Achieving Business Excellence with John Spence

Stop Selling & Start Leading

In this video, I will tell you about a great new sales book that I found very helpful, and I am going to ask you for some feedback and advice.

I hope you take a moment to share your ideas with me…


  1. Jeremy Matthews says:

    When should a supervisor be responsible to leadership for negative actions (personal, professional, ethical) by a subordinate? And when shouldn’t they be responsible?

    • The first, and easiest answer, is if they violate the values of the organization. That should be deal with immediately, if provable, by termination.

      I have put a link here to my video on the “four pieces of paper” which outlines exactly how to step in when there is a performance issue.

      From a personal/professional/ethical standpoint – it’s a bit more challenging. Here are a few questions I would ask myself before I stepped in: Does this person clearly understand the sort behavior that is expected of them? Are there other people who have seen this negative behavior? Have those people complained about the negative behavior? Has someone, or several people, had a conversation with his employee about their negative behavior? Is there legal exposure because of this negative behavior? Are you about to lose customers or suffer quality issues if this negative behavior is not addressed? Is this an important employee, is it worth the effort to attempt to change their behavior? Does this person understand the ramifications of not changing their behavior? Are you the appropriate person to step in and deal with the negative behavior? If not, who is, and why are they not taking action? What will be the impact to the organization if no one address the negative behavior?

      These are just a few questions to get you thinking, I would go through this list, and then likely the decision will be easy about when/if it is appropriate to take any action. Please let me know if you have any other questions – I hope this helped – John

  2. CHUCK says:

    Culture video

    • Working on that right now – has been the most requested speech/workshop so far this year. I created an entirely new program for my classes at Wharton this year and that has driven a lot more requests for help. This is definitely at the top of my list.

  3. Hi John,
    Topic idea #1. I love all your stuff but…I own and run a small business and I am NOT a salesman! I hate “selling”. My career has been as an IT Solution Architect so “selling” is an alien concept. Help!
    Topic idea #2. Social Media: fog of busyness and noise or genuinely useful to your bottom line? (BTW I hate social media!)
    Looking forward to your videos.
    Yours Rachel.

    • Rachel, I hate to tell you this but if you own your own business you’re going to have to do some level of sales. Most people hate sales, and that is completely understandable because it has a pretty bad reputation, but the truth is once you start looking at sales not is something to push on people, but instead an opportunity to serve them, help them, support them and fix a problem they have – it becomes a lot more fun.

      I have a program on consultative sales I put together several years ago, but I am reshooting it to update it and add new information. Thank you so much for your suggestion.

      PS – if you send me an email I’ll be happy to send you a link to the old program – for free –

  4. Michael R Tallet says:

    Number one issue for me is employee retention. With the tight job market right now it seems as if everyone is looking to “jump ship.” I know in the past you have mentioned that a challenging project that leads to employee growth is one facet of employee retention. Any other ideas would be beneficial for me. Thanks for all you do and keep up your great, inspirational work.

  5. Judd Hoekstra says:

    Hi John, I’d love your perspective on how to create a culture of innovation where ideas come from anywhere in the organization rather than from a chosen few at the top.

    I’d also be curious to hear your perspective on the relationship between change management and innovation.


    • Judd, what a pleasure it is to see your name here, I’m honored that you read my blog. I’ve been spending a lot of time recently focusing on both culture and innovation so I will be sure to spend some time thinking about this carefully and included this topic as one of the videos in the series. Thank you so much for your feedback – John

  6. Thanks for the book recommendation, John. I always love hearing what advice you have to help the sales process along. Specifically, items of value to be offered after the original meeting.

  7. Brian Tasker says:

    John, I would appreciate you focussing upon how our worldview affects our leadership and the way we manage our staff.

    Regards and thanks, Brian.

    • Brian, this is a topic that I recently created a class on for my program at the Wharton School of Business. It revolves around understanding your “philosophy of business.” How does your worldview and past experience and impact the way you think about leadership, management and the fundamentals of running a company? This topic has been very well received, and I will be sure to add it to the video series. Thank you very much Brian – – John

  8. Hi John, I work for a company who’s owner is a micro manager and spends most of his time in the weeds. What are some ways to get him to see the bigger picture – around 30,000′ and understand that he needs to trust his employees more.

    Love your work – thanks,



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