You’re A Poet: A Leadership Exercise

This morning at an off-site leadership training session, Captain Reman challenged his office managers and your loyal REMAN U writers to write a poem… about leadership… inspired by our natural surroundings at the Schlitz Audubon Nature Society.

In a fashion consistent with his character, he didn’t tell us why we were doing this activity, just that we should try and do it. In pairs, we walked the grounds thinking about words that resound with leadership, taking in the senses, and letting our setting inspire us.

Here are the results:

I hear you talking
I feel the words as if they are mine
The tools you speak of are slowly walking…
towards you closer because I hear
Your need for structure
The structure is – near

-The Duchess of Drivetrain and The King of Catalog


Once there was a boy
who could fill a room with joy
but when he was bad
nothing could stop the little lad.

Even though he drove his parents crazy
he could never be defined as lazy.
He was strong-willed
no matter how many times that fort wouldn’t build.

The boy is now a teen
and to all his friends they may lean.
Captain of the team, he’s leading the pack.
Never lets a small defeat put him on his back.
Determined to win, but never alone,
gives credit when it’s due, even though he’s the reason they grew.

So the boy is no longer a boy, but a man.
Looking back on all the struggles,
all the scolding for coloring outside the lines,
this man is doing just fine.

Grown from a stubborn child
the leader inside him was determine to develop.
Never once could he be described as mild.
Empathy, strength, fairness, and poise
Separates the leader from the boys. |

-The Siren of Support and The Sales Soignuer


The comfort that comes from a well-loved smell, that’s how I know I’m being led well.
A leader always gives the impression they know how to respond, not unlike the swimming duck upon the pond.
The importance of interests and motivation are important to find, a good leader acts with open ears and open mind.
Staying connected matters so much, a great leader makes efforts to stay in touch.
A leader who acts with abundant grace, acceptance and taste is always followed with noteworthy haste.

-ET-D2 and The Trans Detective


We did it ourselves
work completed they will say
leaders are best unseen
work complete the team will say
we did it ourselves.

-The Duchess of Drivetrain and The King of Catalog


Hello, worm
Breaking through spring’s chill to
face the challenge
Feeding the earth around you
Climbing up to regenerate

Hello, turkey
Crossing our path on your way
to hunt budding ideas
Reflecting in the water of
the Teal Pond

Hello, children
Being taught and teaching with
wonder and curiosity
Togetherness toward a
brighter day

-The Market McGuyver and The Rhythm of Reman


You can do it from the front
You can do it from the back
But you have to do it.

No, it will not be done to you,
Or for you, with or without you,

It won’t happen on its own
If not you, then who?

You have to do it.

You won’t sleep at night

Like the others.
You won’t rest when they do.
You won’t let things slide.
You won’t be thanked, likely not recognized,
You might not be paid,
You will be scrutinized.

But you’ll have done something big,
You’ll do it all the time,
When you choose to lead,
You’ll have done a great deed
For those who choose to follow.

-Captain Reman


Cheesy? Yes. Uncomfortable? Totally. Without merit? Not at all. The lesson here was to get uncomfortable, get creative, and make original and inspired observations about leadership. It’s an activity anyone can do, and they aren’t bad, huh?


Fish Stink From the Head

ETE REMAN’s founder, Sam Loshak, is known for his many insightful and pithy statements. We’ve regularly refer to his statements as “Sam-isms.”

One of Sam’s most frequent reminders to ETE’s leadership is “fish stink from the head.” What Sam means is that the worst smelling part of a dead fish is its head. But what Sam really means is that most problems within a company can be traced back to its leadership. Since you’re reading this, odds are that you’re a leader within your company. Odds are, I’m talking about (and to) YOU.

When you’re evaluating a problem within your business, it’s easy to blame everyone around you. It’s easy to point your finger at your builder, at your manager, at your assistant…pretty much at anyone. The hardest thing is to ask (and answer) why the problem truly exists. Often, your employees’ actions are a symptom of a greater problem. And, often, that greater problem is, well, you.

I’ll clarify:

Your people are a reflection of you.
Your people are a reflection of your work ethic.
Your people are a reflection of your attitude.
Your people are a reflection of your encouragement (or discouragement).
Your people are a reflection of your example.

You may not realize it, but you’re being watched. Your employees look at you, they look to you, and (sometimes) they look up to you. No matter how they feel about you, however, they emulate you. You set the standard.

Don’t tell them what to do, show them how it’s done.

Ask yourself:

  • “How’s my attitude?”
  • “How do I react to stressful situations?”
  • “How do I treat customers?”
  • “Do I always get to work on time?”
  • “Do I follow my own rules and policies?”
  • “How often do I praise my employees for doing things right?”
  • “Do I always deliver on my promises?”
  • “How well do I listen to my employees?”
  • “Have I provided my employees with adequate training – both in technical skills and personal development skills?”
  • “Am I living (and leading) by example?”

