Fostering teamwork has long been a holy grail in business culture, and, on the surface, the selling function is as committed to this ideal as any area of the enterprise.
What major sales organization hasn’t featured a legendary coach on the podium of their annual sales meeting? We even call it a sales team to vaguely imply that the performance of the group is greater than the sum of its individual parts, that it can enhance the organization’s ability to adapt to new challenges and develop innovative solutions for customers.
At the same time, the culture of most sales organizations includes a healthy dose of internal competition. When it comes to incentives and compensation, we actively nurture competition because it works. Where would we be without our track, rank and publish; without our President’s Club?
The science of sales leadership continues to evolve, and there’s a significant opportunity to address the elephant in the room. (read more…)
If you manage a team or company, it’s time to develop your end-of-year message to employees.
The reflective nature of the holiday season and the symbolism of the new year provide the opportunity to highlight significant achievements and focus attention on the priorities ahead.
Who should send a year-end message? Anyone responsible for leading other employees, including C-suite leaders, division managers, team leaders and business owners. The tone should be authentic to the sender and the content relevant to the recipients. Missives from the C-level will reference corporate goals while communication from those further down in the organization will focus on the specific achievements and goals for their group or department. As well, small and medium-sized businesses might also consider this type of communication to their employees.
Crafting the message
While the content and tone will differ depending on the sender and audience, within the general format you’ll want to:
- Thank employees/team members for their hard work during the past year.
The following answers are provided by the Young Entrepreneur Council, an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most promising young entrepreneurs. The YEC recently launched #StartupLab, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses via live video chats, an expert content library and e-mail lessons. Read previous SmartBlogs posts by YEC.
What differentiates a CEO from other C-levels? (And if you co-founded, who gets the CEO slot and why?)
Don’t just crown the biggest extrovert on your team with the CEO title. Although CEOs often share equal leadership responsibility with the C-suite and, in some corporations, are mere figureheads, the weight or scrutiny, praise and blame still goes to them. So, you have to give the title to the one with the best proven track record, and feel free to let someone else do the talking. — Manpreet Singh, Seva Call
2. (read more…)
Bill Swanson is North America CEO of Cartridge World, but he’s also the company’s global chief financial officer. I recently asked him how he came to hold both roles, how he balances and weighs those responsibilities, and how other companies might study a similar strategy and structure.
You have a finance background and came to Cartridge World as global CFO before adding the North America CEO role. What led to the decision to take on the second role, and how important was your background in that decision?
Cartridge World needed new leadership after the company moved its North American headquarters from California to Illinois in 2011. I came aboard as global CFO in May 2011 before adding the North American CEO title a little more than a year later.
Prior to moving to Illinois, the Cartridge World system wasn’t working. We were creating negative cash flow and had far more expenses than were sustainable based on our revenue stream. (read more…)
Joe Griffin and Jay Swansson are co-founders and CEOs at iAcquire, a digital marketing agency that was founded in 2009. They have grown to 100 employees, with offices in Manhattan and Phoenix, serving 150-plus clients across industries. I recently asked them about how they handle and promote company culture.
What do you strive for your company culture to be? For instance, if perks and office space went away and it was simply the team in a windowless room, what core values would be untouched?
Joe: The core values that would remain untouched at iAcquire are in the form of the acronym C.R.A.F.T:
- Creativity: We believe that creativity and out-of-the-box thinking fosters innovation. We select and develop team members who challenge marketing status quo.
- Responsibility: We honor our clients and take it upon ourselves to always deliver results.
- Acumen: Talent and expertise with every engagement as a strategic partner to clients.
- Fortitude: We stand up for our beliefs in the face of challenge or adversity.