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Monday, June 14, 2004

Game On 

It's going to be an incredibly busy week again. Need to fit in 2 weeks worth of visits into 3 days this week and 3 next. Throw into the malay a funeral service in Ft. Meyers (3 hours away), a lunch date with my new boss and the District Manager of my biggest account, and I need to pack for my trip home on Thursday. Yikes. Oh, and I've still got a house full of boxes, less than last weekend but still more than I want. You see, the brown cardboard doesn't really work with my decor - no matter how many times I move them around.

This all adds up to getting back into my game. My focus the past few months has been trying to get moved. For the past 2 weeks it's been the move. This week I need to blitz all 40 of my doors and get in position to build my business. You see, it is MY business. While I Rep for a company, they treat this territory I have been assigned as mine. I like that. A Lot.

Empowerment is something that is very important to me. I relish accountability and responsibility. Give me the tools I need to work and let me go. What do I need? So glad you asked.

I need a good product. Something that I believe in. For me that also has to be something that makes peoples lives better. When I worked for Tropicana I knew my orange juice was the best. It helped to make people healthier. I was offered several different sales jobs after I got layed off. I turned them down and contracted out. Life was tough for a while. But I refused to accept a sales job just to have a job. I knew if I didn't believe in the product I would end up talking people out of buying or even worse, not even go to the calls. I don't set myself up for failure. If I ever leave this company I'll leave this field all together. I sell the best product in my category. I can't work for my competition because I know their products are crap. Can't sell them. Not at all.

I need to know that my management has my back. That's important to me. Tell me the goals, tell me the rules. Answer my questions. If I act back me up. If we discuss what we're going to do, do it and it doesn't work, Do Not Throw Me under the bus. If I make a mistake, believe me, it is communicated to my boss as soon as I realize what I did. I do not blind side people. I expect the same treatment.

I need numbers. Lots of them. Give me data. Tell me how sales have been, how they are presently and what the goals are. Split it out by account, by SKU, by week. I'll take it from there. I build pretty charts and graphs and slice & dice till there's no tomorrow. Give me data and I'll tell a story. I'll know my business and my customers better than anyone. That's a promise.

I need freedom. Don't tie me to a desk. Allow me the ability to make decisions and act on them. I need the freedom to contact the people I need to contact, without asking permission. I need the freedom to set my own schedule so that I am in the stores when I believe it is most productive.

You give me these tools and I will succeed. I don't ask for much, just a good product, support, data and freedom. When you think about it, that's all anyone needs. I don't care what position you hold in a company this holds true. If you are an Administrative Assistant or in IT or a janitor - if you have this kind of support you have everything you need to shine.

unfortunately finding a company or a boss that is comfortable enough and secure enough to empower their employees like that is rare. Too often everything is on a need to know basis. You are only given a portion of what you need and expected to move mountains with a shovel and bucket. I've been lucky. In the three main positions I've held over the years, I've worked in the environment I described. But I think that is because I expect that. Those expectations are communicated in the interview process. When we were struggling these past few months, with management changes and such, the woman that hired me into this company encouraged me to speak my mind. I was really, really frustrated and not really feeling secure enough, as the new girl, to put that out on the table. Her comment to me was that everyone knew when they hired me that you could count on knowing where I stood and how I felt about things. After our first interview the way the VP described me was Spunky. I guess that's a pretty accurate way to put it. And I'm alright with that.

So I'm going to take the data I've analyzed this weekend, my handy dandy product demonstration kit and head out the door. I've got some ground to take back, some egos to smooth over and an account to sign-up. But - I have all the tools I need to do the job. Now I just gotta get out there and do it.


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My "Other" Family - Fizzen Sparks