Recently one thing keeps coming up in my conversations with sales and marketing leaders – how much coasters can drain a team of drive and energy, and the problems caused by those smug, comfortable people who have embedded themselves in a role and are just riding out their time there.


It’s a passive problem in many ways, but a huge one that undermines morale, communication and effective socializing and sharing of ideas. It’s an attitude that sees you creating great conversations and commissioning great collateral, only to find they’re not being used.


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This is hard work for sales and marketing leaders. Especially since you can’t fire people just for being bad at their job anymore.


I’ve met young, lazy guys who think they’re Jordan f**king Belfort because they got handed a decent account and made quota last quarter. I’ve met older, lazy guys who have been in the industry for 30 years and think that means there’s nothing left to learn – even while the world and the industry changes around them.


I don’t even know who to be angry with about it. Maybe the old guard for building organisations where a lot of luck and a little charm is sometimes enough. Maybe the half-arsed young guns that leadership hired mistaking bluster and bullshit for talent. Maybe Alan Sugar and his annual moron parade for making people think that an inflated ego, a cheap suit and a weapons-grade lack of ability are all you need to succeed in business.


What I do know is this: there are qualities that almost every sales and marketing team are lacking, and they are self-awareness and a willingness to learn.


And ignoring that is hurting results.


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– Tom @WSL