Pure Sales. All Human.

January, 2000.  It’s an unseasonably steamy day in Miami.  My sales manager comes into my office and asks for a few minutes.  “Keep an open mind,” he says.  “I think there’s something here…I think.”  And he pauses.  I note his discomfort.  Hmmm.  Highly unusual.  (This coming from someone that even today, more than 10 years later, I consider to be one of the brightest, most confident and most effective sales managers that has worked for me.)

He then stumbles into his request: “Would you spend 10 minutes with him and if you don’t agree, we’ll show him the door.”  With that introduction, the bar was set limbo style – ankle biting level.

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Go deep, not wide…

The highly regarded GE management philosophy is on the move and this is worth noting for employers and employees alike…

Wall Street Journal:

The New GE Way: Go Deep, Not Wide

…GE is opening a new chapter in management philosophy…the conglomerate that once groomed jack-of-all-trades generalists is now betting on deep industry experts instead

…In break with old paradigm, GE’s top managers relocate less and concentrate expertise in their field…rather than purposely relocate it’s senior leaders every few years to expose them to more of the company, GE now is leaving them in their business units longer than it used to, in hopes of their deeper understanding of products and customers will help them win sales

…competition is fiercer

…the world is so complex…we need people who are pretty deep…

…we were moving people every two years so it was musical chairs and the joke was you could parachute into a business that was on an upswing and get all the credit…the new philosophy strives to promote accountability so executives can see a business cycle through

…strategy is to recruit talent with deep customer relationships and expertise in the field.  Employees need depth to be able to listen effectively and translate the needs to new technology…

…customers won’t tell us exactly what they want…if you are very generic, if you don’t have that domain understanding, you will develop products that will be average and not very successful…

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Universal Truth: Nothing changes in the game until we change the players…

I’ve been wading (slowly) through this book.  The core principles in Chapter Four (“Leading People Talent to Teams”) keep returning to my consciousness long since I’ve blown threw this chapter.  Why?  Why does it keep drifting back to needle me?  Where does the time go in my day? What takes me away from my focus on my top performers?  Why haven’t I spent more time building my bench?  As they say, you can pay now or pay later.  This book is getting under my skin and moving up the rating scale.  Here’s a few excerpts from Chapter 4 of John Hamm’s book titled: Unusually Excellent: The Necessary Nine Skills Required For the Practice of Great Leadership).

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