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Examine Leadership to Drive Change During Crisis

Quartz Editorial Team

Quartz Editorial Team

Sales Leadership in Crisis - Pathways for Driving Deep Change

Winston Churchill famously said “never let a good crisis go to waste.” 

While 70% of large, publicly traded companies did not survive the last three recessions — 9% emerged with stronger sales, profits, and growth.

In a recent Quartz Network presentation, Matt Marino, VP of Sales at Global Payments, examines the crisis sales leaders face in down markets and shares ways to drive deep change within an organization. 

Examining Leadership

Crisis is a great time to hit the reset button and find new and creative ways to collaborate internally. Rather than blame external factors like market conditions or competition, it’s a good time to examine leadership dysfunctions. 

“Adversity reveals and accelerates these hidden weaknesses within a firm,” Marino said.

Meanwhile, long-term success often creates inertia—a major pitfall faced by companies suddenly faced with a major challenge. 

Just because things worked last year or last quarter does not mean it will make you successful today. Arrogance and close mindedness is an absolute killer.

Matt Marino, VP of Sales at Global Payments

Initiating Change

It’s hard to instigate change after coasting through decades of success. But a company can never know their future potential without experimenting and innovating.

Marino highlights three types of inertia in his presentation:

  1. Strategic inertia – historical success that leads to pride and arrogance with a focus on existing capabilities and customers
  2. Organizational inertia – us vs them mentality from long standing teams riddled with politics
  3. Cultural inertia – unwillingness to explore new approaches after spending decades in the same role

Marino suggests that leaders stop blaming the market or circumstances. Instead, he recommends they manage their response and reimagine their mindset.

“Our responsibility, as sales leaders, should be building this mindset of playing to win, and really raising the standards of all of those around us,” he said.


Watch the presentation, Sales Leadership in Crisis: Pathways for Driving Deep Change, for inspiration on ways to lead with courage and engage with your clients and team in a new and improved way that creates positive change.