Those are tough questions. Well, actually they’re easy questions that result in tough answers and tough work should you need to make changes in yourself. But the results are worth it.

The bottom line: Be who and what you want your employees to be.

Bonus questions: If you were your own employee, how would you stack up? Would you hire you? Would you fire you?

Slow to Hire, Quick to Fire

“Slow to hire, quick to fire” is one of the countless philosophies on how to staff a business.  As much as we have an official hiring policy here, it’s at the very least to hire slowly. Every candidate goes through a series of interviews with a variety of staff members, tours the office space, and is evaluated from not only a technical, position-related perspective, but many put their heads together to determine if an individual is, as importantly, a culture-fit. Sometimes it takes weeks or even months for the right candidate to find us, walk through our doors, meet our people, and then woo and be wooed by us.

We should all go into new hires like a young relationship: there should be optimism, excitement, and a little bit of professional infatuation. If you aren’t head over heels for your candidate, why hire them?

A new hire is an investment. Not only do they cost actual money to pay and insure, but there is an investment in time in the hiring process, training, and a potential loss of productivity during this onboarding period. If the hire doesn’t work out, that money and time is a bust investment. And then you have to start over. Hence, if you are going to go through the effort of hiring and it turns out not to be a good fit, better to lick your wounds and recover fast so it doesn’t cost you and your business more time and money for a hire that you think you might replace eventually.

Every hire is a gamble. And much like most gambling outcomes I’ve observed from afar, when you win, it’s awesome. But you sure can lose a lot.

I just lost.

Firing fast is a harsh reality. I care about the people I take onto my team. And because we hire slow, I’ve already invested a lot of time into choosing a person, training them, and believing they are the best for the role and that it’s going to work out. But then it doesn’t.

It takes some people a lifetime to learn they’re in a bad or toxic relationship. I am not one of those people. Hiring is a feeling. And when the feeling turns sour, it very rarely recovers. Why spend more time, more of your prime years in a relationship that doesn’t feel good? All relationships start sweet – that doesn’t mean they stay that way.

Fire fast because:

  • The “damage” has been done. I can’t divorce the emotional and financial impact that has been dealt already. How much more should I take?
  • I have a bad feeling. And once that seed is planted and takes root, I find myself watering it on a daily basis with every task, every interaction. It’s an unhappy plant.
  • We’ll be okay. I got along before that person was hired, I’ll find a way, and you know what? So will they. If it wasn’t a good fit, it wasn’t leading to the best possible place for that hire either.

Sometimes I haven’t fired fast. Sometimes I’ve really waited, trained, given chances, retrained, and exhausted myself and everyone else in the hopes that it would work out, that it would become a good fit, that the feeling would recover. In that scenario, the feeling was bad for far longer, I continued to invest time and money in the hire, and the productivity wasn’t there. I don’t see how that benefitted anyone in the [work] relationship.

Firing is a miserable management responsibility. Having recently fired fast, I spent the rest of the day and night, and next day… in a tailspin. Was it right? What does this mean for me and my workload? Are they okay? What will they do financially because of this? It’s a bad feeling. But so was working with this person. So, ultimately, I know this policy of hiring slow and firing fast is the way to make the best choices for my team and my company, but none of it is easy.

What’s your hiring – and firing – policy?

Shop Management Lessons from Malcolm Brogdon & the Milwaukee Bucks


This article is NOT about basketball. It’s about YOU. It’s about your shop. It’s about your business. And, arguably it’s about your life. It’s how about to get the most out of everyone you interact with.

It just so happens that today’s lesson came from a basketball player. A professional one. A really famous and really good player: The 2017 NBA rookie of the year, the President, Malcolm Brogdon.

My good friend Michael invited me to a behind-the-scenes look at the new Fiserv Forum’s media room and the Bucks’ locker room, and a short game-review and basketball strategy with Malcolm. Then we got to have our pictures taken, shake hands, and say something short. I came up with nothing cool. Just said something standard like, “Mr. President, you guys look great. Keep it up.”

Although I missed my opportunity to impress Malcolm, he certainly did not miss the opportunity to impress me, nor to impress upon me the following leadership lesson.

The Milwaukee Bucks are off to a great start this year (currently 18-9). EPSN has the Bucks at 2nd in power rankings. And they’re a young team with a new coach. Coach Bud (Budenholzer) is leading a starting lineup consisting of some of the most dynamic and exciting players in the world – Giannis Antetokounmpo (aka “The Greek Freak”), Malcolm Brogdon, Eric Bledsoe, Khris Middleton, and Brook Lopez.

