I knew it.
I walked into the managers meeting on a bright February morning. The room lit up with windows around two sides as the sun peaked in through one window. The room overlooked a wetland—a beautiful view.
This room was the chairman’s office and doubled as the the senior manager’s meeting room. Today was the weekly meeting, this time with the CEO and sales manager attending too.
I dreaded February. Each February was the same. At first I liked the February. But over the years I started to dread that month. Of all the months to dread, February was the month.
The owner was sitting at the table along with the chairman, the senior sales manager, and the VP of engineering. I took my seat.
“We have three things on the agenda today,” the chairman said. I knew it.
“Here it comes.” I knew these three items well. These items caused my dread of February.
ONE — I knew it.
“What have you done for the partner meeting in two weeks?” asked the CEO.
Partners came to Portland from all over Canada, Europe and Southeast Asia. Not a large group but an intense group with lots on their minds and lots of requests.
I rattled off the agenda, the speakers, the demos, the issues.
Yes, I knew my “to do list” will grow exponentially during the partner meeting. All items are “numero uno” priority! A big “Sigh” must have slipped out.
“Phil, this better go well. We have big growth plans,” said the CEO.
“Yep, is there anyway we can delay the annual report meeting?” That was the second item.
|In the meantime…
During my stint at the company I was lucky enough to work with brilliant people. I learned a lot.
I grew the NA channel and I helped hundreds of customers get their business processes in place.
Next, I was an instrumental team member growing the company from barely beyond start up mode to a lively, profitable, growing company even through the 2008 recession.
This time included growing the NA and international partner channels, launching many new capabilities, establishing a robust certification program, and getting a multi-currency banking system that finally worked.
And of course growing revenue and sustaining profits with my team.
TWO — I knew it.
“The corporate tax returns just came in. You need to review them and prepare the annual report,” said the Chairman.
“When do you want the annual report presented?”
“The day after the partners leave in two weeks.”
Big breath. Big gulp. “You are kidding!” I said to myself.
I know these guys, good guys—very sharp, very demanding.
THREE — I knew it.
“Our next release is ready for end of January. What plans do you have for launch?” asked the senior sales guy.
I knew the release could’ve been done earlier and can be done later. In my mind, I told myself, “we can delay it a month…it will let more QA be done.”
“I really need this launch to the partners and customers so I have a shot at hitting my numbers in Q1,” said the sales manager before I could get a word out. The group at the table all agreed quickly.
These releases seem to gravitate to February each year. “How does that happen?”
I ran myself ragged to get all this done. After February came tradeshows, customer visits, more launches.
I knew I couldn’t sustain this pace.
NEXT — I didn’t know it
After 6 of the 10 years in the company “living out the dream,” my term came to an end. I ran of steam, could not do it all, did not leverage my team as much as I could have, did not say NO nearly enough and did not do enough of my foundational homework to have confidence to “up my game.” It turns out, I didn’t know it.
I moved on.
The transition was harder than expected.
After many months of trying to figure it out, I got a call from a national group of business coaches. The sales person ultimately asked me to come visit outside of Philadelphia for a week. I turned them down for months. She was persistent.
One day, I realized I was missing some major pieces. Something she said clicked with me and I said yes.
I went to Philadelphia, for a week then again two weeks later for another week.
Several times each year I attend training. I’ve also joined a mastermind group.
I spend lot’s of time and energy learning everything I can as fast as possible.
Sometimes I think I get more out of working with my clients than they do. When I give a workshop people ask good questions, they learn a lot, and challenge the facilitator, me.
The good sign.
So often I can see myself in them, often taking the material for granted. My clients reached various levels of success in their careers. They want more. That’s the good sign.
The bad sign.
They’ve read all the books, attended seminars, classes, like me, and yet still can’t execute in their new game, and sometimes egos run interference. They know it. That’s the bad sign.
How can I better help clients move along this journey?
That’s up to each person.
For myself, I continue with my education, skills training, coaches, and mastermind group. I know I have more work to do and I’m okay with that.
For those who want it.
I offer my experience and expertise as a guide through the journey to “up their game.”
I carry out professional assessments, workshops, one-on-one coaching, on-site group and one-on-one coaching. Plus there is a ton of free stuff on www.PhilBride.com
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