Death of a Sales Manager

My father gave his life to one company, a well-known white goods manufacturer. Trained as an electrical engineer, he started out tightening screws on appliances. But soon he was travelling up and down the country as a salesman and customer service provider selling household goods to shops.

The job suited my suave and humorous father to the core, and he did very well. So well, in fact, that the company made him Sales Manager, a promotion that saw him catapulted … into an office, where he spent his days managing a sales team.

My father was an outgoing and persuasive man with a keen understanding of human nature, and an urge to help others. Being stuck in an office condemned to doing routine work was something of a death knell to him. I also suspect that he needed to travel to get a break from the family – four belligerent children and a wife who complained a lot.

How not to promote

The promotion was intended to be something to desire and fight for. However, my father bitterly regretted ever having accepted it. Now his days were filled with paperwork and drudgery.

Being old school, he carried out his job description dutifully and to the letter, never took a day off and never complained. But without the excitement of travelling and meeting new people, he quickly withered on the vine.

After a few years, when the up-and coming 30-something year olds started elbowing their way in, he was “happy” to “accept” early retirement.

He died not long after.

I don’t have many memories of my father, but, after a couple of years in the new job, I remember him dolefully remarking:

“Just because you’re a brilliant sales person, doesn’t mean you’re a good sales manager.

His bosses in Germany probably thought that they were being nice and rewarded his services to the company, when all they did was, in essence, crush his very being.

The customers along the coast missed a successful, skilled, and entertaining sales representative. In return, the sales team got a dour, exacting martinet as a boss. We children suffered even more, now that our parents, both unhappy in their roles, spent more time than ever arguing.

A well-meaning gesture that turned out to be a huge management mistake. What a waste!

Why scientific people data is essential for employee development

Well, this is what happens when you don’t use the objective people data tools in the Predictive Advantage product suite to really understand what drives and motivates your people. The Predictive Index (PI) assessments that we offer are a scientific and objective way to create more engaged employees and make your company an even better place to work.

A quick behavioural assessment of my father would have shown that he was a man who had a core need to work independently and on his own terms. It would have instantly become clear to any Manager that my father was motivated by a quick-changing and varied work environment with plenty of opportunities for in-the-moment decision making.

A Manager wanting the best for his company, the customers and his team would then have seen right away that a behind-the-scenes, managerial job was as far away from my father’s ideal environment as it was possible to get.

Indeed, he would have been better off and happier serving coffee in the canteen.

The increase in salary did not make up for his loss in enjoyment and moral. It wasn’t even a small consolation.

What a shame these assessments weren’t available in 1967…

Except they were!

The PI Behavioral Assessment

The PI Behavioral Assessment has actually been around since the 1950s.

Of course, the world has changed completely since my father’s days as a cradle to the grave employee. But finding ‘the right person for the job’ is now more important than ever, particularly in the current economic climate with many employees and teams working remotely.

Why waste time and money hiring and rehiring, when a short Behavioral Assessment can tell you – broadly speaking – most things you need to know about the suitability of a new recruit for a certain job? Find out more about Predictive Advantage, the PI Assessments in our toolkit and Request a Demo here.

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