Grow Your Business by Hiring Nurturing Leaders

Many of us unconsciously believe that women in leadership roles should be like men – whether we will admit this or not. When looking to hire women for leadership positions, the conclusion for those in the public or private sector (whether driven by our own gut instincts or by social psychological research) is that to be perceived as competent, women in authority have to be assertive, perhaps even ruthless in their decisions, and autocratic in their style. Otherwise no one will listen.

Hi there! This article is available for free. Login or register as a StrategyDriven Personal Business Advisor Self-Guided Client by:

Subscribing to the Self Guided Program - It's Free!


About the Author

Dr. Linda E. WeinbergerDr. Shoba SreenivasanDr. Shoba Sreenivasan and Dr. Linda E. Weinberger are psychology professors at the Keck School of Medicine at USC. Their new book is called Psychological Nutrition. Learn more at

The grass is always greener on the other side of the job. Or is it?

Hate your job? Things at work not going your way? Productivity down? Not earning enough? Thinking of leaving? Here are some job realities you may want to consider before flying to another light-bulb.

First figure out the WHOLE why. You need to take a deep look into the situation before you decide to move. What is causing these feelings of unrest, distrust or unhappiness?

Here’s a list of reasons – BUT, don’t just read them. If you’re unhappy at work, list the ones that apply to you and write a “why” sentence next to it. Don’t just confirm the reason in your mind, go deeper to discover the “reason behind the reason.”

Here’s your self “why” test:

  • Belief system failing in product – you don’t think your product is really better than the competition’s.
  • Belief system failing in company – you’ve lost faith in the company’s ability to perform.
  • Poor service after you sell it – continuing complaint calls are lowering your morale.
  • Boss is a jerk – for one reason or another he or she hasn’t earned your respect.
  • Poor management – acting in their own self interest, can’t sell better than you.
  • Conflicts with coworkers or management – too much who-struck-John. Politics.
  • Poor training – you aren’t getting adequately prepared to sell.
  • High turnover – many good people leaving.
  • Too much work – you work too hard, and you don’t want to put forth the effort.
  • Poor pay – low pay for your effort.
  • Poor working conditions – lack of sales support.
  • Business hurting – the economy and sales are less prevalent or slower.
  • No upward opportunity – you’re stuck in non-growth mode.

And of course the one reason you may have omitted is – it may be you.

Self-test for these:

  • Your poor attitude
  • Home life problems
  • Money problems
  • Drinking or other self-abuse stupidity
  • Your poor sales skills
  • Your poor work habits
  • Poor performance on your part
  • Placing blame rather than taking responsibility
  • Stress (caused by one or many of the above)

Well, that’s an “ouch” test, huh? Did you find your “thorn?” Did you discover “why?” – or did you already know, and I just confirmed it. So now that your skin is itching with the reality, what are you going to do about it?

Well, not so fast there, Sparky.

I’d like you to consider some deeper reflection first.

DO THIS: When you find your biggest reason(s), ask yourself “why?” four times to get to the bottom of the reason. That would be the REAL reason.

Let’s say you selected the reason: My boss is a jerk – OK, why? “Well, for one thing, he’s constantly on me to produce.” OK, why? “Well, because he says I’m not seeing enough people, nor am I closing enough deals.” OK why? “Because it’s harder to make sales. People aren’t buying.”

Sounds like it ain’t the boss after all – it’s you.
That’s not a boss issue. That’s a training, sales skills and intensity issue.

All salespeople suffer from two incurable diseases:
1. The grass-is-always-greener syndrome
2. The moth-to-a-light-bulb syndrome

What are you really looking for?
If you’re going to switch, will this move you up or forward?
Can you fix what you have?
What would you really like to be doing?
If you leave here where will you go?
What risks do you take by leaving this job?
How will a new job get you closer to your real career goals?
How will a new job get you closer to your real monetary goals?

If you decide to leave, don’t leave for the wrong reasons, and don’t leave the wrong way. I have just given you the “why” formula. That will get you to an understanding of your self-thinking. Then there’s the “how you will leave” part.

