We are on a training call where the Product Manager for a product was presenting to the sales team but was talking a little slowly, so the very impatient VP gradually then blatantly took over the presentation. It was funny to hear. But at the same time, this is bad to do as a leader IMHO – the message he sent to his product manager was that he (the PM) should rely on the VP and/or the VP will not have his back or allow him to falter.
Whether it is a new strategy, new product or whatever, teaching is really important in Corporate AMerica. But so few corporations are good at actual teaching. They barf up information in an hour or a day, then expect us to learn it on our own. There is no reinforcement, check for understanding, etc. When I taught, I gave what I needed to teach in 10 minutes, spent a period of time reinforcing it, then continued to loop back to it. This never happens in Corporate America. How much productivity is lost by this?
Corporate numbers are down, which means Corporate is panicking and implementing an infinite number of conference calls, trainings and planning sessions for our sales teams. It is one of those things I never understood (“Numbers are down, quick, take the Sales Teams out of the field so we can berate them!”) but is a fact of corporate life that happens when Leaders are far removed from the reality of the trenches. I can’t control Corporate, but I can take baby steps to make my team more productive.,,
Wednesday, when corporate scheduled a third mandatory call of the week for our Sales Teams, I told my Sales teams to skip the call as long as they committed to using that time to do everything in their power to find/generate new business during that time (a key component here is I have to have a trustworthy team, which I do, as something I invest a lot of energy to nurture/foster).
While I sat on the call in our conference room, taking notes about anything my team should know (I was able to reduce a 90-minute call to a 2 minute powerpoint slide for my team), my team was out in the field, advancing opportunities, and were able to advance two key opportunities. Additionlly, there are intangibles that happen when I do these things for a good team — they see that I am in their corner, which therefore puts them in my corner. And any true leader knows that having a team behind them is half the battle to a successsful team (assuming the talent is there 🙂 ).
I am grateful I have a trustworthy team, that we are a remote office (this wouldn’t work if I had a VP in my office), and that I had the common sense to protect my team from another 90-minute demoralizing conference call at a time when every minute should be spent out in the field generating new business.