This may sound elementary and even absurdly obvious, but if you have any access to the daily news these days – you have to admit that failing to accept responsibility of one’s actions seems to be becoming an epidemic. “Don’t blame me. You don’t know the pressure I’m under.”
Here is the bare truth, the uncomfortable facts. If you don’t make something happen, chances are nobody will. You must make it your business to grow your business. Not assuming responsibility for what happens in your career, week, day or next sales call is a huge error in judgment.
The outcome of your sales career is entirely up to you. That is one of the beautiful things about sales. Your hands are on the controls. Your future, for the most part, lies entirely within your power. You set the pace. You plan your day. You make the calls. You take the credit. You take the hits.
Take responsibility for your success… and for your failures. No excuses. Which reminds me of an interview I once saw on ABC’s Wide World of Sports. At the Nagano Winter Olympics the reigning downhill skiing superstar, Alberto Tomba was expected to win the Gold. His style was to pull out all the stops and “go as fast as humanly possible.” (He was fun to watch and a real flamboyant draw for the sport.
But at Nagano, in full spotlight, he didn’t win the Gold Medal. Nor did he win any medal. He didn’t even make it down the mountain before skiing smack dab into a snow fence.
When asked by a commentator what happened, the interview was short, sweet and to the point — no excuses. Tomba looked straight into the camera and without pause responded with just two words. “I fell.” (No finger pointing or blame pointed toward ruts, snow condition or star alignment. Just two words: “I fell.”
Alberta Tomba did not win the Gold that day but I remember his reply and not the name of the guy who had the fastest time down the hill that day.