WE HAVE THE privilege ofworking with some unbelievably effective leaders everyday; however, they wouldtell you they work hard tobe an effective leader.
Most agencies are ownedand led by people who spentthe majority of their careers assuccessful salespeople. Most ofthem still spend much of their timein sales-related activities, with littletime to lead, much less developtheir leadership skills.
Because of their focus on sales,too many agency owners/leaderstend to ignore problems when theyarise. Often, they will intentionallyignore problem-solving responsibilities and double down on sales efforts. They rationalize that “revenueforgives all problems.”
I’m not saying adding revenue can’tmake some problems go away, butit can’t cure issues that threaten theviability or trajectory of the organization. The complexity of problems thatthreaten businesses can be overwhelming. Many factors are uncontrollable andlead to a sense of helplessness; it’s nosurprise most problems are ignored.
Every problem you face is likely a combination of three things you can control orinfluence: People, product and process.
Unfortunately, most owners/leadersare reluctant to deal with people issues,and don’t understand processes. Thisresults in putting too much emphasison product. They feel if they acquire the“right product,” it will fix everything.
If internal operations are an issue, theresponse is to buy a new solution. If alack of new business is an issue, the response is to buy another “value-added”product to give away.
ADDING FUEL TO THE FIRE
Adding distractions withouta proper process or the necessary training will makethings worse. But it doesn’thave to be overwhelming.
Using the people-prod-
uct-process framework keeps
Take any particular challengeyou are dealing with right now andassess the following:
Have we prepared our people toaddress this problem successfully?
• Have you discussed the problemto ensure they understand whyit must be fixed?
• Do you have people motivatedto be a part of the solution?
• Have you provided the trainingto help ensure their success?
• Are they capable of solving theproblem, once trained?
• Do you hold everyone accountable?
Don’t waste time looking for the “perfect” solution. Commit to a solutionyou are comfortable using and believewill remain relevant and effective.
Have you created processes that ensure the products are used effectively,efficiently and consistently?
Next time a team member performs atask, have them document the steps. Itlikely isn’t perfect, but you can now identify the opportunities for improvement.
IT MAY NOT BE EASY
Solving problems isn’t easy, but youhave no choice. Find the focus to ignorewhat you can’t control. Find the disciplineto address what you can.
by Kevin Trokey
is a founding
parter of Q4
He is abusinessconsultantand salescoachspecializinginindependentagencytransformationstrategies.
“Because oftheir focuson sales, toomany agencyowners/leaders tendto ignoreproblemswhen theyarise.”