Leadership Strategies for the “New Normal” with Patti Cotton

“Always be ready to serve people.”

— Ursula Mentjes (08:32-08:33)

During this pandemic, you probably have been wasting a lot of time worrying when, in fact, you could be out there selling and helping people. But if you take the step today to break all your limiting beliefs and make things happen, you'll realize that you have so much to offer to the world. In this week's episode, Ursula Mentjes welcomes Patti Cotton as her special guest to talk about leadership strategies for the new normal. 

Patti Cotton, founder, and CEO of Cotton Group, is a leader and strategist whose background includes more than 25 years of multi-cultural leadership experience around the globe in the worlds of diplomatic relations and corporate and non- profit arenas. Through her signature 360 ̊ Leadership brand, Patti works with key decision-makers and their executive teams to boost performance through developing exceptional leadership and aligning culture with strategic vision and direction.

Patti specializes in the following: talent development for emerging and experienced leadership; emotional intelligence skills for individuals and teams; high trust in teams; critical communications and conflict management; and culture alignment throughout the organization. She does this through providing consulting, 360° feedback for right fit and performance, executive leadership and group coaching, facilitation and training, and retreats.

Her clients call her at key transitional points such as anticipating business expansion; negotiating or realigning culture due to a merger or acquisition; effective management of a multi-generational, multi-cultural workforce; developing talent for succession planning; and onboarding new leadership. A partial client roster can be found on her website: www.PattiCotton.com.

Patti is a guest lecturer at universities for leadership and culture, and advanced coaching methodologies. She is an author and a Fortune 500 speaker, and is a contributor to the weekly business column, "Women, Money, and Mindset" for the Southern California News Group publications. She has been recognized by Inland Empire magazine as one of the most influential women in the region. She is a three-time recipient of The U.S. President's Lifetime Achievement Award for Volunteer Service.


Part One of ‘Leadership Strategies for the "New Normal" with Patti Cotton’


Every one of you has this amazing pizza in your hands. And it is up to all of us to be out there offering. If people say no, it's okay because there's going to be some people who not only take a piece but come back for more. And we have to be ready to serve those people. When you're fully committed to serving others, your energy is going to draw people who need you, and at the same time, remembering that it's not about you, it's whether or not they want the help.

“Your price should align with the level of your service.” — Ursula Mentjes (11:06-11:09)

In case you're wondering if you should be selling even during the height of the recession, the answer is absolutely yes. You have to open the window. The money can't get to you if you don't open the window. However, if your pricing isn't in alignment with you, you're sending out an energy that feels off. It's not about selling to somebody. It's about helping them and being recognized so that you can continue to help other people. 

Is there something that you're holding on to one of your gifts that if you get out there and offer, it will help somebody and change their life? If you could just put your stinking thinking aside, you'll find more opportunities to help and lead others where they're meant to go.

This belief that nobody has any money right now or you don't want to take away from people who've lost jobs or who genuinely feel like they're struggling. It's not true. Many people are taking this time to invest in themselves. They're buying a lot of things. And they're still selling because they're coming from that place of service. 

But until there's that financial exchange, you can't serve people. If it's not priced directly, then you're not serving them anyway because they're not going to be told there isn't enough skin in the game to make it worth their while to do so. Picture it like this. You're helping them to invest in a brighter future so that they can roll forward, survive, and lead to recovery.


Part Two of ‘Leadership Strategies for the "New Normal" with Patti Cotton’


What are the top two strategies Patti Cotton is using now to keep selling? 

  • Number one, if you've got a strategic plan of any kind, or some sort of a year plan, whatever that is out the window right now, it's all about what you can do in the immediate. What's your 30, 60, or 90-day plan? Now, that's not new. But think of it this way. Think of the newness being that you're setting a direction and not a destination. You don't know where we're going to wind up. 


  • Number two, if you wind up somewhere, it's going to shift again. So, think about setting a definite direction to help you. Maybe you pick a theme. Perhaps the theme is short term wins to fund the mortgage or maybe develop your thought leadership, but choose a theme and a direction and have a short-term plan. Because as you do this and you have things that you could do every day to work toward that, you're going to get there, and you're going to have a sense of control.


Here's the deal. Structure breeds predictability. Predictability lower stress. If you can help lower someone's stress, you're going to think not from the fight or flight part of your brain. You're going to come up here to the executive brain and do your best creative thinking, your reasoning, your analytical thinking, and your innovation. So, if you can get somewhere in the next 90 days, that helps you not only stay afloat but lead forward.

Your inner agility has to rise up to the occasion in ways it never has before. How agile are you with change? When we get back to the way things were or once this is all over, forget it. There is no once this is all over. There are iterations going forward. It's as though you are the captain of a ship, and the waves come in different ways and so forth. 

You're still heading toward that direction that you want to head toward. But you're going to have to roll with the waves. So, if you find that your language and your thinking reflect that you're just waiting until this is over, forget it. It's time for some action. No more time for paralysis. No more time for inaction. It's time to get going in. The way you're going to do that is with baby steps forward and use your plan.

“We need human connection right now.” —  Ursula Mentjes (23:01-23:03)

Right now, what we need is a human connection. Contact your current clients, your former clients, your potential clients, and come with a spirit of service and ask them, what do you need right now? Get the pulse on what they need. Put aside the "Oh, I have these products and services right here!" even if that doesn't fit. You still have your products and services, but what can you shift to be able to team up with them?

So many people get bombarded with emails and different offers. But sometimes, you just need to do such things without the intention of selling. Instead, do it with the purpose of helping. If you can do video calls, let them see you and look into their eyes. We need human connection right now. People are becoming very isolated, remote workers, even up to the President. They've figured out how to do the systems, but they haven't figured out how to get that connection. And you can be that for them. So, whenever possible, give them a call.

It is not the new normal that's going to happen, or that is evolving. It is the next normal. In other words, change is here to stay. Human beings love safety, and they love security, but you will need to become very comfortable with continuous change.

Our potential is limitless. We are being provided now with shifting landscapes that will allow us to grow our potential in ways that we could never have dreamed of before because people are going to have to adapt and shift. 

Gone are the days when you had to write five emails, and maybe one or three out of ten will respond. This is time to get deep and connective because that's the one constant that people will seek in a world of change.


How to Get Involved

Ursula Mentjes is the founder of Sales Coach Now, as well as a Sales Expert, Inspirational Speaker, Author and Certified Sales Coach who specializes in NLP to help her clients double and triple their sales. Sales Coach Now delivers a unique approach to sales training and coaching designed for ultimate retention and achievement. 

Discover how to transform limiting beliefs, make powerful shifts with intention, and authentically serve (sell) your clients with my free pdf, “6 Secrets to Doubling Your Sales! www.salescoachnow.com/gift 

Also, Ursula would love to partner with you at your next event, conference, or sales training session. If you’re interested in coming to Sales Camp, that’s her two-day live course then, you may find out more information here: https://www.salescoachnow.com/sales-camp/.

  • Monica Salmon says:

    Great to Listen to Patti. So true of hoe this is the new normal

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