By adopting skills demonstrated by visible leaders, you’ll be able to achieve the outcomes you want.
In this episode of INSIDE Inside Sales, Darryl welcomes Darren Reinke, Founder at Group Sixty, Author, Speaker, and rockstar Consultant to discuss the importance of leadership skills, not only in sales but in your everyday life. Darryl and Darren assert that you have an impact on people regardless of your role and that others can perceive you as a leader in your sphere of influence. In addition, you’ll learn the 13 principles that will help you become the (sales)person others will turn to for inspiration, as well as how to anchor your decisions, embrace patience, and adopt best practices for authenticity.
Darryl: It's another week here on the INSIDE Inside Sales. You know what? I might have said that wrong folks. Can you believe it? I'm the guy who's always saying to you, you got to say it that way. Should we do this again? Let's try this again. Here we go. And just note, we are leaving in that mistake. Nobody's editing out that mistake. Because you know what? That's the sign of an authentic leader. Just mistakes and all. So let's do this again. Here we go. It's another week here at the INSIDE Inside Sales Show. Bow are you doing? I've missed you. I'm glad you're back. Hey, have you been listening to some of the shows? I don't know, if you're like me when it comes to podcasts, I don't always listen to every single show of every single podcast that I subscribe to. So let me give you a pro tip here, okay? We've had a whole bunch of amazing guests in recently. Not that we don't always have amazing guests, because hey, it's the INSIDE Inside Sales Show. But really solid guests. And what makes them solid is that that the topics we've been having are fresh. They're new. They're not the same old, hey, what do you say when you do a cold call and someone answers the phone? What's the best email subject line? How do you do discovery? It's not that at all. This is some really dynamite, fresh topics. And candidly, it's inspiring me too to be a better leader, to be a better sales professional, a better revenue person. Because it's bringing me into the conversation the stuff that I can so learn from. And that's the thing, right? You never stop learning, right? Every day, it's that classic what can I do to be 1% marginally better? A lot of people pooh- pooh that idea of being 1% margin and better. What I love about it, it's the idea is that I don't have to be a leap fold. I don't have to be twice as good, three times as good. Because after a while, you just hit a ceiling. You're like I'm a failure because I didn't double my skills today. But if it's a continuous journey, then that's dynamite, right? Think about that. So you needed to go back and listen to some of those podcasts. One of the things, I mentioned this already, that I found has really been helping me is the skills we've been talking about are helping me as a leader. Now let's talk a bit about that as a leader for a second. We focus so much on the pragmatic, practical things to do. It's harder to address those intangibles. How you react when somebody says something to you, the tone of voice you use when you're talking. So for example, I'll give you an example, okay? I have been told often by many people who work for me or on my team, and this blows me away to this day when I hear this, this truly blows me away and I'm gobsmacked and I'm confused, I have been told that sometimes I'm not approachable. That's not a good thing. You need to be approachable. Now, why am I not approachable? Am I not approachable because maybe my personality is big sometimes? Is that it? Am I not approachable because I have a C- level title? Is that, people are intimidated by that? Am I not approachable because I shut people down? If I shut you down, why would you ever come and want to talk to me, right? Am I not approachable because I think I'm always right? Am I not approachable because maybe I am always right? Even though I may deliver it in a wonderfully gentle, soft manner, but people don't want to look like idiots. So therefore you're not approachable because I'm going to feel like a moron. I don't know. You tell me. These are all the things you have to look at. This is what I look at as a leader, because I want my team to listen to me. I want them to be motivated and I want them to be inspired. I want them to feel like they're part of the decision making process. I want them to own the strategy and embrace it. And none of that has anything to do with how good I am selling. It's about being a leader. So here's what I know. I know I've always had a immense loyalty from my teams and my coworkers from the time I always began. And the reason I know this is because I've had many HR people come up to me and say," Oh my God, what are you doing? Because we want other people in the organization to do what you're doing. Help us understand that. Darryl, when you leave, the atmosphere, the energy kind of just drops like a rock." And this is nice, and this is flattering. But the point I'm making and sharing this for, because it probably sounds like I'm boasting, I'm not trying to sound vain, I apologize if I do, is I'm trying to use it to show that you have an impact on others, whether you know it or not. And no matter what role you're in, whether you're brand new, hire, fresh out of school, whether you're doing a career change midlife, or whether