Why You Should Go Retro in Your Leadership Style

September 5, 2019  |  Posted by in Leadership Development, Relationship Building

In today’s working world, it’s all about the latest technology and what apps you can integrate into your systems to make you more efficient in your work. There’s no disputing that apps and other technologies have made our working lives easier we can certainly get things done more quickly and with much less effort. But does an “easier” work life equate to a more effective work life?

Think about what you do on a daily basis as a sales leader. It likely involves supporting your sales team members in some way such as providing advice on how to get a prospect to take that next step or sending performance reports and discussing areas for improvement. How often do you use technology to help you with tasks like these? Maybe you send your advice via an email or Skype for Business message? And perhaps the performance report is sent via an automated dashboard that you have configured in your CRM? Does any of this sound familiar?

Most of us can probably answer “yes.” Setting up a reporting dashboard that can automatically forward easy-to-read reports is much more efficient than the alternative of manually creating reports to send to each of our stakeholders every week. And sending advice via an email or instant chat message is much simpler than having to coordinate a meeting time to discuss.

Meeting Face-to-Face is Effective

But think about the impact of these activities on your team. Start by putting yourself in the place of one of your sales reps. Picture yourself reviewing your performance report that was automatically sent to you with an out-of-the-box message from your manager. This certainly doesn’t have the same effect as reviewing your performance one-on-one with your manager would. Similarly, reading your manager’s advice via an instant message lacks the emotion and the “pep” that would be present in a face-to-face conversation.

Amplified Leadership Needs a Human Connection

As sales leaders using technology in this way, we’re losing out on a chance to connect with our teams and our individual sales reps. This is why we, as leaders, need to consider “going retro” in our leadership styles. By “going retro,” we can bring emotion back into the picture. Regardless of the increasingly technological nature of our world, the fact that we’re all humans isn’t going to change. And we know that as humans, we innately crave connection with others. Connecting, interacting with and building relationships with others then become the stepping stones to cultivating trust which is a necessary component of any successful leadership scenario.

You Can’t Automate Emotional Leadership

If we aren’t engaging in the activities that cultivate human connection and trust, then how are we supposed to lead our sales teams to success? The technologies we use aren’t going to make that emotional connection for us, so rather than investing all our time into using new technologies, we need to ensure that we are reserving some time to “go retro.” Whatever “going retro” means to you whether it’s taking each of your sales reps out to coffee once a month to personally get to know them/how they work, or simply scheduling time to have a face-to-face conversation with them in the office conference room at the end of each week “going retro” is what will cultivate your employees’ trust in you; not the technologies that you use.

This isn’t to say we shouldn’t use technology to help us do our jobs more efficiently. Rather, this serves as a reminder that we can’t rely solely on technology to do our leadership jobs for us. Building an emotional, trustworthy connection with those we lead is the key to leading a team to success. Perhaps the secret to building such a connection lies in “going retro” and letting technology play a supporting role, rather than a leading role, in our leadership styles.

Watch what I have to say about how “going retro” in your leadership style can help differentiate you as a leader.

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