Predictable Success

“To be outmaneuvered? Yes. To be surprised? Never.”
– Napoleon

Napoleon despised surprises. And so should you.

I’d put it this way: Neither success nor failure should come as a surprise.

I like Napoleon’s statement, though. It encourages preparation, which is important no matter your role.

I’ll suggest that surprises really should have no place in business at all.

But, surprises happen all of the time, you say?

  • You unexpectedly lose a big deal
  • An employee suddenly quits
  • A last-minute project catches everyone off guard

None of these should have been surprises. Regardless of what you’re working on or where you fall within your organization’s structure, you have a responsibility to predict success (and, unfortunately, failure).

  • In sales, you’re tasked with tuning into your prospects’ and clients’ expectations.
  • In sales management, you’re charged with understanding the expectations of your team.
  • In sales leadership, you’re responsible for making sense of the needs and wants of the entire sales organization.

The success or failure of your entire organization is dependent on accurate predictions as they relate to things like:

  • Forecasting
  • Funnel Management
  • Developmental Needs
  • Sales Training Requirements
  • Territory changes
  • Compensation adjustments
  • Budget building

Neither success nor failure should come as a surprise.


Jeb Brooks

About Jeb Brooks

Jeb Brooks is President & CEO of the The Brooks Group, one of the world’s Top Ten Sales Training Firms as ranked by Selling Power Magazine. He is a sought-after commentator on topics related to sales, sales management, and adult learning, having appeared in the Wall Street Journal, Money, Fortune, and CNN. Jeb is the author of four books and numerous articles.


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  1. Rusty Bishop says:

    Good thoughts Jeb. Its interesting how history repeats itself, but we never seem to learn. Anticipating where plans may fall apart is something that we often miss and should add to our planning sessions.

  2. Jeb Brooks
    Jeb Brooks says: (Author)

    Thanks for commenting, Rusty. I agree that history is our greatest teacher…if we’ll listen to it…

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