2.5 more rules apply:
1. Leave professionally. Give notice. Tell the truth.
2. Leave ethically. Give back everything. Don’t “take” anything with you. Especially customer lists or any trade secrets.
2.5 Leave positively. No bad words or lawsuits. Just peacefully go. Leave with your reputation in tact. Leave with a reference.

To leave or not to leave? That is the question. Your job is to find the answer. Your own answer. It’s a big decision. A career decision. An advancement decision. And yes, a money decision.

My advice is: make sure you know the REAL reason. And make sure you do it in a way that would make your mother proud.

If you’re one of the fortunate few who LOVE their job, please pass this on to someone whining about how green the grass might be someplace else.

FREE GitBit. I have one more piece of advice about your job. Something to think about everyday. Go to, enter JOB in the GitBit box.

Reprinted with permission from Jeffrey H. Gitomer and Buy Gitomer.

About the Author

Jeffrey GitomerJeffrey Gitomer is the author of The Sales Bible, Customer Satisfaction is Worthless Customer Loyalty is Priceless, The Little Red Book of Selling, The Little Red Book of Sales Answers, The Little Black Book of Connections, The Little Gold Book of YES! Attitude, The Little Green Book of Getting Your Way, The Little Platinum Book of Cha-Ching, The Little Teal Book of Trust, The Little Book of Leadership, and Social BOOM! His website,, will lead you to more information about training and seminars, or email him personally at [email protected].

Leaving for greener pastures? Do you know why? Are you sure they’re green?

Why do salespeople quit their job?

More money?
Better job opportunity?
Don’t like what they are doing?
Don’t like their boss?
Don’t like their corporate politics?
Don’t like how you’re being treated as a person?
Don’t feel the company is supporting you as a salesperson?
Just had their commissions cut?
Company going back on their word about paying or deal structure?
Not paid what you felt you were owed?
Just lost their best customer to the competition?

Answer: some or all of the above.

Salespeople seem to hopscotch jobs as moths flutter from one light bulb to the next, trying to find the brightest one. I don’t think the question is just, “reason for leaving.” I think it goes deeper. I think it’s “cause and effect,” and even deeper, “motive.” Motive being a short word for motivation.

This issue is further complicated by the fact that most people, when they do leave a job, won’t tell the boss their real reason for leaving. Oh, they give a stated reason like better opportunity, more money, but there’s always an underlying motive. An unspoken reason. Like, “I hate you.”

And then there’s the boss, who has to tell his other people why the salesperson quit. Standard reasons, better opportunity or more money.

It’s interesting to note that more than 74% of people who quit their job do so because of bad boss or bad company policies. Yet, no boss that I have ever spoken to ever told me: my best salesperson quit and it’s all my fault.

NOTE WELL: The departing salesperson will soon become the scapegoat for everything bad that’s ever happened in the history of the company within one week of their departure.

If you’re the boss, and you throw the person who quit under the bus and back up, it sends a message to every other person on the team that you’re going to do the same thing to them if they leave. Not a real boost to moral. If you’re the salesperson and you don’t have the guts to tell the boss the real reason why you’re leaving then you’re going to have to be willing to accept your fate with respect to the trashing that you’re going to take.

There’s no easy answers here. Some industries are more incestuous than others. Banking, personnel, accounting, and advertising seem to have an excessive amount of job hop scotching going on.

The subject is WHY are you quitting and what can you do to build your career, rather than having to start it over?

I get a minimum of ten requests a week from salespeople wanting to quit their job and asking for advice. What I tell them is what I’m going to tell you:

1. List the real reasons that you dislike what you’re currently doing.

2. Now, list the reasons that you like what you’re doing.

3. Add a one sentence description to both the dislike and the like column to give yourself further insight as to “why.”

4. Ask yourself which one of the bad things will be eliminated at the new job and which one of the good things will continue at the new job. This way you give yourself an evaluation before you enter your new position.

