Launching New Leaders

I’ve been working with a couple clients considering internal candidates for first-time leadership roles.  This process is always tricky.  We can assess the person’s leadership style, aptitudes and motivations, but there are many more aspects to leadership than just these components. This LinkedIn post provides 6 mistakes rookie leaders often make.  The article is on point and you will quickly notice that the mistakes are polar opposites.  Often, a weakness is a strength taken too far.  That being true, a couple mistakes from the article jumped out at me: 2. Too hands off What a lot of people fail to realize is that with every promotion comes more work not… Read More

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1 Minute On The Internet

This information is difficult to comprehend.  These are the activities that happen in 1 minute on the Internet in 2019.  I don’t know how this information is calculated, the numbers are staggering.

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The Shrinking Attention Span vs. Relationship Sales

Here is a problem I have seen developing in sales over the past 10 years – shorter attention spans in salespeople having to deal with longer sales cycles. First, some background from a quick American Management Association: Whenever I teach students, I tell them, “Your chance of being successful has gone up exponentially because all you’ve got to do now is actually try to pay attention for more than five minutes.” Ok, that is disconcerting.  You can see where this is going.  The integration of the Internet into our lives has provided prospects with a unique ability to research your company, and more importantly, your solutions.  We often talk about… Read More

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Interviewed By A Robot

You’ve probably used the term “robot” to describe some of the people you have worked with or, in my case, some of the hiring managers with whom I interviewed over the years. But I’m not talking metaphorically now.  This BBC news article introduces (is that the right word?) us to Tengai, the job interview robot. Here is Tengai: If Tengai is here, surely our robot overlords are not far off in the future.  Can you imagine interacting with that robot on a serious job interview?  The European company that has created Tengai explains their thoughts on the robot’s interactions: The firm has spent the past four years building a human-like… Read More

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Email Etiquette – The Sign-Off

This Entrepreneur article hits on topic you may have overlooked.  What sign-off do you use for your emails?  Did you know there are different levels of etiquette?  Not kidding, there are certain formalities to consider. An example: The salutation: “Best” Bates: “Best” is colloquial, but fine for someone you know. “Best wishes” or “Best regards” would be better for business. Kerr: This is another acceptable sign-off, especially if you’re using it with someone you know really well. That is my preferred sign-off, but I am currently rethinking it.  Here is the one I really dislike: The salutation: “Ciao” Bates: This isn’t for business, except for fashion, art or real Italians. Kerr: “Ciao” should only be used… Read More

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Emotional Intelligence Of Leaders

What are the keys to EQ?  This post from TTI provides great insight into the entire topic.  A couple traits to consider: 1. Possess self-awareness Before someone can be effective interacting with others, they need to have a conscious knowledge of their own character, feelings, motives, and desires. The “feelings” part of this equation is very important. When those feelings are not positive, having the ability to control emotions is paramount to managing interactions successfully. When a person is self-aware and able to employ self-regulation under stress, they tend to have more successful outcomes (and less regret). Personally, I believe all EQ flows out of self-awareness; without it, the person is unable to… Read More

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The Stressful Interview = Real World Sales

The BBC provides a look into a “stress interview” which is an interview approach that places an inordinate amount of stress on the candidate.  The goal is to learn how the candidate handles the pressure in an unexpected environment.  This approach should sound like a sales call.  It does to us and that is why we use some of these techniques in our structured interview process. From the BBC article(emphasis mine): “There are certainly different kinds of stress associated with many positions – achieving results, meeting deadlines, dealing with difficult clients, for example,” says Neal Hartman, senior lecturer in managerial communication at MIT. “The stress interview can create conditions to… Read More

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How To Fix Employee Conflicts

If you have been in leadership for any length of time, you have had to deal with employee conflicts amongst your team.  Some of the issues are trivial, others substantial, but what do you do to fix these problems?  The source of most conflict in the workplace flows from one specific area – Motivations. We assess motivations as part of our tools in helping companies hire and evaluate talent.  Motivations are an interesting aspect of our psyches.  They are deeply seated and have the power to drive behaviors, decision-making, and more.  The difficulty of motivations is that they are difficult to determine from simply interacting with someone.  Maybe if you… Read More

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How To Pace Your Coworkers

The DISC assessment provides volumes of invaluable information for dealing with others.  One key aspect is understanding the pace of others as it can create tension in any office…or sales situation. There are certain aspects to pace that are specific to individuals including whether they focus on people or tasks first.  Are they detailed or rapid fire?  What drives the pace they prefer? TTI provides a terrific description of how the differences in styles presents a difference in pace.  A few, quick takeaways: The D of DISC is called Dominance. A person possessing this behavioral style will tend to be fast paced a majority of the time. Direct in their communication,… Read More

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Creeping Mediocrity In Your Hiring Process

Past behaviors are the best indicator of future success. This point is crucial when hiring salespeople for your team.  The difficulty lies in deducing if the candidate has the right set of skills to be successful in your specific sale. Here’s the ugly truth – “bad” salespeople can still have good interpersonal skills…skills good enough to get past your hiring process. Every sales leader, and I mean every, has a sales hiring horror story.  The sales leader thought they were hiring a superstar and they ended up with a dud.  These fantastic flame-outs are memorable and disappointing for sure.  But there is a more odious error that eats away at… Read More

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