Some say leaders are born. Others say they are trained. In the cybersecurity sales world (and perhaps everywhere else) I believe that experiences and circumstances in life urge the young, scrappy, and hungry (for learning and opportunities) – in fact, anybody – to take their shot. Of course, in the cybersecurity industry, there is no single path to be a leader. There are the different types of cybersecurity sales leaders we encounter, and – to celebrate the imminent reopening of Broadway – what better way to illustrate leadership than through the lens of a particular Broadway musical that’s all about an iconic leader? You guessed it, we’re talking about Hamilton: An American Musical.
First up on our list of cybersecurity sales leaders is the Autocrat. This CRO is very decisive and – for the most part – comes up with decisions alone. This is the type of leader who doesn’t bother to consider the team’s perspective. His word is the law and his subordinates are basically his sweet submissive subjects. Yep, you know it. It’s King George III. This type of leadership can be effective but could cause negative effects on the team, particularly if there are salespeople in the team who are used to being heard. Be careful with disagreeing with this leader. He might just send a fully armed battalion to remind you who’s the boss.
Next on our list is the Authoritarian. Now, this cybersecurity sales leader is just as confident and decisive as the Autocrat. She’s also pretty straightforward about her decisions. The difference between her and the Autocrat is that her type of leadership will find the time to explain her decisions and the impact of the actions the sales team is going to take. Now just because women weren’t generally considered leaders back in 1776 doesn’t mean Angelica Schuyler wasn’t one. And an Autoritarian like Angelica will still command respect and drive results in the – still – male-dominated world of cybersecurity sales. She’s the Beyonce of the Revolution. And being the oldest and the wittiest definitely handed her the authority over her sisters. She definitely knows what she’s looking for, and you’re just gonna have to listen to her declaration and work!
The third type of cybersecurity sales leader is the Pacesetter. This leader knows how to encourage and energize the sales team. Just do what he does…non stop. From asking Aaron Burr what he stands for, to his series of persuasive essays, his passionate arguments with George Washington to his rallying for a modern economy, Alexander Hamilton leads from the front in an unending drive for success. He knows how to give a rousing speech to encourage and energize his team, but let’s face it, he doesn’t always know when to stop fighting. This type of sales leadership can be effective, but too much of anything is – well – too much. Which can often make this type of leader quite exhausting and alienating to a cybersecurity sales team of mere mortals!
Our next leader is the Collaborator. He’s the type who promotes discussion, listens to his teammates, and takes the best ideas into consideration before making a decision. He likes to weigh all his options and see their pros and cons first, and then decides by choosing the best option. Safe to say, George Washington is this. He worked with only a third of what the congress promised him when he knew who to ask for help. He also didn’t shy away from making tough decisions – remember he sent Hamilton home because he also knew to listen to other people’s advice. Some of the best cybersecurity sales leaders achieve results in the most difficult circumstances because of their ability to listen to others, consider all angles and take decisive action.
The Coach is the cybersecurity sales leader who loves to encourage every individual contributor to further develop their talents in order to succeed. His type of leadership creates relationships with his colleagues and external stakeholders and likes to cultivate and develop these relationships so that he can turn to these people when he needs them. This is the type of leader who loves to share what he knows and passes them onto new possible leaders. This type of leader knows that history has its eyes on him. This title once again goes to George Washington.
Lastly is the Laissez-Faire cybersecurity security leader. This is someone who allows their sales team to do what they want however they want to do it. This type of leader trusts his salespeople enough to give them the freedom to make decisions on their own. This leadership could actually be pretty efficient when he is working with a well-developed team who knows their responsibilities and even better, their limits and boundaries. Betray that trust and you’re gonna be meeting your commander inside the office only to be sent home, like Alexander.
The Best Leader
There are many leadership styles and cybersecurity sales leaders being developed in workplaces around the world. These different styles of leadership will match different environments – and people. There isn’t any one style that is the “best” of “most efficient”. That’s because we also work with diverse groups of people. One specific style may work on one person, but might not on the other. This means that the best type of leader is someone who knows which style to pick and use depending on the situation. The best leader is the agile one. One who knows who to be when it’s needed.
So which one do you respond best to? Which one are you?