you're an executive, or you're somewhere in between, a manager or director or whatever it might be, is that in your role, in your function, in your sphere of influence, you can be perceived by others as a leader. And what you do is a great predictor of your success. Because often in life, whether you're selling to prospects, or working in a team with colleagues, it's about, as the the classic line goes, how to win friends and influence people. And a lot of those leadership attributes and qualities drive that behavior and that outcome. So you may not be thinking of yourself as a leader today. I would contend you're improperly defining the definition of a leader. And I will contend that if you adopt skills that are often demonstrated by very visible leaders, you will have much of the success that you desire. And yet, they never teach that in school. And they don't teach it often in sales coaching. Every week, let's review the calls. Why didn't you set the agenda? Why did you take so long? Why did you talk so much? Why do you have these filler words? Did you follow the sales methodology? Why didn't you respond to that sales trigger? Nowhere in there do they talk about leadership skills, do they? And yet, it's a huge impact on you and you achieving the outcomes you want. So today we're going to fix that. I have brought in an amazing person. And I'm going to probably get his name wrong because a good leader's authentic. So Darren, let's get this surname thing out of the way. I'm going to take a guess at it. Normally I'm much better. I actually ask beforehand. Today I forgot because I was having technical issues. Is it Reinke? I don't know. How bad did I blow it, Darren?
Darren Reinke: Honestly, you can go a number of different directions. What I like to say is there are three countries in the world where you don't have to ask. So Germany, Austria, and Switzerland, which all have a common bond around language, German. And there there's a Reinke. But here, I'll take Reinke, Reinke, Reinke, as long as it's not Reinke. So Reinke is great.
Darryl: Reinke's great. I'm going to go with Reinke. R- E- I- N- K- E. So why that's important folks is that Darren is the author of The Savage Leader. That's right. The Savage Leader. I love it. And what's so cool about this is it's 13 Principles to Become a Better Leader from the Inside Out, which is kind of what we're talking about, right? So a couple of things. Go on Amazon. That's a one place right now to go and you can grab your own copy. You're going to love it because these are skills that are making you successful. Or if you want to make it even easier, there's a whole bunch of, shall we say, incentives if you go to thesavageleader.com. I say that now, so you can multitask. So that's the thing. Of course, he's on Twitter and LinkedIn. Darren, D- A- R- R- E- N, not an I- N. Two R's, because every great person has two R's in their first name, says Darryl. So with that said, Darren, let's talk today. I loved when I looked at your book, there was so many things on the abstract even online, you talk about what does it mean to be a leader? So let's just back up the bus a little bit here. What was your inspiration for the book? Is this something you're seeing people are sadly lacking? Is this something that can be learned? What are you seeing as the consequence of people who invest in their leadership skills? Talk to me about the whole story behind the story. I want to hear it.
Darren Reinke: Wow, that was a triple question, but I'll try to go through those. Let me unpack those. So my view of the world, A, is one of very much of an optimist. So I believe that everyone can get better. I love your 1% incremental change, or growth and improvement. I constantly, I believe, this is probably too aspirational, that every day presents an opportunity to get better in every way. That might be a little bit too far out there. But I do believe, and I'm focused constantly, every day about becoming a better leader for my clients, better leader for my firm, better husband, better father, better friend, et cetera. So I definitely think that people can grow and improve. Also I believe that everybody is a leader. I know your audience is primarily business development reps and those types of folks, which are absolutely leaders. I believe that some of the fundamental failures we see in organizations and governments is partially because we assume that leadership is based on title. That you have to have a C in your title, you have to be a VP, a manager at the very least. And I believe that if you start pushing leadership out to all the tentacles of organizations, you can drive a lot of change. You can hold the people who are the" official" leaders accountable to be the leaders that they need to be. But also just from a practical perspective, the frontline folks are often the ones that are hearing about new innovations, are hearing about pain points, concerns, complaints, new products, competitive products. Those are the people that you want to empower as leaders. Because if they're just mailing it in, they're just living out their job description, they're going to miss a lot of these things because they don't feel accountable. They definitely don't feel a sense of ownership, or couldn't. But I think if everyone can step up into this role of a leader, I think we're going to have better teams, better organizations, and hopefully better communities as well.
