Welcome to #3nomorethan5 in 5!
Mylene: Today I am out in the wild with a friend, Christine.
Christine came to me awhile back with a question. I wanted to invite her to join us and share her question and her learnings.
Christine: Thanks Mylene! The question was around leadership, specifically how I could get into leadership. For me personally, it felt like a big mystery and a mountain to do. So I reached out to Mylene because of her expertise. And, one thing I got out of that was this:
Talk to people outside of your realm.
I am in a sales organization. A key part of that organization is sales reps, which I am not. I sought out to learn more about what they do and their day-to-day. I talked to a couple people… Sometimes it did not go well. It was a 15 minute meeting…we would end in 10 because they wanted out of it. Other times however, I did pick up a gem.
As a result, I currently have a mentor who is a sales rep. We meet bi-weekly to talk about what he does across the week, day in and day out, as well as career progression. This has helped me tremendously in building empathy in this role as well as for my customers and understanding not just how to tell them about the technology, but also what my customer goes through around pricing. All because I have a more holistic understanding around the whole process.
Mylene: It sounds like, when you first thought about leadership it was a little overwhelming and a little scary. And I get that! But it doesn’t have to be. You were able to chunk it down. You took a tip and actually learned about those who work in your space, just not doing the same things you do. It gave you insight to how your consumer works.
How are you going to take the knowledge, that insight about you consumer and leverage that into becoming a better leader?
Christine: Just thought of an idea right here: having this understanding of my sales reps…if I were to go into leadership today and get promoted to manager…building some kind of communication or program where my direct reports talked to their sales reps about the financing aspect and demystifies the closed door that would overall increase our customer’s experience.
Mylene: Yes! Exploring what your sales reps do opened up your eyes to other spaces in the business. Are there some other departments or spaces that you are going to jump into to explore?
Christine: For me, some other relationships that I could build are with customer support. They are a key part of growing our customer base as well as their experience. I am going to start knocking down those doors!
Mylene: They’re not always going to be nice to you haha! BUT the resilience is good! Finding another mentor would be tremendous.
Christine: I have made one friend in the support area and I’m always asking…wait…what is your job?? Say it again? And at the end of the day, it’s actually quite similar to mine and they overlap and I’m looking forward to continuing more and finding more overlap. I’m looking forward to continuing that dynamic and expanding it to others.
Mylene: Awesome! So, what we’ve learned is:
Leadership can be scary, but we can address it.
Going and learning from other people opens up your ability to understand the business as a whole.
And although it might take some time and effort, it allows you to understand how the business works and gain skills that you can leverage in your next leadership role.
Christine thank you so much for being here! #3nomorethan5 in 5. We will see you next time!