I was a wimp for three years. I was a coach for twelve more after that. Add it up and I spent fifteen years in sales leadership at a Fortune 50 company. Not surprisingly, my success as a leader came in those final twelve years. I realized, with the help of the people I was leading, that they wanted candor not coddling. Continue Reading…
“I will do everything I can to help you be as successful as you want to be…right up to the point I realize I am working harder at it than your are.”
I developed this point of view as a result of hanging on to employees for too long. I believe everyone I work with deserves my best. But at times, my desire to help them goes way beyond their desire to improve.
I always use three checkpoints before I make the final decision to fire someone. If these three criteria are met, it is best for everyone – my company, my team, the individual and myself – to fire them. Continue Reading…
It had been 12 months since I hired Tracy. During the interview process she wowed me with her passion and drive to succeed. I wasn’t just moderately hopeful for her. I thought she would be doing my job some day!
But 12 months later, that person was nowhere to be found. Tracy turned out to be very average – average work ethic, average skills, and average results. She did her job and that was about it. I rarely saw the passion and drive that made me hire her. Continue Reading…
A lot of people do not like performance reviews. Many times it is the anticipation of bad news that can cause anxiety in the individual. The fear of the unknown can overwhelm people.
That’s the problem. Nothing that is discussed in a performance review should be unknown.
That is why they are called performance reviews – NOT performance reveals! Continue Reading…
“I want to do your job someday Dave. Will you show me how to get there?” I loved the ambition and drive Dorothy showed with that statement. But like others before her, she had no clue what the most critical thing she needed to accomplish was before she became promotable.
I had just offered her an advanced position that was one level below management. She wanted to know about her next promotion. I asked her what steps she thought would make her a great candidate for the next level. Her answers were typical, and they were misguided. Continue Reading…
Should someone continue to pay me for doing part of my job? I have encountered people who think that doing a good job in parts of their work is enough to expect continued employment and in some cases promotions.
Here are some examples:
- A nurse who is strong clinically, but consistently fails to correctly document things in patient charts.
- A salesperson who knows his products and competitor products inside and out, but creates very few strong client relationships.
- A middle manager who always gets reports in on time, but does not coach or develop individuals on her team.
“He’s doing the job. In fact, he is meeting every performance goal we have for him. But….” It’s what comes after the “But” that can drive leaders crazy and cause sleepless nights.
Unfortunately, many leaders will put up with what comes after the “But” because the performance metrics are being met. It is a tough call for a leader to fire a high performer. It takes conviction and courage to make this decision. But, it is necessary. Continue Reading…
5 years experience. 10 years experience. 20 years experience. Which one is better? There are many times when no experience may be better than 20 years.
An employee with 20 years of tenure can help or hurt a team. That’s why I hate the idea that tenure alone is used in making employment decisions. Tenure means little without growth!
Tenure + Growth = Experience!
In my fifteen years of leading sales people I rejoiced with my new hires when they had a great first year. But, experience also taught me that early success could be the worst thing for some people.
Success in sales or in any aspect of business is often determined by a person’s response to failure. Those people who experience early failure and adapt, often turn out to have the best careers. Continue Reading…
My un-resume is my list of screw-ups. They are things I am not proud of.
Periodically I share my un-resume with the world. Most people who speak and consult on leadership are sure to present their successes to their clients. I’m doing something different.
Yes, I’ve had success through the years and received awards and recognition as a result. But rarely did my successes teach me as much as my failures. Rest assured, I’ve had plenty of opportunity to learn!