Beating the Blahs

By Cindy Waxer

Progress and potential are attacked everyday by a silent killer – complacency. It poisons you, your colleagues and your organization and saps the life out of your best-laid plans. Dave Anderson, author of No-Nonsense Leadership (Learn to Lead Press, 2001), offers salespeople these tips for maintaining energy and focus.

Set high personal goals.
High personal goals don’t allow you the luxury of relaxing or letting up for long. Goals are the best focus tools – and when they are so high they stretch you until you feel a nervous discomfort, so much the better. When you set high personal goals, each day means more because it becomes part of a big picture, and tomorrow is never just another day.

Establish a well-planned daily routine.
The more time you spend planning your days, the more you’ll focus on outcomes and the less likely you are to become caught up in directionless activity. The number of hours you put in each day is irrelevant. What counts is what you put into each hour. When you execute a daily plan, you move with more purpose and persistence. Complacent people don’t hold themselves accountable for getting enough specific results in a given day.

Commit to lifelong learning.
Nothing sheds complacency faster than continuing to learn and upgrade your skills. In doing so, you become acutely aware of how much you still don’t know. When you learn and improve your skills, you create a passion to use those skills, which prevents you from becoming too comfortable or complacent. Attend courses, listen to tapes and read business books as part of your personal development routine. Stretching the mind wards off complacency and personal ruts.

Be passionate about what you do.
Passion-driven salespeople make things happen because they create an atmosphere where people enjoy their work, believe anything is possible and are eager to invest the time and labor to make it happen. So where does passion come from? It comes from adhering to the three prior points mixed with a genuine love for what you do.