I mentioned a certain manager last week in a post and his desire to be an “observational manager” of a new sales hire instead of a hands-on manager.  The problem is compounding itself this week as he contemplates firing the salesperson who started 1 week ago today.

These are the headaches we have to deal with in the sales hiring arena.  The new salesperson has already had one face-to-face meeting with a small prospect he located and is on the trail of 5 other companies…IN THE FIRST WEEK.  He has even accomplished this using his own computer, cell phone and resources.  He has also been afforded only 1 or 2 phone calls from the manager during this week.  That’s it.  The manager is too busy with a new operations hire while the salesperson is home office-based in another state.

So my analogy for this entire fiasco is this – The salesperson is the player on the football field attempting to score touchdowns to win the game.

The sales manager is supposed to be the coach on the sidelines calling the plays and providing the game plan that leads to victory.  He provides guidance, but he is not actually on the field executing the plays.

However, in this instance, the sales manager is acting like a sports writer sitting in the press box watching the football game down on the field.  He is critiquing the player on the field while offering nothing to assist him, like coaching.  His critique is harsh, anecdotal and detached.

Could there be a worse position than this?

The real issue here is that the manager has not taken ownership of his hire.  I have to confess, this is a first for me.  I have never seen a manager make a hiring decision and then purposely undermine it by staying detached from their managerial responsibilities.

Truth is always stranger than fiction.

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