I worked with a super-fantastic guy once. He was a senior manager that I thought could always run the company. He talked about these 5 words with respect to a leadership team. I wrote them down immediately and have always remembered them.
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I had not read this in a long time and enjoyed a few laughs last night enjoying some old work memories. Hope you like it too!
As I was driving to a sales call yesterday, my thoughts suddenly turned to some of the funniest moments during my career! There has certainly been a lot of hard work along the way, but thankfully many laughs too. Here is a short list of some of the best moments.
#1 “Hey look, it’s Captain High Liner!” – I pulled up to an elite golf course in the Rocky Mountains on a very rainy day. As I approached the pro shop with my yellow rain suit on (including suspenders) one of my co-workers yelled the above mentioned quote in front of many strangers.
#2 I pulled up to the valet parking area in my work van at a 5 star hotel in Calgary. I had just come back from setting up for a trade show, so I looked very casual, messy and tired. I hastily grabbed my suitcase and was going to take it with in to the lobby. Unfortunately I had opened the zipper on my suitcase earlier, and I spilled all of its contents on to the ground!
#3 “She had one of those stay-away-from-me-papers” – A manufacturing plant worker describes a scenario where a woman had a restraining order against him.
#4 “Hey boss, why did you fax me a copy of the weekly sales report and write SWEET month on it?” Well (he laughs), I actually wrote 5-WEEK month on it, but the way you are selling, it is a SWEET month too!”
#5 Manager to sales rep (after hitting a deer on the highway), “Why did you not slow down when you saw that deer on the road?”
Sales Rep to Manager, “I thought it was going to move.”
#6 “If you hit that intercom button one more time, I am going to call the cops” – A customer’s response to the third time I hit the intercom button at their gated house in Australia. This was the one and only time I pushed too hard trying to get in somebody’s door to discuss the encyclopedia program I was selling.
#7 Back in the day, a co-worker was out a little late one night during a trade show on the road and had a few too many refreshments. When his “wake up call” came, he picked up the phone, quickly hung up and struggled to the shower. One problem.. it was the middle of the night, and the phone call was their mother-in-law saying his wife had gone in to labour late that night and had the baby.
#8 I had a “communication breakdown” with two experienced reps that I called “My Two Dads” about picking them up for a trade show. I called their hotel room a couple of times – no answer. They were not down in the lobby either. So I left them at the hotel. I can still vividly recall one of them glaring at me intensely as the President of the Company commented on their tardiness!
Wow! I could probably have Part 2 & 3 of this later. That’s all for today. Have a great weekend everyone!
These words were once spoken to me by an executive manager, who became a friend I respect greatly to this day:
I will never forget where the conversation occurred, and how it affected me going forward. They were “stamped” in his memory, and the commentary came straight from the heart:
An organization and specifically a sales team “achieving” these five words can mean great things are currently happening or are coming soon. On the flip side, if any or all or these words are “breached” by team members, well let’s just say things may not go as planned!
I have tried to write something very insightful utilizing these five words for at least four years now, but always have trouble.
I will leave it open to your interpretation.
What do these five words mean to you?
I just know that I get to a very good place in short order when I see those five words all in a row!
Carol Blair recently spoke at a Toastmasters Leadership Institute event that I attended.
She outlined 5 FANTASTIC leadership goals:
- Pursue purpose with passion
- Practice solid values
- Lead with your heart
- Establish lasting relationships
- Demonstrate self-discipline
- What do you think of this list?
- Would you add anything to it?
If you are an up and coming leader, this is a great list to focus on. If you are a well established leader, hopefully this helps take your “leading-abilities” to the next level.
You can find Carol at:
This is VERY true!
Have a fantastic weekend.
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My first job out of university was with Enterprise-Rent-A-Car. It was high paced, non-stop action role that keeps me running all day. Most days I did not believe that we could take care of all the customers, but we did. Things just always worked out.
Part of our jobs was washing cars. On the surface anyone should be able to wash a car. But in that business, the key was to wash it quickly, but still make things spotless.
I worked for several Branch Managers and Assistant Managers during my 2+ years with the company, and they were each different. They got similar exceptional results, but the way they each lead and managed was unique.
But there was one commonality. They would never hesitate to jump into the car wash and clean a vehicle at a moment’s notice. I was once told that you just “tuck your tie in to your shirt so it does not get wet, or sucked up in to the vacuum“, and just GET IT DONE.
They would also do many other tasks that were not on their job description like pick up customers, and start cars when it was colder than -30 degrees celsius!
These people stood out for me as true leaders. It would have been easy for them to sit in their offices, shuffle paperwork and pretend that they were doing more important things then help customers be completely satisfied with their rental experience, but that was not in their DNA. They were there to help, no matter how crummy the tasks were, all in the name of “just being one of the team”.
Even though it was over 15 years ago that I washed my last car at Enterprise, I still think back fondly of the lessons learned – and there were many of them.
But the best lessons learned taught a shy, stuttering young kid how to be a leader. How to never put myself ahead of the team, and how to never put myself on a pedestal too high, that I could not help out people who really needed me.
- Who were the best leaders that you have worked for?
- What made them a cut above the rest?
I never thought being an assistant coach for my son’s six-year-old hockey team would be easy, but there is more to it then I thought!
I have learned many leadership lessons from the experience, and here are my favourites:
- Patience – Many of these kids still sleep with teddy bears. They are very young and their development takes time
- Encouragement – “High-Fives, pats on the back, and a “great job” goes a long way for their confidence
- Focus On The Positive – We tend to focus on what is being done wrong, that we sometimes forget to reward what is being done right
- “Sandwich Method” – Put a suggestion for an area of improvement between two positive comments
- SMILE – Then laugh with them, and make them feel comfortable. It is truly about having fun, developing skills, and learning what it means to be part of a team
As I was writing this, I realized many of these points can be related to managing in the corporate world, or business in general. At least, I thought I could inspire other coaches who may need some new perspective!
If kids are not inspired by their coaches, there are many other activities that they can do these days. Each interaction with them is critical to building that connection.
Is it time to tweak your coaching, managing or general leading philosophies?
Some sales reps are harder to fire than others! Check out this short video to see why…
The “push to 400 is on”….
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Make it a tremendous weekend!