Sales Leadership, Consistency, and the Myth of the “Arbiter of Success”


Heaven knows Seth Godin doesn’t need an ounce’s worth more publicity from anyone, least of all me.

But one of his posts last week, “No knight, no shining armor,” struck a chord with me.

He states, “Does your project depend on a miracle, a bolt of lightning, on being chosen by some arbiter of ‘Who will succeed?'”

We know who these people are, don’t we, these “Arbiters of Success?”

Consider this: Oprah has turned books that were literally out of print back into best sellers simply by speaking the book title and author’s name on the air.

Obviously that’s what we all want in sales. To have some individual, some company reach down from their lofty place on high and say, “You’re the anointed one.”

And it’s incredibly easy to get caught up in this “Arbiter of Success” myth. That if only we could get that one, single enterprise account that suddenly our lives would change radically, because we’d instantly have the “street cred” to call into any CxO we want.

But if/when we “bridge the chasm” and move to the mainstream, it’s almost always because we’ve successfully built a foundation of client accounts that are happy and engaged with what we’re offering, not because someone anoints us. “The Big One” almost always comes from one of “The Many” who already chose you, are happy with you, and just so happen to be in the right place at the right time for you when “The One” asks them.

Author: Ken Krogue |
Summary of Ken Krogue’s Forbes articles

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