She had to jump in order to fly. Teach your direct sales team how to work towards a goal.

Your direct sales team might be skilled at setting goals, but you might need to teach them how to pursue their goals. Setting a goal of earning a certain amount of money or promoting to a new title doesn't mean she knows how to achieve it.

If you are on the edge of a cliff, and you want to move forward, you can either fly or fall. So when you reach the edge of your dream or goal, you can either jump and fly or give up and fall.

As a leader, you might need to teach your team how to fly. Modeling it isn't enough because they only observe your flight. They see your arms out and your head up. You look like Superman to them. 

They didn't see how you got there. Even if your journeys started around the same time, and you were pacing beside each other at the beginning, they missed it. They were so busy trying to navigate their own way, that they didn't take in the details of what you were doing. And the reality is that unless someone specifically showed you, you probably didn't take in the details of what you were doing either.

Stand up. Literally, get out of your seat and stand up. I bet you took a breath, leaned forward, put your head up and powered down through your legs and  pushed. You've been getting out of chairs so long now that you don't even think about how you do it. You just do it. It's called muscle memory.

As a leader, you've taken off to the next level so many times that you don't notice the jump. Jump and fly to a promotion. Jump and fly to a trip. Jump and fly to a bigger team, an incentive, a steady paycheck. Jumping is so natural that you've forgotten that it's the scariest part. 

Jumping is the scariest part! Your feet haven't left the ground yet. You can still back out. There are probably a zillion people on the edge with you. 

When people don't jump, they fall. Think of the jump as the flight plan. 

  • Where are you going?
  • When will you get there? 
  • What do you need to take with you?
  • Who is your co-pilot and/or ground control?

So if you want to teach someone to fly, prepare her for the jump.

  • What is the goal?
  • What is the deadline?
  • Does she need a script, accountability, practice, etc.?
  • When should she check in with you and/or when should you step in to help?

The first time you jumped, your team didn't see you suck in your breath, bend your knees and throw energy into your feet so that you could push against everything that was holding you in place. And now, your jump might be so graceful, that they don't notice it.  

Give your team a flight plan. Teach them that they have to jump in order to fly.

She stood on the edge and waited. Nothing. She inched out until her toes dangled, closed her eyes and held her breath. Nothing. She threw her arms out, arched her back and lifted her face. Still nothing. Finally, she bent her knees, pushed off with her feet and flew. She had to jump in order to fly.  (The story on the back of the Flying Lessons greeting card.)

Celebrate every day,

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