Darryl: Okay. And I love that. It's funny when you're going through that, what I was thinking to myself, because you inspired me with some of your words, and I was thinking to myself, how many people at VanillaSoft, where I hang out, where I my hang my hat, are leaders. And my first thought, you went to the same direction, did not go to the C level or the V level, or what have you. A couple of a couple different places I went to immediately. I went to my solution engineers, who they don't get paid on sales revenue team, and yet they're there to help the sales reps be successful. And they're doing all the tough parts. They're doing the technical integrations, the proof of concepts, they handle the hard questions. And they just shine everyday. And they lead by example. And I get so much positive feedback on them. I think about the person in support that's taking that call from that irate customer who is so frustrated simply because maybe their day's not going well, and were taking it out on this individual. And that support person is actually handling it with grace and with patience. And I look at them project those personality traits, and I'm like, I want to be like that person. And they're influencing me. And when I think of the people who I think I want to put up as poster children for the organization, those are some of the people. I think about the person in accounting, who has to actually have the pressure... With the sales reps, the pressure every week, every quarter, every month of numbers, so does accounting. And yet they're chasing down deals, and they're confirming with sales reps," Did this person pay? Was this the deal size? And you forgot some paperwork. And I got to get it done because it has to be auditable." Blah, blah, blah. Those are the leaders of my organization who lead with empathy and grace, and actually still smile and lift up everybody around them. Those are the people that I want to follow. That's what I was thinking when you said that. So help me understand then, because again going back to your book, you talk about... We're going to, if it's okay with, just bop around a little bit, because there's a lot I want to cover. You talk a little bit about using your values. And I was, a little bit there, just talking about values, attributes. You talk a little bit about using your values to anchor and guide your decisions. So what do you mean by that?
Darren Reinke: That's a great question. And values, so that's the first principle in the book, and really is the foundation for the other 12. And just the idea that great leaders are those that can identify and can anchor to those values. And so just a framework in terms of the way I think about behavior change, or just about becoming a better leader, is IRA. So intention. So having an intention to become better, to become 1% better, or to become, what I call, great. Because I love this quest for greatness. It's aspirational. It pushes people definitely to a higher level and loftier goals. The second piece, which is R, which is for reflection, which is about deeply thinking about whatever it is. In this case, it's what values matter most to me. And then A, which is for action. So how do I apply that intention and that reflection into actions. That's what matters, right? You guys are all sales folks. You're all about whether it's your weekly, monthly, quarterly, annual goals. It's all about those outcomes. So I'm constantly focused there. But I do believe, and just to go backwards a little bit, that the whole premise of the book is that there's this inner journey that we go on as leaders to become great that parallels this external journey which is visible to others. So the internal journey starts with an understanding of those values. So getting a sense for what's important to you. And you can do it in a number of ways. It's almost like from a marketing perspective, unaided and aided awareness. So it's like, here's a list. We have an exercise, it's 200 words or values. And going through and selecting what really resonates with you. But secondly, it's telling stories. So talking about the defining moments in your life and your career. And then extracting those themes, extracting some of those values from that is a really powerful way to get at what really matters. But once you do it's, how do you anchor to those values? It's thinking about your goals through the lens of those values. Because that's really how you can bring those things to life. It's not just having values that you write up on your wall, or you have on little business card or whatnot next to your desk. But actually how you live those out. So setting goals that align with those values, making decisions that align with those values. I know for me, the values have become crystallized in a why or a purpose statement, which Simon Sinek talks a lot about why. I talk about purpose very similar. And by having that, it's a really great anchor and filter to making good decisions. It helps me if I'm making a decision for my life or my company or my career to help me get back in alignment. And so just that's a really stabilizing force in terms of having those strong values that can anchor and guide you.
