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When I interview salespeople, I often ask about their desired management styles.

The response I hear most frequently?

“I want to be treated as if I were running my own business.”

On the surface, this might be music to an executive team’s ears. The truth of the matter is that it is cause for alarm.

When salespeople say they want to be treated as business operators, their perceptions of running a business are not aligned with reality. They are saying they want complete autonomy to do whatever they want to do, whenever they want to do it. Of course, that’s not how successful businesses operate.

Anyone who has ever operated a business knows that running a company does not include the right to follow the path of the wind. If you operate a publicly-traded company, you have responsibility to the chairman, the board of directors, and the shareholders. If you run a privately-held company, you have accountability to the bank or partners. In both instances, you also have a responsibility to the employees. Thus, laissez-faire management and running a successful business don’t go hand-in-hand.

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Lee B. Salz is a leading sales management strategist specializing in helping companies build scalable, high-performance sales organizations through hiring the right salespeople, effectively onboarding them, and aligning their sales activities with business objectives through process, metrics and compensation. He is the Founder and CEO of Sales Architects, Business Expert Webinars and The Revenue Accelerator. Lee has authored several books including award-winning,  best-seller “Hire Right, Higher Profits.” He is a results-driven sales management consultant and a passionate, dynamic speaker . Lee can be reached at lsalz@SalesArchitects.net or 763.416.4321.