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TV Expert Interviews / Leadership / May 6, 2020 / Posted by Charlene Li / 2003

LeadingThrough Disruption (video)


Disruption happens all the time in the business world. Sometimes you want to be disruptive to improve your business or make important changes, and make plans and prepare for the disruption. Other times, like what’s happening in today’s COVID-19 world, there are external forces that cause disruptions that are not at all planned. Charlene Li explores how leaders can make the most of disruptions in this expert sales interview, hosted by John Golden.

This expert sales interview explores:

  • Key tips for leaders 
  • How to thrive in disruption 

Tips for Leaders:

There are several things that leaders can do to help their organization through a period of disruption. The first thing that disruption-equipped leaders do is to focus on their future customers. Everyone knows that it’s important to consider the customer’s need, and figure out how to meet those needs, but the customer you should be thinking of isn’t your current customer, it’s your future customers. Staying ahead of the game will help tremendously because you’ll already be prepared if an unplanned disruption strikes. Another good quality to adhere to is keeping an open change mindset. Some people see change as a challenge. Be the leader that says, “oh wow, a change, that is so cool, how do I move into that space and thrive in it?” Also, leaders who handle disruption are constantly asking themselves: how can we do things better? Doing these things will help leaders come out on the other side of a planned or unplanned disruption.

Thriving in Disruption:

Whether you’re being disrupted by an outside force, or creating the disruption yourself, the rules and end goal are basically the same: Take your organization from a place of status quo, to a place of exponential change. The disruption, planned or unplanned, is always hard, and many leaders and organizations run from the challenge. But, there are some leaders and organizations that thrive when their back is up against the wall. Instead of shrinking and saying, “this is too hard,” they jump into the challenge and look for solutions. These are the organizations that end up thriving when there’s a shakeup. The key is for the organization to find where the customer is, and where customer needs have shifted to. The fastest company to adapt to their customer’s needs are the ones who are going to thrive.

The Big Gulp Moment:

Resistance to change is futile. In fact, change is really the only constant in our lives, be it in our personal or professional lives. Especially when it comes to working, people try to control everything and keep things from undergoing too much change, but this only serves to complicate the inevitable process. Li coined the term “big gulp moment,” which is when a leader knows what they need to do, and does it, even if they’re not 100% sure of the outcome. They might only be 50% sure that there will be success, but it’s about taking a big gulp and hoping that things land. Fear-avoidance keeps your organization stagnant – or worse – creates decline. Take the sip, and make it happen.

Our Host

John is the Amazon bestselling author of Winning the Battle for Sales: Lessons on Closing Every Deal from the World’s Greatest Military Victories and Social Upheaval: How to Win at Social Selling. A globally acknowledged Sales & Marketing thought leader, speaker, and strategist, he has conducted over 1500 video interviews of thought leaders for Sales POP! online sales magazine & YouTube Channel and for audio podcast channels where Sales POP! is rated in the top 2% of most popular shows out of 3,320,580 podcasts globally, ranked by Listen Score. He is CSMO at Pipeliner CRM. In his spare time, John is an avid Martial Artist.

About Author

Charlene is a principal analyst at Altimeter, a Prophet company. As one of the foremost experts on business and technology, Charlene’s deep knowledge of leadership, strategy, interactive media and marketing makes her an indispensable ally in today’s rapidly evolving marketplace.


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