Near the end of the discussion, a fan asked a question: “What’s different this year with the coaching? Why do you think you’re winning so many games with many of the same players from last year?”

Malcolm immediately responded that it’s all about Coach Bud and his crew. Malcolm explained that coaches are invested in the players. They care about the players. It’s not just about winning games for the coaches, it’s about developing players. He said the coaches care more about player development than the team record. And then Malcolm capped it off with:

It’s amazing to play for people that I love playing for.”

It’s no different in the real world. People want to work for people they love working for. People want a coach (aka, a manager or a boss) who is invested in them. People want a boss who cares about them.

Basketball players don’t play for the team, just like your employees don’t play for your company. Basketball players play for themselves first, and they play for their coach second. Your employees work for themselves first and they work for you second.

Make sense?

Then, ask yourself, do your people love playing for you?  

Do they know you care about them?
Do they know you are invested in them?
Do they know you want to develop them into all-stars?

How do they know?

I challenge you to write down a few examples of actions you have taken recently to show your people that you care about them, that you are invested in them, and that you want them to develop and become better for themselves.

Look at the Bucks. Same players + different coaches = different (better) results.

Sometimes it’s not your employee’s fault they are underperforming.
Sometimes you’re the problem.

But you don’t have to replace yourself, you just have to be willing to make a few changes and a try a new coaching strategy.

I hope you’ll be the Coach Bud of your shop or your business or your family. I hope you’ll invest yourself into your people so that they invest themselves into winning for you.

Let’s make this interactive. In the comments field below, share something you’ve seen or done that speaks to Malcolm’s lesson. Tell me what you do in your shop. Or tell me about a time when your boss did something that got you to love working for them.

Leaders on Leadership

In my observation of these things, leadership is obtained in one of two ways: 

1. It is ambitiously sought.  

  • I shall one day lead others! 
  • I will educate and study leadership to qualify myself!  

2. It is achieved: organically, accidentally, and oftentimes against your very will.  

  • I work hard, help others, and set an example – Oh, yeah, I guess I am a leader.  
  • I think outside my role and demonstrate impact to be harnessed. Promotion? Okay, sure!  

While one is not necessarily better than the other, the latter, the, Oh, I’m a leader now? How did that happen? is the one to investigate and nurture in yourself or your team.  

Upon happening into a situation like this myself recently, I reached out to some leaders I know for some bookly advice. I’ve led by example, I’ve embodied servant leadership principles, and I’ve operated in a peer-based feedback position to guide the work of others. Leadership as a concept wasn’t new to me, but the title, the expectations, and the responsibilities inherited from bestowed leadership – maybe a little new, and worth studying up a bit.  

Captain Reman: “I like that Simon Sinek book…”
That Simon Sinek book is Leaders Eat Last 

The Sales Soigneur, (formerly The Sales Cyclist), responded right after Noah. He seconded that recommendation and added, “I would read Tribal Leadership first. (it’s in our library).” 

ET-D2 provided a list of books, too, but made a point to differentiate them by the nature of their storytelling. Instead of how-tos, Jim prefers to read stories about real-life leaders and their challenges. His suggestions:  

  • Skunk Works: A Personal Memoir of My Years at Lockheed by Ben R. Rich 
  • Endurance: Shackleton’s Incredible Voyage by Alfred Lansing and Nathaniel Philbrick 

The King of Cataloging had books outside the norm to recommend, too. In fact, they were books that he hadn’t even read yet. They were on his list to read in the future, demonstrating in action a tenant I believe in: keep learning. A perennial oversleeper, I was most intrigued by:  

  • The Miracle Morning: The Not-So-Obvious Secret Guaranteed to Transform Your Life (Before 8AM) by Hal Elrod 

The Woman Behind the Curtain assures me she has some actual books she’s going to bring me the next time she’s in town, but even without specific recommendations, she’s helped. From getting CCed on relevant communications, being responsive when I’m in a pickle, and providing timely feedback – she’s modeling being a supportive leader each and every day.  

What’s worth observing, outside of the book recommendations themselves, is the diverse way each of my leader peers approached the prompt. Rich with their own personality, style, and preference, I can see here demonstrated much of their approach to leadership.  

And what does The Rhythm of Reman offer in terms of advice on leadership? Learn from those around you, learn from experts, and learn from yourself. My favorite strategy in life, and coincidentally in leadership as well, is to journal. I keep a OneNote tab affectionately called my Work Diary, and pour into it any negative or distracting thoughts, as well as long-term ideas or simple to-dos. In the very early days of leadership, reflecting on my interactions, what’s gone well and not at all well, and how I can approach the next day has helped keep me sane and helped me problem solve some of my own issues.  

