By Maria Forbes
September 9, 2015
A leadership team’s productivity suffers as misunderstandings escalate over decision making. Joe feels he takes the larger share of responsibility for a territory sales quota while partner Greg appears to glide along, making sales calls without pressure to meet their goals.
What seems like lagging along to Joe was causing this leadership team to disconnect. Joe’s sense of urgency to get things done was becoming stifled by Greg’s methodical routines. There was a lack of cohesive progress toward goals as their opposing approaches.
We met Joe at the height of his frustration. He felt sure one of them would have to move on to another position. “I can’t take the pressure of this relationship, of trying to push Greg to move faster. He is a pokey decision maker.” It looked as though the only thing left of this leadership team would be a sad story about the separation of two well established professionals, nice guys with great sales skills and experience, and much to offer their territory.
With a little persuasion, we were able to get Joe to consider learning the unique strengths of both he and Greg. We would then help them to understand something pivotal, that they both have similar industry experience and skill level, but they also have a distinct way of approaching challenge. We asked Joe if we could validate this internal method of problem solving, and explore the way it kicks into gear every day when he is striving toward a result. He agreed to put himself through the process if Greg would also participate.
With both leaders under examination, we were able to give pause to their frustrations, and illustrate important problem solving instincts. First we opened their minds to the reality that their natural approach to getting things done would drive their daily work schedules in a certain way. They learned that their personal use of time and energy would differ. Their instinctive problem solving methods would also cause them to communicate in a certain give way.
We were able to help Joe and Greg design strategies that put their strengths to work in a complementary way. We alleviated Joe’s frustration by helping him to recognize Greg’s use of time and best ways to communicate effectively. Without an understanding his partner’s natural method of executing his role, Greg’s pace for making sales calls and for achieving sales goals seemed impossible to Joe. Working from part of your strengths is like saying you only need an engine and wheels to drive a car! There is no way to get to your desired destination without the steering wheel! Joe and Greg optimized their team work by aligning their differing methods into a cohesive plan. Joe has learned to appreciate Greg’s once unacceptable pokey pace. Joe learned to recognize the benefits of Greg’s strengths but it took some work, since they were dangerously close to the point of no return. Don’t wade through tough times. Take time to discover the missing piece of the performance puzzle, and put your natural strengths to work.
If you need help navigating the right road to take, call us at FIREPOWER Teams! We will help get you on the right path!