I recently conducted an ad hoc survey in which I asked a number of salespeople what they thought about the managers in their company. While many said they like their immediate manager, and other managers in the firm, they reported that, in general, all managers are too busy doing other things (selling, administrating, reading reports), and do not take the act of managing (developing people) seriously.

The replies were not encouraging; those who work in large companies were particularly harsh in their criticism. The survey respondents craved a culture of accountability, in which managers who proclaim their commitments to standards of excellence and mission statements follow through on their pledges.

If you want others to perform their roles at a higher level, you must ensure that they know and believe that you accept the responsibility to perform your managerial tasks and duties effectively.

Here are four powerful ideas that could help you radically improve your and your team’s performance (and revenue generation) in the coming year:

1. Create a questionnaire

Examine the following statements, one by one, from your salespeople’s point of view. Do you consider each of these principles of good management an important part of your role?

As a manager, you:

* Act and live by the principles you advocate
* Act as a role model that people want to copy
* Are a person of integrity
* Enforce the company values
* Are ‘part of the team’ as opposed to a detached boss
* Motivate your people to stretch to meet performance goals
* Are concerned about long-term issues, not just short-term profits
* Provide timely, balanced feedback that helps your people improve their performance
* Are a source of creative ideas
* Help your people grow and develop
* Have regularly scheduled, one-on-one meetings, with each of your people every two weeks
* Make your people feel that they are members of a well-functioning team
* Emphasize cooperation rather than competition between work groups
* Are prompt in dealing with underperformance
* Arrive on time for meetings, and expect others to be prompt
* Keep your people informed about things they need to know to perform their jobs properly
* Encourage your team to initiate tasks or projects
* Are more often encouraging than critical
* Are fair in dealing with all employees
* Consult others when making decisions
* Run interesting, results-oriented meetings
* Act more like a coach than a boss
* Are publicly generous with credit
* Are an excellent listener
* Ask thoughtful, curious questions

Examine your priorities seriously … and slowly. Carefully think through which of these principles could really help you make a difference, and how effectively you currently practice them.

Then check your assessment against the opinion of the people with whom you work. Create a questionnaire on which people can rate you from 1 to 5 on how well you deliver on your management goals.

2. Circulate the questionnaire

Give the questionnaire to everyone you deal with in your organization. Have a third-party (can be someone internal) tabulate the results and calculate an average rating.

3. Publish the average ratings

Circulate the combined ratings to everyone who filled out the questionnaire.

4. Call a meeting of those you manage and give the following speech

“I have sent you a copy of your current collective assessment of my managerial performance. We will repeat this survey a year from now. Meanwhile, I promise to get better at the management priorities for which I am responsible. Don’t expect me to be perfect. Perfection is not a standard you can hold me to, and it’s not a standard I expect from you.”

“But here is my commitment to you. If I have not improved in my management performance over the next year as identified in these priorities, then I will step down as manager of this group and I will find you a new one.”

“You have a right to expect that I will get better at the tasks and duties that are my responsibility. And I have a right to expect the same from you.”

Transparency and accountability go together and create tremendous trust in an organization. Good luck with this!

Author's Bio: 

Nicki Weiss is a professional sales trainer and the president of SalesWise a company that delivers powerful sales training programs, sales coaching for teams and managers, and sales teleforums. Sign-up for our free newsletter!