High Five – Lead, Sell or Get Out of the Way in The Cloud

From Bob GilesHigh Five from Handshake 2.0:

“Whether you sell a product, a service, or an idea, you must be able to influence other people as leaders do,” said Ron Karr in his introduction to Lead, Sell, or Get Out of the Way: The 7 Traits of Great Sellers.

Karr suggests selling outcomes rather than products or services.  This parallels systems thinking related to objectives. He stresses performance, the threesome of selling more, in less time, at a higher profit.

(I was struck by the similarity in emphases between Karr and Peter Fingar in Dot.Cloud: The 21st Century Business Platform Built on Cloud Computing.  Both focus on serving the client or customer.  I wrote about Dot.Cloud and cloud computing here.)

I tried studying the book as a way to teach, for I saw (before retirement as a professor) my role as selling an idea or, when feeling Skinnerian, selling a behavior. I’m convinced that the messages of the book would have made me a better teacher. It will make me a better lecturer. I'm finding it useful to consider Karr’s five beliefs of effective leaders and the seven traits of such leaders.

I liked these: “Leaders pose questions that lead them and their prospects toward a zone of shared opportunity, and as a result they find it easy to earn time, interest, and attention from other people.” (p.114), and "Leaders open conversations with a potential new ally by asking issues-based questions." (p.119)  And this as an example of an illustrative question, “Can you share some thoughts on how you plan to measure the success of this project?”

As an ecologist having worked with ideas about predictable change in natural systems, (ecological succession) I found well-grounded Karr's ideas on tables of likely consequences for improved decision-making.

From Karr's view, I can see my past teaching and selling mistakes and possibilities for change.  Although Karr's title is  Lead, Sell, or Get Out of the Way, he's optimistic, not very "get out of the way.” There are a lot of good ideas (and other things) to be sold.


Lead, Sell, or Get Out of the Way: The 7 Traits of Great Sellers was received by Handshake 2.0 as a review copy from Wiley.


Robert H. Giles, Jr. writes High Five for Handshake 2.0, a business news and Web 2.0 services enterprise of Handshake Media, Incorporated, a member company of business acceleration center VT KnowledgeWorks. 

The opinions Robert Giles expresses are solely his own and are not necessarily shared by Handshake 2.0 or its clients, sponsors or advertisers. 

Feel free to follow Robert H. Giles, Jr. on Twitter @Bob_Giles

Robert H. Giles, Jr. is a Virginia Tech Professor Emeritus with a vision for a rural land management system.  He writes two blogs, The Survivalists and Faunal Force

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