Sales Leadership & the Alec Baldwin Sales Monologue

At some time or another you’re bound to have viewed the Alec Baldwin sales monologue from the movie Glengarry Glen Ross.

Most people are introduced to it in sales meetings. It’s used to expose salespeople to the no holds barred sales shark attitude that every manager wishes his salespeople would have.

If your manager is showing you this, it’s not a good sign. More than likely, it indicates that your sales manager is not a sales leader.

In his podcast “Here’s the Thing…” Alec Baldwin comments on his disappointment with the popularity of the monologue with the salespeople he meets. He interprets the monologue as “corrosive” and designed to educate people on the “thuggishness” that can exist in the sales industry. Tune to his interview with Michael Douglas at the 5 minute mark.

I agree. Sales managers who show this are trying to convey the attitude they want their people to have. But in reality, the monologue isn’t about sales people, but sales management. The real lesson is in the dark and intimidating portrayal of sales management, as an effort to show managers how to be different.

Realistically, most sales managers could never cope with a salesperson displaying the level of arrogance and disregard for people that Baldwin exhibits. The cutthroat malevolence would overwhelm and poison almost any environment.

So, if you’re being shown this in a sales meeting it’s for one of a couple reasons:

  1. Your manager has no idea how to act as a mentor or motivator and is using this clip to do it.
  2. Your manager is afraid to be direct with people and is using the clip to scare you into action..

Each one of these reasons is very misguided and only serves to indicate that your manager is struggling to lead. Leadership inspires and mentors people to reach their potential and hit their targets.

Leadership is the core of successful team growth and the secret to getting results out of people.

If you’re a sales manager who has shown this clip to your sales people, ask yourself why.

It may be time to invest in your leadership skills.

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