Are You Making Their Eyes Shine?

This week I watched an amazing TED talk by Benjamin Zander – The transformative power of classical music.

It contained a great lesson for all of us as sales leaders. Often, it’s easy to lose sight of our role and how we can truly impact the lives of others.

Ben speaks about a transformative moment in his career at age 45. At that point he had been conducting for 25 years, when he suddenly had a life changing realisation.

A conductor of an orchestra doesn’t make a sound.

He depends for his power on his ability to make other people powerful. And that changed everything for him, it was life changing. People in his orchestra came up to him and said “Ben what happened to you?!”

He realised his job was to awaken possibility in others, and of course he wanted to know if he was really doing that?

He says, “How do you know if you’re doing that? You look at their eyes…if their eyes are shining, you know you’re doing it.”

So, if the eyes aren’t shinning, you’re going to ask a question.

Who am I being that my player’s eyes aren’t shinning?

We can do that with our children too.

Who am I being, that my children’s eyes aren’t shinning.

Who are we being out there in the world? Maybe success should have another measure. The number of shinning eyes we create.

So how can we apply this insight? Maybe before our next team presentation or when out on 1-2-1 sales call with a sales person we can reflect on our contribution. Is it helping them grow? Or is it all about us?

I was reminded of this in a recent conversation I had with a sales manager. He’s a lovely guy but he readily admitted that he can’t help taking over his sales person’s sales call when he’s on a client visit. I’m sure many of us have found ourselves doing the same thing at some point if were totally honest with ourselves!

That’s when we need the reminder, our job is to awaken possibility in others, and make them powerful.


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