Some lead from the front. When times get challenging, they are there, a part of the action. Often, they have lived it, know and appreciate what needs to be done. Others lead from behind. They read reports and listen to briefings, but do little to inspire and direct. And then there are those who don’t lead at all.
Account executives are leaders, who by definition, lead from the front. They develop a vision for an account, build sales campaigns, direct and coordinate team activities, and take full responsibility for results. And from a customer’s point of view, they bring thought leadership to drive business value, while also dealing with competition. As the days of being an information source are largely over, today’s account executives aspire to get out in front of the customer. Seeing what the customer sees, but does not recognize, to drive thought leadership.
But, what really drives thought leadership? The answer is innovative thinking. Often unconventional in nature, we’re talking about exercising our imagination. Not in the sense of fantasy, but rather the ability to formulate ideas and concepts that exist beyond conventional thought, outside of current reality:
In the words of Arthur Schopenhauer, “The task is not to see what has not yet been seen, but to think what no one has thought about that which everyone sees.” It’s that innovative thinking that truly drives leadership in selling!