Right FIT Newsletter #209 – Great Managers, Talent Gurus, Alternate Views

Sales and marketing Newsletter

Quick notes to help you grow your business in less time with less effort. . . sometime next week.

In this issue:

– Techniques for FIT
– Being Human
– Random Stuff

Techniques for FIT

  • Ever wonder where great managers are hiding? Most managers get there by decree, or job performance, not by demonstrating any particular management talent. Knowing this, you can’t overdo training managers in management.
  • Sitting in leadership, you’re immune to the politics of the people you manage. Political infighting flows down, not up, threatening to infect untold numbers of your firm. If you sense a management conflict, dig in now.
  • All the things you tell yourself about your culture should be apparent to outside consultants or vendors working with your firm. Ask these outsiders to describe how your people behave day in and day out. Then eliminate variances from how you’d describe your culture’s expected behaviors.
  • Finding new people is a process, not an event. Make your hiring process into something that trains applicants on your culture and your vision. If you’re attracting good applicants you just might see them again, whether you hire them or not.

Being Human – Look inside

“You Had the Power All Along My Dear.” – Glenda (good witch)


When companies reach a certain size, they need to change in order to keep growing. What got you here, won’t get you there as Marshall Goldsmith said. In SMB world a rule of thumb is organizational change happens around employee #10, #50, #100, and #250.

If you’ve lived through a transition you know that not everyone makes it into the next stage of a company. The marketing manager isn’t ready to be the marketing VP or the engineer resents no longer getting to spend as much facetime with the CEO forcing them to choose “try, fly, or die” as I say. It’s the law of the jungle, the people changing roles in these situations will either adapt, migrate, or perish, but they aren’t staying still.

If this is where your firm is, one role that will help your company’s growth trajectory is a talent manager. It doesn’t necessarily have to be HR based, but this person is obsessed with one thing: giving employees what they need to be successful in the job. If you’re making mental notes, tell your brain, “I need someone who is unusually focused on my people.” The reason you need this role is because when people going through change choose to migrate or perish instead of growing into the new version of your organization, it slows growth. A talent manager keeps loss or stagnation from slowing you down.

Consider the employee who is passed over for new management roles. If the transitioning employee leaves but only needed to pick up a few skills or season themselves with some new experiences to thrive in the new structure, you lose momentum. Existing employees that can grow are hard to replace since they know your culture and have demonstrated success in the past. A talent manager can help them.

On the other hand, if they aren’t happy with the new organization but chose to stay, your firm runs the risk of losing out on a new person in the door who is better adapted for your new structure. This holds growth in check. A talent manager will help them choose to either “try” or “fly” instead of hanging around, slowly perishing and slowing growth.

As your firm grows, consider a talent manager role. The good news is the right person may be in your ranks right now! They need to know your vision and have the ability to treat your employees as “major accounts.” A nudge is all it takes for them to adapt because it’s who they are, they just don’t know it yet.

Good stuff.

Random stuff

“It is a narrow mind which cannot look at a subject from various points of view.” ― George Eliot


These are pictures of me listening to and telling stories at a recent Christmas party. I cobbled them together from a shared photo album and in many of the pics I’m in the background doing, well, doing what you see me doing there. Talking, smiling, gesturing.

It’s kind of fun to see yourself from the outside, even if it doesn’t match what you see from the inside. This reminds me of my first apparel trade show in Vegas. These shows were miles away from the tame business conferences I was used to attending. Jay-Z and Puff Daddy were rumoured to be wandering the aisles, there were models at every turn, and good times were happening. This was 2007, right before the big crash and everyone was flush with optimism, myself included.

After the exhibit hall closes, I am meeting my reps at the hotel bar where we’ll network, grab some target accounts and take them out on the town. I’m early so I sit at the bar and grab a beer where I’m joined by an attractive young woman who starts up a conversation with me. We cover the pleasantries and talk about goodness knows what because I am completely distracted by her beauty. She’s half my age, but thinks I’m funny!

At this point my sales director walks up, sizes up the situation and says, “Beat it honey, he’s not a buyer.”

She smiles at us, gets up and heads over to another guy sitting solo on the other end of the bar, striking up a conversation.

My jaw hits the floor. “You mean, she’s a pro?”

“Dumbass.” he says. “Why else would a girl who looks like that be talking to you?”

Good point. It’s a blessing to have an outsider’s view keeping you on track and out of trouble.


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