The Present Is Understandably Occupying Most of Our Thoughts, But …

Jonathan Farrington

“My interest in the future is because I am going to spend the rest of my life there”
Charles Kettering

As we learn to live with COVID-19, all action that sales management takes must be predicated on the necessity not only to create an effective management relationship, but also to maintain it.

Thus, you need to consider alongside each other:

  • The short-term. What will be the immediate impact of this? How will people respond? How will it affect the growing view people have of me as a manager? And will it do the job, get done whatever needs to be done and get it done effectively?
  • The long-term. Does this set an unfortunate precedent? Is this an approach that makes sense long-term? Even if this causes upset now, will the logic of it be clear later or will it be promptly forgotten?

While matters of immediate urgency are, in a sense, a priority, always keep the long-term in mind.

Multiple Objectives:

Your job is to get things done – to achieve your objectives. Doing this demands that you win, and retain, the goodwill and support of your team. Therefore, get into the habit of considering:

  • The effectiveness of your actions/decisions. Will they achieve the job that needs to be done?
  • The way your actions/decisions will be perceived. How will other people react?

Sometimes the response is positive. People approve the decision and applaud you for the line you have taken. In this case you may want to maximize this effect. Sometimes you may feel that the response will be negative, in which case you may need to:

  • Reconsider and select another way forward
  • Take action, but explain why a particular approach is necessary
  • Compensate for the negative reaction. Perhaps you need to do something: you explain it but know it will still rankle, so you find an opportunity to balance it in some way, making it clear that it was exceptional

Nothing Is Forever:

Change is the order of the day. We may not know exactly what is coming but, during the course of your career as a manager, you can be sure that change will continue and that the pace of change will increase. Never forget this and help – and expect – your people to recognize it too.

Copyright © 2020 by Jonathan Farrington All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means without permission of the publisher.