Despite significant growth, the CEO and President of a national manufacturer and wholesale distributor recognized that performance could be improved by maximizing the internal management capabilities of the organization.
The company’s leadership recognized that improving the sales group’s internal operations and leadership could result in significant gains. Consequently, the Managing Director of Sales was chosen as one of the first people to undergo mentoring and coaching—even though he was initially skeptical and reluctant to participate.
The project began with a rapid assessment of how the sales team functioned as a group. Simultaneously, the Managing Director of Sales was asked to complete an individual “Strengths Finder 2.0” survey and a customized self-evaluation to reveal his core capabilities, tendencies, and the intersection of his strengths and passions. MLC performed data gathering meetings with each of the Managing Director of Sales’ direct reports to obtain input on his management style, communication skills, and leadership capabilities. This was followed by a week-long period of shadowing sales calls and field sales visits across the eastern United States.
This process helped MLC and the Managing Director of Sales identify that he was thinking operationally rather than strategically, and micro-managing his team. Simultaneously, there were cases where communication was lacking, and clear instructions were not being provided to the team. As a result of the surveys, interviews, and shadowing sessions, MLC developed a 1-year roadmap to provide an actionable plan for the Managing Director of Sales to improve his management skills. As part of the roadmap, MLC provided ongoing coaching to ensure that he could begin thinking strategically, trusting his employees, and improving his communication skills.
Through the process, the Managing Director of Sales came to realize that he needed to change in order to become an effective leader for the organization. The roadmap provided specific actions and timeframes that allowed the Managing Director of Sales and the CEO and President to track his progress. The roadmap also provided documented measurements so that each stage of development could be tracked, and any required course corrections made. Finally, the Managing Director of Sales was given the opportunity to review his roadmap one-on-one with the coach to ensure he was aligned to the stated outcomes prior to presenting the final roadmap to the CEO and President.