When Jerry was made head of his sales team at a pharmaceutical company, there were groans and comments questioning his promotion. What Jerry did proved that the head of sales knew a good thing when he saw it.
First, Jerry met with everyone on the team individually to better understand their strengths, preferences, style, unique qualifications and hopes. A bit of reorganization allowed members to function more freely. Next, Jerry was able to support each of his team as they advanced their qualifications.
Sheila was a wiz a developing new customers from casual contacts. Her can-do cheeriness brought positive attention to the company. Jerry began to take her to local events, industry meetings and in-house gatherings where she could be introduced to other department heads. Not long after, Sheila was promoted to an opening in the public relations department.
Jerry’s habit of highlighting each individual’s talents and successes, especially in settings where decision makers were present, launched team players toward their own goals. When a team member was promoted, everyone shared the success. Jerry offered enlightening stories that illustrated why the decision to promote was made. Knowing that the change wasn’t random or based on favoritism helped everyone buy in.
When the culture of a department or a company is based on advocacy of the ambitions and objectives of individuals by the people who wield power, productivity goes up; engagement rises; job satisfaction increases.
Leaders understand that no one wants to be seen as a cog in the wheel that is their job. Encouraging individual aspirations and making it possible for them to be fulfilled is the distinguishing feature that separates a manager from a leader.
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