Appeal to Their Heads and Hearts

Appeal to Their Heads and Hearts

David Hennessy, the VP of Sales at Kite Pharma, delves into his transformative moment as a sales leader, stressing the significance of active listening and strategic questioning. He underscores the necessity for a well-defined and compelling strategy that is effectively communicated to the sales team. David also highlights the crucial balance between the strategy’s rational and emotional facets, resonating with intellect and emotion. Offering insights into execution and key success indicators, he emphasizes understanding the underlying purpose of the strategy. Throughout the conversation, David underscores the need for self-awareness and the flexibility to adapt leadership styles for diverse individuals.

“I don’t care what you’re selling. There is an emotional argument to be made for every single product sold.” – David Hennessy
The insights shared by David Hennessy have significant implications for sales leadership. Leaders can foster alignment, engagement, and motivation by understanding the “why” behind a strategy and effectively communicating it to the sales team. The role of self-awareness in leadership allows leaders to leverage their strengths and seek support in areas where they may be less inclined. A balanced approach that appeals to both the head and the heart ensures that strategies are executed effectively and resonate with a broader audience.

 

The interactive podbook below contains videos, audio, articles, summaries, transcripts, and YouTube shorts from this podcast episode.

Full Episode Article:

Title: “The Power of Strategy Execution: Insights from David Hennessy”

David Hennessy, VP of Sales at Kite Pharma with over 20 years of sales leadership experience, emphasizes transparent communication and a well-rounded approach to address logical and emotional requirements in successful sales leadership—including the underlying “why” behind the chosen strategy. He underscores the significance of self-awareness and adapting leadership styles to diverse individual needs.

Introduction: The Key Themes

In the Sales Leadership Awakening podcast, David Hennessy shares his experiences and insights on strategy execution and effective leadership. Three key themes emerge from the conversation: the importance of understanding the “why” behind a strategy, the role of self-awareness in leadership, and the need for a balanced approach that appeals to both the head and the heart. Let’s explore each theme in detail.

Theme 1: Understanding the “Why” Behind a Strategy

David emphasizes the significance of clearly communicating the rationale behind a strategy to the sales team. He believes a strategy without a strong “why” will fail. He states:

“In many cases, the people creating the strategy don’t necessarily… spend enough time on the why behind it. If the sales team knows what the strategy is based upon and why it’s important, they will get behind it.” – 

David highlights the need for a robust understanding of the rationale behind a strategy, both from a rational and emotional perspective. He suggests that a strategy should appeal to both the head and the heart:

“Every why should have two components. One is the head, which is your rational thinking about it. The other one is the heart. In my industry, we’re offering hope to a lot of patients. If you can’t get excited about that, and that’s not your reason, you’re in the wrong business.”

Theme 2: The Role of Self-Awareness in Leadership

David emphasizes the importance of self-awareness in leadership. He acknowledges that individuals have different natural inclinations, whether they are more data-driven or emotionally oriented. He encourages leaders to be aware of their tendencies and find ways to balance them:

“I’m wired for the heart. I know that. So I spend extra time on the head. I have to make myself do it… It’s not that I can’t do the work. If I have 15 minutes, I will spend 12 on the heart stuff. So I can make myself do the stuff that doesn’t come naturally to me.”

David suggests leaders should balance their natural inclinations by partnering with others who can complement their strengths. He also emphasizes the importance of appealing to both the head and the heart to engage a broader audience:

“Our job as leaders is to know who we are and understand who we are and where we’re leading from. And then from there, either balance it out with somebody else who could help you balance it out or find a way to balance it yourself.”

Theme 3: A Balanced Approach: Appealing to Both the Head and the Heart

David believes that a balanced approach, appealing to both the head and the heart, is crucial for effective strategy execution. He emphasizes the need for a clear and concise strategy that can be easily understood and communicated:

“If you can’t put your strategy on a single piece of paper with your basic positioning, your who, what, where, and how, and the why, then it is overly complicated. It is at risk for being executed poorly.”

David suggests that a one-page strategy document encompassing the key elements of the strategy can help ensure clarity and alignment within the sales team. He also emphasizes the importance of regular communication and reinforcement of the strategy:

“I always ask for the one-pagers from my marketing team… This is what it’s supposed to look like… Is it this way every day? Of course not, but this is what you should strive for.”

Implications

The insights shared by David Hennessy have significant implications for sales leadership. Leaders can foster alignment, engagement, and motivation by understanding the “why” behind a strategy and effectively communicating it to the sales team. The role of self-awareness in leadership allows leaders to leverage their strengths and seek support in areas where they may be less inclined. A balanced approach that appeals to both the head and the heart ensures that strategies are executed effectively and resonate with a broader audience.

Leaders can create a more inclusive and engaging environment by embracing self-awareness and balancing their natural inclinations. A balanced approach that appeals to both the head and the heart can lead to increased buy-in, improved performance, and greater success for sales organizations.

 

 

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