|Ownership vs Leadership
Succession planning is a growing concern with small businesses these days. This concern is expected to continue as the
baby boomer generation reaches retirement age. A solid succession plan will define an orderly transition
from one generation to the next.
The transition process must address both ownership and leadership issues. Although ownership and leadership are often
linked, the issues are very different. Ownership transition from generation to generation usually involves
spreading ownership among a larger number of people. The options here are as varied as the organizations that use them.
Just remember that the sooner you begin, the more options you have.
Some organizations attempt to spread leadership just as they spread ownership. Although some bench strength on the management
team is desirable an organization should avoid leadership by committee. The new board members (owners) must distinguish between
owner decisions and management decisions.
The Sales Manager position is one of the least understood positions on the organization chart. The Sales Manager is often selected because
of their superior sales performance. They often retain responsibility for several major accounts in addition to supervising the sales force.
There are at least three areas that should also be included in the Sales Manager's role.
The Sales Manager should be the keeper of the sales strategy and to make sure that everyone on the sales team understands the strategy.
The Sales Strategy includes things like pricing, quality, volume and target customer segments.
The Sales Manager also must oversee the training and development of the sales force. This ranges from identifying and scheduling training seminars
to periodically riding along with each sales person to provide feedback and advice.
The third area the Sales Manager must focus on is developing performance objectives and tracking results. The Sales Manager must monitor sales efforts
by reviewing call patterns and analyze results in the form of sales, margins, and customer/product mix.
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|Planning can take two forms - either top-down or bottom-up. Top-down planning is when the Vision and broad strategy is developed first at the highest
level of the organization. The planning process then cascades down through the organization moving from corporate to subsidiary to division or
department levels. Bottom-up planning follows the opposite pattern. It starts at the division or function level and rolls up to the level above.
Top-down has the advantage of being driven by a consistent strategy throughout the organization. Bottom-up is merely the sum of its parts and usually
lacks a cohesive strategy.
Mentor as Teacher