20 or 30 years? They want to know I’m learning this so that this, and here’s how this will help me in my career, either here or on my next job. And it’s not that hard. And I’m constantly preaching this to more senior leaders is connect the dots for them. Let them know right down to, and here’s what this says and here’s what I’m training to do is called in case you want to add that to your skills on LinkedIn and why not? Because you know, in this market people are being poached, right and left. So you might as well acknowledge that if I can make a great place for you here and you’re going to continue to grow and flow through the organization, why would you leave?
Jason: Yeah. And I think that’s interesting because I heard somebody talk about that in a keynote where it’s about the generations. And I think one of the things I’ve noticed as true is that you could label it and say, all millennials are this, or all gen this is that. And it’s not true. Some of it’s true and there’s some kind of tendencies in there and some basis of it. But there’s those different people. I mean there’s slacker baby boomers who literally job hopped and never, you know, figured out what they wanted to be when they grew up. Right. And it just changed. It’s for everyone. It’s really about who are you having in your company? What kind of people are you hiring and attracting and what do you expect from them and what are you providing?
Libby: And again, it’s all about that is I hear a lot of young leaders saying, because millennials are now managing lots of other millennials, and gen Z is what’s the narrative they want to know what’s the story? What is the story of the company? How does that connect to my heart and soul and my future? And it should be, I mean, leaders should be able to say that if you can’t describe what the benefit of your organization or your job or your team is, then you should go figure that out because people internally want to know that they should, everybody should be able to recite, not the big old wop and mission statement that no one ever reads again, but that I love that March of dimes used to say, we save babies or maybe they still do. I mean, can you think of a higher calling? We save babies, we educate children, we make the quality of people’s lives better because we help them handle their diabetes. Whatever it is, connecting the people that feel like they’re not part of the process. You know, they’re the, I don’t think we have file clerks today, but whatever, you know the people on that food chain that still have to know, Oh, with the end of this process, I’m part of this whole machine that makes lives better for people and everybody needs to do that all the way up and down.
Jason: Yeah. And I’ve seen organizations that are very successful from the top down when they have that mission, that vision, that overarching kind of sense of where they’re going and why. And then they have some core values in there that everyone can kind of hold each other accountable and understand that we’ll break that divide between the generations or how people think or you know, what this group needs. And, and it’s interesting cause I haven’t used this phrase in a lot, but I learned this and this is very applicable, especially when you’re talking about change. But you know, let’s say the millennials or people who want to know the why is the phrase marry the vision, date the strategy, right? So a company should marry the vision. What are we like March of dimes saving babies, right? That is the vision. That’s easy. Everyone knows it. And the organization. Now what’s different is that March of dimes, 1990 versus March of dimes 19 you know, or 2020 is going to be a lot different because the strategy is different. So you want to marry the vision but date the strategy and sometimes the strategy changes. And if everyone understands that, then when a new strategy comes, or a new software or a CRM or a new rule comes down, everyone understands like the ship is still going that direction. Now we’re just, you know, doing something a little difficult.
Libby: I just wrote that down. I think that’s brilliant. That’s exactly right. And it’s, and you don’t connect people to the strategy. I mean you do in an operational sense, but that’s not what gets their hearts and souls all worked up and excited. It’s the vision. And frankly, if people will gravitate out of your company, if they don’t, if that vision doesn’t fit them and maybe sooner or later and honestly you hope it’s sooner because you know they should self disqualify and go out and do something that speaks to them. But leaders by really identifying what that is, and you know this in sales, I mean the last thing you want to do is spend all your time with somebody who’s not a prospect, right? You want to get them out kindly of course, but as soon as you can or you’re barking up the wrong tree.
Libby: And it’s the same with your employees. You want to identify this is what we do here, this is how we do it and this is what we stand for. And when people can get behind that and know that they’re in the right place. Now the trick is of course leaders have to fulfill that for the longterm. You can’t say it and not do it. And there are companies that do that. It’s worse than not really identifying your vision. If you put it out there in a big bold way and then you don’t sustain it. Yeah, that’s bad news and it’s really up to the kind of leader. But back to that mindset issue, I see. What was sales-people, and I’ve worked with them a lot, is you know, is that they often have that growth mindset because you know, you get either inspired or beaten down by your numbers.
Libby: And I guess it depends on the day and the economy and what you’re doing and how you’re doing it. But I see most sales people because they have that need to connect and, and for whatever reason that’s inherent to them. But they really need to always be growing and developing to learn how G our customers are changing. Our clients have changed. They’re so informed now they can find everything online before I even get a chance to talk to them. How do you change to meet those needs and the way that your customers are growing, so they’ve got to keep that development mindset or they’re going to, you know, they’re going to go the way of time to move out to something else.
Jason: Alright. That’s it for part 1 of my conversation with Libby Gill. Make sure to check out cutterconsultinggroup.com where you can find this episode, the transcript and Libby’s links. Also make sure to subscribe to the show everywhere that podcasts can be found. iTunes, Stitcher, Spotify. You can find it on SoundCloud, Google play. Also the cutterconsultinggroup.com website. And as always, keep in mind that everything in life is sales and people remember the experience you gave them.