Caroline* had recently been promoted to manage a team of five senior B2B salespeople. She had successfully managed two sales teams before. Shortly after she took over this particular team, its results began to fall.
After four months of downward sales, concern mounted. Caroline was sent on a management ‘refresher’ course.
The downward trend continued… and then it began to plummet.
3 elements contribute to anyone’s success in any endeavour.
You have to know what to do. As we live in an age where at the click of a mouse you can access almost any amount of ideas or approaches, this is rarely the issue. It certainly wasn’t with Caroline. She had been on the course and had no shortage of strategies. And, of course, she had successfully managed two other sales teams.
Put simply this is how you feel about yourself and what you do. Caroline told me in the first of our sessions that she was demotivated and thinking of leaving the business. After a couple of sessions, it became apparent what was causing her malaise…
Bottom line: what you tell yourself about any situation will be the biggest influencer of your experience. Caroline’s story was that her new team were older than her, more experienced in the industry, and that she had no ‘right’ to tell them what to do. She had just been ‘lucky’ in previous roles and failure had been ‘inevitable’.
After testing the validity of this story (there wasn’t any), Caroline and I began to create a more empowering version. It wasn’t the truth – I’m not sure there’s a definitive version of anything – it was simply what she chose to focus on.
Caroline may not have as much industry experience as her team, but she had tremendous leadership skills that were eminently transferrable to the new environment. There was no need for her to feel like an impostor.
The team’s results didn’t improve overnight, but Caroline stuck with it. Her state improved and the team began to respond to her management strategies.
So I guess the questions are:
- What’s your story?
- Where did it come from?
- How can you re-write it?
Key thinkers in this area: Anthony Robbins and David B Drake.
Thanks for reading.
* Unsurprisingly not her real name