Darryl: Simon Sinek. You heard Darren mentioned Simon Sinek there. Another great individual you should follow their content. If you haven't, go do it. That's S- I- N- E- K, just so you know. So total sidebar. Good reference there. Okay. So you talk about doing that. Do most people do that? Do most people actually self- assess, and then look at what their values are, what's important to them, and then use that to anchor themselves, set their goals, and drive their decision- making. Because I find a lot of people don't. A lot of people kind of go through the motions and they wander. They may meander. If I look at a lot of the people I've worked with over the years in sales or marketing, I see people who will show up, do the job, and leave. And that's fine. That's your life balance, if that is one of your goals. You want to have that life balance. But to me often they feel aimless like they're not headed anywhere. And I think that's picked up on by others as well. And it's a perception that they project. And as a result of that, they often may miss out on opportunities for growth in their personal development or their career development because people second guess whether they're committed, or they're reliable. Now am I just running away with this completely ad hoc, and I'm being stupid? Or is this what you're seeing? And how would I know if I'm guilty of that? Is there a test I can do? A simple test to ask myself, do I do this, do I do that, and then make myself self- aware?
Darren Reinke: So it's a good question because I think people will select values that are not authentic to who they are. It's what they think they should be. They're projecting who they think they should be, whether it's their coworkers or their colleagues. And so that's what I like to do is I like to start with that point of intention, and talk about what does greatness mean to them? What are their goals? Because you have to contextualize those values within those goals for them to become authentic and to be able to live those out. So I think that's a really important point. You start with what are you aiming to achieve, and then identifying goals that are true to yourself. Some people want to make a billion dollars, and that's great. They're motivated by money. And so for them, it's achievement, maybe it's accolades, maybe it's rewards and recognition, things like that. That's fine. Just be true to who you are because you're not going to live up to somebody else's values. Because when you start to run into obstacles and roadblocks, you're going to fall flat, and not to stick to your guns in terms of what matters in terms of your values. So just for me, as a practical one, living in the south of Brazil in 2006, started a business. That's a whole nother story. But what I realized through that experience was what matters most to me personally is freedom of time and space so that I can spend time with who I care about most. Which now it's my wife and my two kids, of course, friends and family. And sometimes I can get out of alignment because I'm chasing, in a lot of ways, my professional why. And I realized when you're doing this, when you're so stressed out about what you're achieving and what you're not achieving, I'm falling flat in terms of what matters most to me. Which is showing up and being present with the people that matter most to me. So it's a nice tool, it's a nice guide guidance, it's a nice filter that can help you stay in alignment, but also to help you assess some decisions that you face in your career in your life.
Darryl: All right. So I don't want to beat this to death though. There's so much I want to cover with you here today. But the whole idea, folks, of doing that self- assessment, again, it's you want to look at The Savage Leader. He lays it out for you so you don't have to do this on your own. And anchoring your decisions and what you value versus not value really helps you quickly identify both your personal decisions, which may affect your career decisions, right? What I mean by that is you may decide, based on who I am and what I'm about, and what I value, and what I anchor myself against, maybe sales isn't for me. Maybe I'm in a whole different career. Who the hell knows? But that's really important because if you come to the decision that sales isn't for you, then that's a good move for you. You're moving on, and you're going to do what makes you happy. But if you do decide that sales is good and right for you, and you value certain skills and attributes and whatnot, now your anchored. So now you need to go back and say, what does this mean for my job and my skills and my capabilities and my development to achieve those goals. Because remember, using the IRA, intention, reflection, and action, and action's all about applying the intention and the reflection to achieve action and outcomes. So now, and I'll tie that back to the sales element of what Jeb Blount talks about. He'll say," Pipe is life." Your sales pipeline. So if pipe is life, then your behaviors, your actions, your approach, your mentality, your values drive your activity and how you approach your deals and your outcomes. And so now once you have that foundation, then your desire to learn skills to make you a more well- rounded sales rep, actually you're motivated to practice and master them. So it's cause and effect, right? It's like anything else. You can have an amazing house, but if it's built on a weak foundation, the first sign of an earthquake, and it's going to tumble down. So you want to make sure you have a solid foundation. All right, with that said, let's carry on, my friend. You talk about a lot of things. You talk about adopting best practices for authenticity. You also talk about forging unbreakable bonds with your tribe. And then a third one you talk about is embrace patience. All of these jump off the page to me. So where do you want to go next? What do you want to talk about?
