Team management

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KC and I were having our usual sales vs marketing banter. Even though he has been in sales for 2 years, he seems to have forgotten everything about it and become the typical, snobbish marketing person. It is a bone of contention between us. I was telling him how sales is psychological. I have seen people perform when the odds have been stacked against them. I have seen people make perfect plans and fail at them. I have also seen people make imperfect plans and excel at them. If you believe you can meet a target, you will do everything you can to meet it. And if you don’t believe, nothing can make it happen.

I had my mid year review with ex-manager and we spent an hour discussing the challenges I would face and what I should be doing. His mantra ‘Stay positive, positive things will happen to you’ is what has kept me going in the last few months. I started listing out how the move to Mumbai is better for my career than a move to Bangalore (I was supposed to move to Bangalore earlier but it was cancelled the very next day).

I realised that when you join sales, you are immediately given a team to handle. You are taught how to deal with pressure, how to meet your sales targets but nobody teaches you how to manage a team. Sales is probably the only function where you have a team at the start of your career. I was a crappy team manager in my first sales role (a detail I don’t mind mentioning in interviews) but I have improved over the years. Some of us (introverts) have to work harder at this than the extroverts. Now I have an opportunity to start afresh and from scratch. I have worked best when I haven’t had to look over my shoulder to see if my manager is pushing me off the cliff. When I have known that I have the freedom to make mistakes. When my manager has defended me, no matter what. That is when I have worked fearlessly. That is who I want to be.

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