Extending the team’s capability increases revenue


A financial services sales manager had been in the role for two years. He was successful and had a clear strategy for continuing to grow his part of the business by breaking into a new industry sector. He knew that how he performed as a leader would have a direct impact on his team and that he could stretch his people by delegating more of the sales execution, freeing him up to focus on strategy and the longer term.

However, changes in the team meant he had to fill vacancies and transition new people into the organisation. Unexpectedly, therefore, he found himself under extreme pressure, lacking the bandwidth to offer the increased support his team needed while developing his own capability.

His Leading From the Middle programme gave him space to reflect on what makes a good leader and how to foster high performance in his team. Previously, having seen most problems before and not wanting to waste time talking things through, he had relied heavily on directing his less experienced staff. We therefore explored the value of taking more time, at least at first, to help individuals work out solutions for themselves.

He learned the difference between directing and coaching, when to do one or the other, and he increased his ability to do both effectively. His team took responsibility for resolving problems on their own, asked for support only when necessary and, as a result, started to get the breakthrough moments that you need in a sales situation. As a result of his programme the director’s team learned how to win good, profitable, long term business bringing in multi-million dollar revenue year on year. The director of sales commented:

This kind of performance is directly related to the team working in a certain way – that’s my belief. I was able to delegate effectively and empower my team, to be there to support them when needed but not smothering them. The benefit to the company is directly related to the bottom line.
 We have to work closely together as a team to get results. There are things which enable us – trust and respect – and coaching my team developed that. It was satisfying for me to get to the end of a call or meeting, where I had people thinking and looking at different options and actions. I didn’t always have to jump in and tell people what to do.