Darren Reinke: Yeah. Those are three big ones. Three of my favorites, actually. And let's go to authenticity because it really builds on what we were talking about from a values perspective. And being authentic is a lot about just connecting in to those values, right? It's doing what matters most to you. And being authentic, being vulnerable as well, is showing more of yourself to your team. That's a great way to create connection with folks. And I was even talking to a radio host earlier today, and he talks about storytelling, and he talked about being vulnerable, being authentic is a great way to connect with people, which gets to that connecting with your tribe as well. But so much of that authenticity is about values. It's about what matters to you now, what other people expect of you. Because that's really what's going to allow you to show up and be more of yourself. And a term that I've been wrestling with, and I'm not sure if it's authentically confident or confidently authentic, but it's probably the same thing. The point is by being more authentic, being more true to yourself, you're going to be more confident as a result. And that's something that's helpful, especially if you're a sales person, is confidence has got to be such an important thing, right? You're in front of customers. You're talking about how your product or service are differentiated from that of the competition, which there's infinite in some cases. And so having that confidence is really important. But by tapping into and being more authentic, you're going to gain some of that confidence as well.
Darryl: So I'm a big authenticity person. I mean, look how I started the show today, right? I screwed up. I screwed up my own show fricking name. I mean, look at that. And yet we leave it in there because people screw up all the time. I've had people say to me, despite as a leader be not being approachable, on video they'll say that I'm very approachable. And I think a lot of that is just because I have the confidence to say, this is who I am. I am an idiot. I'm sarcastic. I make fun of myself. I pick on people simply to get a laugh, but I really do want you to succeed. So let's smile and have some fun along the way. And people react to that authenticity. But you nailed it. It does require a little bit of confidence. And I had to get there. I had to get to a point where I was confident enough to look like an idiot, confident enough to say this is who I am, take me or leave me. Earlier, you made a comment where people often project the image that they perceive people want them to project, as opposed to being comfortable in their own values. So for somebody who struggles with confidence, is there any coaching or guidance you can give here to help them get there so they have that inner tranquility about who they are, and just take me, leave me, love me, but this is me?
Darren Reinke: You made an interesting point, which is your situation, having the confidence to be authentic. And I was almost flipping around the other way, which is when you're more authentic, you're going to be more confident. And so we talked a lot, probably too much, about values, right? That's one big part of it. But also your strengths. What do you do well, but what don't you do well. And I'm a huge believer in positive psychology, and what Gallup talks about in not spending time focusing on shoring up those weaknesses, but really developing those strengths. And you said it's about being comfortable who you are, but also who you're not. And the same thing goes from a strengths perspective as well. So anchoring to the values that matter to you, not to other people, not to your peers, not to your family, not to people you grew up and went to school with, but what are truly resonant with you. But then your strengths. And then that will allow you to be more vulnerable in some cases too. That's another way to be more authentic in sharing a little bit more of who you are. And through that, I believe that you can gain confidence. So it's a little bit maybe counterintuitive, a little bit of flipping it around. I know for me that the process of writing a book, initially, it was going to be focused only on other people's stories. I ended up threading my own stories in there. Maybe it's 15% of my own stories. I don't know the exact math. But as a way of sharing more about myself and being more authentic to who I was. And for me, for so many years, I was focusing on being the smart Darren. When I first published my first blog, it was being the Accenture Darren, the Berkeley Haas MBA Darren, and not being the true Darren, the real Darren. And so I've found through the process of that of really finding my own voice, and I'm still on the journey to finding that real voice, is I feel so much more authentic, and actually, I gained a lot of confidence out of that because it's something that's true to me. I'm not trying to be somebody else, or a projection, or a 3D hologram of myself.
