Graduation season always reminds me of the most compelling and memorable commencement speech I have ever heard. The speaker acknowledged that the audience of high school seniors was graduating because they had mastered Math, English, Science and other core subjects. Their performance in these areas was the driver of the grades and standardized test scores that were so critical to college admission and scholarships. But this speaker wished more for the audience than academic success. He shared his hope that they were also leaving high school having mastered honesty, integrity and a strong work ethic. He hoped they were taking with them hearts filled with hope, kindness and empathy. These, he said, would not only make the world a better place, but would be the key drivers to their professional success and personal happiness and well-being.

Many years later, I still consider these among the wisest words I have ever heard because I see their relevance in my daily life as a sales professional and certified sales trainer (also as a parent and spouse). There is something to be said for the soul of the sales professional in attaining true sales excellence. Carew CEO Jeff Seeley referred to it in a recent interview with Selling Power magazine when he addressed the importance of a high-performance mindset in sales effectiveness. This is not about prescriptive processes. It's about the state of mind that fuels our very best sales performance: positivity, creativity, confidence and the desire and ability to personally connect with customers. These are the strongest motivating factors for sales professionals and the greatest sales accelerants for sales leaders.

As we go through our daily sales lives, it is important to look beyond the processes and procedures to stay in touch with, and periodically assess, the health of our sales heart and soul. It may be the key driver to our professional success and well-being.