You’re the CEO. You’re probably not going to invent the next widget or come up with that innovation that changes everything (or if you do, you won’t be able to do it today).
What you can do today is sell.
Sell your people on a vision for the future.
Sell your team on optimism.
Sell your investors and your board on believing in where you’re going.
And yes, sell some more stuff.
It’s easy to get caught on defense. Easy to spend your time reacting to incoming alerts, getting angry about unfair cutbacks, putting out fires here and there. If you do that, you’ll keep doing it, because things just get worse… they usually do.
The alternative is to take a posture of growth. To realize that great small businesspeople are always selling something to someone. It’s a key part of being a leader and a critical component in running your company.
The sad fact is that most CEOs aren’t that good at selling. They haven’t invested enough time and effort in learning what works and what doesn’t. Instead, we delegate it to someone else, a hired gun, arguing that our job is to run the company, not to sell.
If you’re talking about typical sales calls to typical customers, I think I agree with that decision. That’s a grind, and it needs to scale. But who decides what the pitch is? Who sets the standard?
Great companies are often led by great salespeople. That’s because bosses that love to sell are able to tell a story, to communicate emotion, to listen and to project confidence. Your team wants to be sold by you… right now, today. And tomorrow as well. You may not like it, but you don’t like doing your taxes either.