Darryl: So let me use this personal analogy for folks who still struggle with this. Because everything Darren says is spot on. And Darren, correct me if you think this is a bad analogy. I'm okay being corrected. I look at a relationship. Let's say there's somebody special in your life. Think about your dating, right? Or your courting, or call it what you want to call it. Pick out any term. You're hanging out, you're spending time. But you really like them. And you want to be maybe in a relationship with them. What do we do? We've all been there, and we've all done this. We kind of project the persona that we think that person will appeal to. And sometimes they like us and sometimes they don't. And you get all these mixed messages, and you're like, oh, I don't know what to do. I'm so confused. And then you finally, at the end of your rope, you're like, screw it. And you just decide they're going to like me or they're not. I can't be bothered with this anymore. This is exhausting. And you just relax and become yourself, and they get to see the real you. And all of a sudden, they embrace you. And you're like, oh my God, this is awesome. And then you feel good. And then you feel loved because they've accepted you. So the former in that scenario are people who aren't anchored in who they are and what they're about. And they're not being authentic. But to your point, when you're authentic and people accept you, then your confidence grows. Whether it's confidence in a relationship or confidence in your sales skills, it's the same thing. That's the best analogy I can give you in why you want to do this. So if you find yourself doing this all nonstop, where you're projecting, as opposed to being authentic, being you, finding your voice, then you're going to suffer the consequences. But when you find your voice, oh my gosh, you're going to watch your sales go through the roof. And a big part of that, it's funny you mentioned storytelling, I love storytelling. I use storytelling all the time. I open up every show telling a story. Because people connect to stories, and that's part of being authentic. All right. One last thing here. I know we're almost out of time. You talk about... Where was it that caught my eye? Oh yeah. You said seek out discomfort to drive growth. That seems like the absolute, last thing I want to do that. So if I want to be a leader, tell me Darren, why would I seek out discomfort to drive growth?
Darren Reinke: It's painful, right? People tend to do the opposite. But as Ginni Rometty, former CEO of IBM said something like growth and comfort can't coexist. So the point is, if you have that desire to be great, which we talked about earlier, and then it's about pushing yourself out of your comfort zone. Because if you think about it, if you just stay in your routine, even at the gym, you lift the same weights, you do the same exercises, people tend to plateau. The same thing goes with life and your careers and business. If you're comfortable, you're not going to grow. You're not going to stretch yourself. So I found myself starting to push myself into uncomfortable areas. So the story that I like to tell is that I was sitting in the back of this conference room at this spectacular hotel in Berkeley. And I found myself becoming extremely nervous going in speaking to this new audience. It's a new audience, it's at the end of this two day seminar. People were just frustrated. There was a bunch of just crusty CEOs who are just ready to get out of there. And I was like, why the heck do you do to yourself? And I realized, reflecting back after I was able to get out and hopefully deliver something that was successful, is that this is all in service of growth. And so I started just to say yes to opportunities. When it's like when something would scare me or make me nervous, is like, yes, that's the moment I know I need to say yes. But it's also not redlining and pushing yourself too hard because you do want to have that right level of comfort. I created this thing called the growth and discomfort index, where it asks a series of questions to assess where you are. Are you not pushing yourself hard, and if you're pushing yourself too hard. And it's about having tough conversations, it's about having goals that don't have 100% certainty behind that. Just a bunch of things you can use to evaluate whether you're in that right place of discomfort. Because I do believe that you have to push yourself out of your comfort zone if you're going to grow and ultimately be successful.
Darryl: Folks, we have just scratched the surface here. We could have Darren on for probably three more episodes. We don't have time. But there is an option here for you. I'm going to tell you, you want to go to thesavageleader. com. Just go there. All right? Do yourself a favor. There are different kinds of investments you will make when you aspire to greatness in your professional career. We talk about sales in this show. So let's keep it to sales. But you can read those books, whether it be Jeb Blount, or Anthony Iannarino, or Scott Leese, or Keenan, the list goes on of a people you should read and learn from on sales skills. Now this is leadership skills. And you can be the most prolific practiced polished practitioner of those raw sales skills, but if you don't have the leader skills, you're still going to fail. And this is the one area almost everybody overlooks. So as the book says, you need to get unstuck. You need to take action. You need to crush your delts, and you need to go build yourself as a great leader from the inside out. This is Darren Reinke. You can check him out. He is awesome. Again, thesavageleader. com. Darren, thank you for your time today. Folks, we are so out of time. Did you like today's show? A little different, I know. But you know what? This is the kind of show that will make a dramatic difference in your success. Go forth, be a leader. In the meantime, get your ass back here next week. We'll do it all over again. I'll talk to you soon. Bye- bye.