I worked with my boss today. It’s great to get a gut check on how I’m doing, where I can improve, how I stack up against everyone else in the country etc. Not to toot my own horn but I stack up well except in one department. For the last six quarters, I’ve worked in the most competitive region in the country and the highest growth district in the country. I even helped fuel lot of that growth, a higher then fair share at times. For the past 6 months the district has ranked #1 nationally. Now though I’m near the bottom of the highest totem pole in the country. Not a bad place to be mind you but it sucks being ranked near the bottom out of 10. Granted, I’m ranked in the top 20% regionally and even higher nationally but man, I feel like an anchor on a high riding, fast boat. Last year I rarely ever dropped out of the top three in the district. This year I’m not even in the top 5. Being somewhat competitive it’s pretty tough professionally. If I was anywhere else in the country I’d be a rock star. Here I’m nothing but a top tiered anchor. If I was anywhere else in the country I’d be THE rock star.
What makes it worse is my boss did a little experiment. I run an $800k+ sales territory, but I do it all in my head. Everything. Ask me anything, anytime about my territory and I can tell you. This has been a little bit of an issue between us. He seems worried that “if you die, I’ve got nothing to give to whomever I would have to hire to replace you” Yes, he actually told me that, almost brought a tear to my eye. I thought I was saving the environment by not using paper unnecessarily. Instead I’m causing him heartburn and should I die, whoever steps into my territory would be looking at nothing to help get them oriented. I have to give my boss credit though, because he gets me fired up. I like working with him, which seems unusual in my industry. When I ask him where I suck and what I can do to be better and more effective he gives it to me. Straight and hardly any sugar coating.
The experiment was based upon actually writing goals down, breaking them down to the little steps and then executing them. I’m more of a look at the historic data, think about the current climate and this is what I promise you and it’s above the goals the company wants me to hit. No worries, I’ve got everything in my head. Funny thing is I don’t coach like that, I plan everything out. Go figure. I’m more of a concept guy then details anyway so it seemed to work. But now, faced with evidence that writing down goals and all the steps and everything you need to do works (duh), I’m being challenged (how dare he) to kick it up a notch. To regain my spot at the top. Probably a good thing because we got spiffy new computers that kick ass and don’t crash when you run two or more spreadsheets.
So here it goes bossman. I will deliver you 110% to goal for my first line and 113.75% for my second line for Q3. And yes I did figure all that out in my head, but for you, I’ll send you a spreadsheet so you can see I’m almost as smart as I sound. I also promise to commit to writing things down both big and little, sending you a business plan for this year (finally) and putting things in order in case I get killed while riding my bike. I also promise to mail in my expense reports at least 1x per month starting in August…probably.