5. Call people at the place you want to work or that you’ve just been hired to work at and find out what they like and dislike.

6. Write down what you feel you gain (other than money) at your new position and ask yourself could you have gained the same thing at your old position?

NOTE WELL: As you know, if you read my column, we’re about to get to the .5. You will not like the .5. The .5 will make you grimace but the .5 will show you the real reality of where you are and where you seek to grow.

6.5 Become the number one salesperson at your existing company, then quit. If you’re thinking about leaving your job and you are not the number one salesperson, it is likely that you will not be the number one salesperson at your next job, and it is even more likely that you will bring half your disgruntlement to your next job. If you stay at your present job until you become the number one salesperson no boss will be able to throw you under the bus, you leave a hero of the company, you leave with pride, you leave with self-respect, and you leave with the attitude of a winner, not a whiner.

See? I told you you’d hate it.

So here’s your opportunity: quit complaining, quit whining about your job or your circumstance, quit trashing other people to make yourself look good, and just dig in. If you really consider yourself great at sales, then attaining the number one position shouldn’t be much of a problem. Heck, you’re always bragging about how great you are, prove it!

There’s rewards for being number one. People will be nicer to you in your company. You may even earn some degree of respect, your value in the marketplace will increase, you’ll have choices, genuine choices, and you’ll have the peace of mind of knowing that you’ve done it for the right reasons, not the negative reasons.

BOSSES BEWARE: If you’re salespeople are leaving you at a rate of greater than 20% per year, look in the mirror. If you “can’t find any good people out there” let me give you a big clue; there’s plenty of good people out there, they’re just not working for you.

SALESPEOPLE BE AWARE: Your next boss may be no better than your previous boss. He or she just may be sweeter in the interview process than in the day to day battle. You’re best tactical and strategic advantage is to arrive on the scene as the number one salesperson from your previous job rather than the number one whiner about your previous job.

If you do this you have set the stage for sales success. Your sales success.

Reprinted with permission from Jeffrey H. Gitomer and Buy Gitomer.

About the Author

Jeffrey GitomerJeffrey Gitomer is the author of The Sales Bible, Customer Satisfaction is Worthless Customer Loyalty is Priceless, The Little Red Book of Selling, The Little Red Book of Sales Answers, The Little Black Book of Connections, The Little Gold Book of YES! Attitude, The Little Green Book of Getting Your Way, The Little Platinum Book of Cha-Ching, The Little Teal Book of Trust, The Little Book of Leadership, and Social BOOM! His website,, will lead you to more information about training and seminars, or email him personally at [email protected].

Zombie Hunter Extraordinaire

On my business cards, I’ve often thought the titles under my name should read: Owner. CEO. Zombie Hunter. Handing them out and watching for the inevitable eye roll would be kind of fun. But make no mistake; I’m dead serious about zombie hunting. This is a skill that – if Owner or CEO is a title on your business card – you need to master. And fast.

Hi there! This article is available for free. Login or register as a StrategyDriven Personal Business Advisor Self-Guided Client by:

Subscribing to the Self Guided Program - It's Free!


About the Author

Jamie GerdsenJamie Gerdsen, the CEO/Owner of Apollo Home, is a sought after speaker on leading and improving a traditional ‘Main Street’ business. His new book is Zombies Ate My Business: How to Keep Your Traditional Business from Becoming One of the Undead.

Training vs. Learning: Do you want to train? Or have someone learn?

Training successfully educates only those who are predisposed to the new material. Others may endeavor to learn during class but may not permanently adopt it. The problem isn’t the value of information or the eagerness of the learner: It’s a problem with both the training model itself and the way learners learn. It’s a systems/change problem.

How We Learn

We all operate out of unique, internal systems comprised of mental models (rules, beliefs, history etc.) that form the foundation of who we are and determine our choices, behaviors and habits. Our behaviors are the vehicles that represent these internal systems – our beliefs in action, if you will. So as a Buddhist I wouldn’t learn to shoot a gun, but if someone were to try to kill my family I’d shift the hierarchy of my beliefs to put ‘family’ above ‘Buddhist’ and ‘shooting a gun’ might be within the realm of possibility.

