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August 12, 2022

A CRO's secrets to successful leadership

By  Wade Burgess, CRO of Velocity Global

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We’ve seen the shift for some time now. It’s what many call the Great Resignation.

Empowered employees are leaving and seeking better opportunities. As the market is changing again in mid-2022, there’s economic uncertainty ahead of us. More workers are back on the job market. Many were laid off due to massive cuts in the tech industry.

As they search for new jobs, their perspectives have changed. Today’s workers need a sense of drive and purpose to return to work motivated day after day.  

There is a common thread from attracting and retaining top talent to motivating and enabling teams. And it comes down to one thing.

People. 

Success starts with quality leadership

An inspired workforce is critical to the growth and stability of any company.  Moreover, it starts at the top. Quality leadership is more important than ever.

That is the message from Wade Burgess, CRO of Velocity Global, a global work management platform. 

“If [your workforce] makes the kind of decisions you would make when you are not there, then now you’re a leader,” said Burgess.

Excellent leaders are essential because they set the tone for a company’s culture, which translates to their overall business success.

“What is our vision? What is our mission?  What are our values? What kind of a culture do we want to build?,” asks Burgess.  

It is vital to remember that employees are the soldiers of the company. They are carrying out orders from executives, managing the brand messaging, and ultimately are responsible for the overall customer experience and engagement.

Connect and engage your team with purpose

demo opportunity meeting

“Managing people from the heart is hard,” said Burgess.  “I think that’s what separates good leaders from great leaders.”

Burgess is a seasoned expert at bringing new technologies to market in the B2B domain. He evaluates companies’ strengths and leverages a plan to generate revenue.

His method is often the same when he approaches a new company.

First, he spends 30 days studying the business, data, strategy, and other metrics. He also evaluates what is uniquely valuable about the product.

 Second, he turns his attention to the people. He spends a significant amount of time trying to understand the employees who will support the business.

 “The most important responsibility we have as leaders is to ensure we have excellent people interacting with our customers,” he added.

Effective leadership involves making relevant strategic decisions that fit the vision and mission of the organization. 

“Companies with great revenue have great people,” said Burgess.

Burgess says great leaders find a way to connect to the heart of their staff.  

“They have the ability to inspire people towards becoming something greater than they ever thought they could be themselves,” he said.

Long-term results require daily maintenance

Leaders must find ways to motivate, enable, and embolden their teams in today’s business world. 

Burgess suggests first identifying what issue the company is trying to solve. Then identify how their people will be able to engage with it.

“Do [workers] do the work right? Do they engage in the right way?  Do they portray the brand in the right way?” asked Burgess. “That all moves into performance management.”

To revitalize an uninspired workforce, Burgess offers these suggestions:

  • Find the pulse of the team. Figure out what employees find exciting and what influences their decisions.
  • Engage with your workers daily.  

“Do not cultivate sales hoping for a payout long-term,” said Burgess.  “Come focused and reassess goals daily to measure if it was a successful day.”

He stresses that business decisions will always be easy. Leaders will always be able to fall back on data and case studies.

However, managing people in a productive way will always complement a successful sales strategy.

Compassion is key

One of the key pieces to building a successful team is providing the tools employees need to succeed. This includes development, training, and, most importantly, empowerment.

“It is very tough to engage in performance management in a responsible way if you have not first empowered the person in their role to be great,” suggested Burgess. “Their failures might be on you because you didn’t give them the right resources to be successful.”

He also stresses leading with compassion. 

“Compassion isn’t necessarily softness,” he added. 

He suggests approaching constructive criticism like parenting.

“The compassionate thing if you have a child acting out of line is to make sure the child knows that’s inappropriate,” he said. “The sentiment later is that it is compassionate.”

He adds that another component of successful leadership is the power of understanding and empathy. Burgess stresses that employees want to feel valued and respected in their organization.

“Know what actions lead to the desired results,” he said. “Make sure that people know how to do those well.”

Burgess suggests that one of the greatest disappointments for leaders is when employees do not live up to their potential.

To prevent that, leaders should first examine how they have enabled the employee to perform better. When they provide constructive criticism, Burgess encourages them to ask themselves, “Is this for the greater good of the organization?” 

Leading your team in a compassionate manner and supplying the tools for their success empower workers to do their jobs successfully. 

In turn, they will feel trusted and confident with autonomy over their work. With continued development and engagement, the workforce will be motivated to return to work daily.

“[Leaders] have the right business acumen and the right strategy. And they can do those things well,” said Burgess. “That is required in business today to be successful.”

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