Good Account Management Starts With Leadership

Good Account Management Starts With Leadership

Leadership makes good account management.

What makes you a good Account Manager?  In fact, what would make you the absolute best Account Manager on the planet? What sets you apart from everyone else?  Have you ever thought about it?

First, let me tell you what doesn’t.  It’s not because you’re on top of your emails and you respond to voicemails.  It’s not because you’re Mrs Fixit and sort out the problems no-one else wants to touch.  And it’s not because your colleagues and clients like you.  Sure those are admirable qualities, but let’s face it, you, me and millions of other Account Managers can all claim the same thing.

 

Leadership is the ability to inspire others to perform and engage in achieving a goal.

What will make you stand out from the crowd and become known for good account management?  The answer is leadership.  It doesn’t matter whether it’s in your title.  It doesn’t matter that you have no-one reporting to you.  It’s all about mindset.  I spent a lot of years ticking boxes.  I thought it was leadership but when I look back it turns out it was just being good at my job.  Not the same thing.

So, I really encourage you to kick it up a notch and think about how you can transform yourself from an Account Manager to an Account Leader.  Keep me posted on your journey and feel free to reach out to me if you have any questions.

 
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Account Leaders create a vision.

Account Leaders inspire their clients with an imaginative and creative plan for the future that maximises the benefits of their partnership with you.  They are intentional and clear about their actions and communicate them with passion.

Leadership is establishing a clear vision, sharing that vision with your clients and provide the information and know-how to turn it into reality.  Check out my article on getting started with strategic planning for more.

 

Account Leaders take risks.  

You can’t make an omelette without cracking a few eggs, right?  Account Leaders aren’t afraid to take risks in order to achieve their goals.  They do not fear failure or play it safe.  They see issues and problems as opportunities, not frustrations. What can you do differently today that challenges the traditional way your clients are managed or supported?

 

Account Leaders learn new skills. 

Tom Corley in his book Change Your Habits, Change Your Life: Strategies that Transformed 177 Average People into Self-Made Millionaires, surveyed wealthy entrepreneurs and discovered 88 percent devoted 30 minutes or more to education or self-improvement each day through reading.  They also spent 15 to 30 minutes each day on focused thinking – reflecting on their careers and making time to process what’s going on in their lives.  Be that person and learn new skills.

 

 

Account Leaders embrace change.

Account Leaders challenge their clients and support and encourage them to make brave decisions.  They inspire their clients and their colleagues to think differently and to strive for transformation.  They believe strategy should be disruptive and are always looking for better ways forward.   It also means balancing conflicting interests, stepping up when there’s a crisis and being able to think on your feet in difficult situations.

 

Account Leaders are unique.

As Oscar Wilde famously said, “be yourself, everyone else is already taken”. Account Leaders embrace their personal brands and actively differentiate themselves.  They are authentic and lead by example.  Their style is their own and they strive to be the best versions of themselves they can.  They are fully aware of their strengths and actively confront their weaknesses.  Be yourself.

 

A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way.John Maxwell

 

20 Leadership Tips For Good Account Management

  1. Be a team player.
  2. Have relationship building skills.
  3. Be enthusiastic and passionate.
  4. Be goal orientated and driven by accomplishment.
  5. Be open and honest.
  6. Think creatively.
  7. Be fair.
  8. Be well organised and know when to delegate. 
  9. Know how to resolve conflict and be empathetic to others.
  10. Take risks.
  11. Work well under pressure.
  12. Be alert to new opportunities.
  13. Be a good communicator.
  14. Have a strong work ethic and be tenacious.
  15. Inspire others and lead by example.
  16. Be competent.
  17. Know what questions to ask and how to find the answers.
  18. Be decisive and make good decisions.
  19. Share the spotlight.  Give credit where it’s due.
  20. Be accountable.

 

Resources:

How to Grow Your Personal Brand Online

Comprehensive guide by marketing wizard, Neil Patel, on getting started with personal branding

The Business of Thought Leadership Podcast

A fantastic podcast that shows you how to make a difference by tapping into your expertise to become well known and highly regarded in your niche.

 

 

 

What do you think makes good account management?  Is Leadership a skill that can be learned?  Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.

 

Free Career Development Plan

While we’re on the subject of leadership, check out Career Quest – the free account management career development action plan that reveals 8 essential skills every account manager needs and a 25 point action plan to master them:  

– Leadership
– Teamwork
– Positivity
– Communication
– Numeracy
– Problem solving
– Commercial awareness
– Computer literacy

Download your free career development plan now

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Warwick Brown

Warwick Brown has been an Account Manager for more than 15 years, looking after some of the world's most prestigious firms, including Merck & Co, Deutsche Bank, McKinsey & Company and Vodafone.As a leader, he has recruited and coached teams in Australia and the United Kingdom with a strong focus on career development.
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Leadership makes good account management.  These 25 tips will transform you into an Account Leader.  Use your power wisely.


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