Because anything new is a threat to our habitual and carefully (unconsciously) organized internal system (part of our limbic brain), we instinctively defend ourselves against anything ‘foreign’ that might seek to enter. For real change (like learning something new) to occur, our system must buy-in to the new or it will be automatically resisted. It similarly effects selling/buying, coaching/clients, doctors/patients, leaders/followers.

A training program potentially generates obstacles, such as when

  • learners are happy with their habitual behaviors and don’t seek anything new,
  • fear they might lose their historic competency,
  • the new material unconsciously opposes long-held beliefs.

We are programmed to maintain our status quo and resist anything new unless our beliefs/mental models recognize that the new material will align with our status quo regardless of the efficacy of the required change.

How We Train

The training model assumes that if new material

  • is recognized as important, rational, and useful,
  • is offered in a logical, informative, interesting way,
  • allows time for experience and practice,

it will become accepted and habituated. But these assumptions are faulty. At an unconscious level, this model attempts to push something foreign into a closed system (our status quo): it might be adopted briefly, but if it opposes our habituated norm, it will show up as a threat and be resisted. This is the same problem faced when sellers attempt to place a new solution, or doctors attempt to change the habits of ill patients. It has little to do with the new, and everything to do with change management.

Truly experiential learning has a higher probability of being adopted because it uses the experience – like walking on coals, doing trust-falls with team members – to shift the underlying beliefs where the change takes place. Until or unless there is a belief change, and the underlying system is ready, willing, and able to adopt the new material into the accepted status quo, the change will not be permanent.

One of the unfortunate assumptions of the training field is that the teach/experience/practice model is effective and if learning doesn’t take place it’s the fault of the learner (much like sellers think the buyer is the problem, coaches thinks clients are the problem, and Listeners think Speakers are the problem). Effective training must change beliefs first.

Learning Facilitation

To avoid resistance and support adoption, training must enable

  1. buy-in from the belief/system status;
  2. the system to discover its own areas of lack and create an acceptable opening for change

before the new material is offered.

I had a problem to resolve when designing my first Buying Facilitation® training program in 1983. Because my content ran counter to an industry norm (sales), I had to help learners overcome a set of standardized beliefs and accepted processes endemic to the field. Learners would have to first recognize that their habitual skills were insufficient and higher success ratios were possible by adding (not necessarily subtracting) new ones. I called my training design Learning Facilitation and have used this model successfully for decades. (See my paper in The 2003 Annual: Volume 1 Training [Jossey-Bass/Pfieffer]: “Designing Curricula for Learning Environments Using a Facilitative Teaching Approach to Empower Learners” pp 263-272).

Briefly: Day 1 helps learners recognize the components of their unconscious status quo while identifying skills necessary for greater excellence: specifically, what they do that works and what they do that doesn’t work, and how their current skills match up with their unique definition of excellence within the course parameters. Day 2 enables learners to identify skills that would supplement their current skills to choose excellence at will, and tests for, and manages, acceptance and resistance. Only then do new behaviors get introduced and practiced.

Course material is designed with ‘learning’ in mind (rather than content sharing/behavior change), and looks quite different from conventional training. For example Day 1 uses no desks, no notes, and no lectures. I teach learners how to enlist their unconscious to facilitate buy-in for new material.

Whether it’s my training model or your own, just ask yourself: Do you want to train? Or have someone learn? They are two different activities.

About the Author

Sharon Drew Morgen is a visionary, original thinker, and thought leader in change management and decision facilitation. She works as a coach, trainer, speaker, and consultant, and has authored 9 books including the NYTimes Business BestsellerSelling with Integrity. Morgen developed the Buying Facilitation® method ( in 1985 to facilitate change decisions, notably to help buyers buy and help leaders and coaches affect permanent change. Her newest book What? explains how to close the gap between what’s said and what’s heard. She can be reached at [email protected]