Whether you’re a leader already (you are or can be!), or a leader yet to be pulled from rank and file while you were just over there not really minding your own business, solving problems, and finding ways to work smarter, look around you for the knowledge in the room. It’s there with you in the form of a lobby library (if you don’t have one… get one.), your fellow leaders, and in yourself.  

Finding herself at the front,  The Rhythm of Reman realizes she had better know where she’s going. Good thing there are others ahead of her in the distance to look to… for expert recommendations, advice, and just some direction. Comment below or connect with Andee directly.

The Mystical Art of Invisible Leadership

In the grand scheme of my life seemingly moments ago, I left my decade-long career in education to embark on the kooky ship of remanufactured transmissions with a spot on a marketing team. Few were surprised by the career change, but none were more buffaloed than I at the industry I found myself in.

Transmissions? They, like, shift, right? Cars, though both pleasant and convenient to have, mystify me. Mechanics and engineering are those branches of human ingenuity I have no hand in or comprehension of or knack for, but boy am I grateful they exist. Respect.

And while I could probably write an amusingly sad tale of a gal lost in the maze of production in “Transmission World,” that’s not this story. No, this is the story of how a teacher, a teacher leader, a teacher coach–a servant leader–a servant of her students, her community, and her fellow teachers left that expertise, the comfort zone, and leadership behind to… lead.

Wait, what? Bear with me.

Years before I learned about the term servant leadership coined by Robert K. Greenleaf, I was leading by serving without realizing it. Any and all participants in society as we know it have seen endless examples of traditional leaders: they point the way, they push from the back, they say and we do. Many of us, when a leader is needed, have stood up and taken the helm. Many of us, when a leader is needed, have sat quietly waiting for someone more proactive. I have done both.

A servant leader is the forward-facing boss sometimes when they need to be, when they are serving the needs of the group, those of us who decided not to take the helm, but also considers the growth and well-being of their communities. In this role, the servant-leader shares power by putting the needs of others first so that they may develop and perform to their potential.

As a teacher, I made sure to use my students’ interests and data to determine what they needed to learn as opposed to what I wanted to teach. As a coach, I made sure my teachers felt heard and respected, as that served the much-neglected area of teacher-wellness.

Enter Director of First Impressions position at a transmission remanufacturing company. I left my expertise behind me. Inside that hat, I kept my leadership confidence. As I’ve begun to adapt to an ever-changing day on an ever-changing team in an ever-changing field, I thought, Well, I’m not a leader anymore – better look to those who know what they’re doing!

Oh, for shame! In my new context, I’d forgotten myself.

As often the first person my colleagues see every day and the first person customers and vendors see for sure, I’ve found a way to serve them by being kind and personal, and perhaps most importantly, myself–authentic interactions being central to our company’s voice. This gives each individual a voice, a touchstone, someone who is in tune and interested in them.

In sending out mailings and updating customer information, I serve the sales team by telling them what I need, why, and how this serves not me, but them and their customers. Everybody wins!

And perhaps most importantly, and the area that anyone can do or do better, I am lucky enough to serve–from the of the tippy top to the new guy in maintenance–by constantly seeking to improve the culture in the place we all work every day. Birthdays, meaningful conversation, food, smiles, jokes, pop-a-shot, work anniversaries, food, sarcasm, sports banter–did I mention food?

The difference between traditional leadership and servant leadership is the care taken to make sure the highest needs are being served. I test myself each day: do those I’m interacting with grow as people? Do they become healthier, more autonomous, freer, or wiser? Do they in turn become servants? And, near and dear to my heart due to the diversity of those I serve, do the least privileged in my community feel served?

So, I’m not a fancy teacher leader anymore. Well, good, because I wasn’t happy. But by no means does that mean I can’t be a leader. I’ll serve in the ways I can–be it with a fresh coffee, a balloon, or major project–and a big part of that is by in fact growing myself.

Servant leadership isn’t about being a leader. We’re not all meant or interested in steering the ship and pointing the way; it’s about serving people and accidentally, almost as if by some magical mystical means, becoming a leader in the process.

For more information on servant leadership, check out the works of the insightful Robert K. Greenleaf.

photo credit: © kmlmtz66 –

 The Rhythm of Reman might be the newest gal on the block, but don’t let that fool you – she has more than a few fresh insights up her sleeve. Like what Andee has to say? Comment below or connect with her directly.

Power to the Peon

Reman U 255

I had a conversation with my brother last night about his job and some struggles he is dealing with. As a project manager in the pharmaceutical industry, he’s a science guy. I’m a marketing gal, so you could say we see a lot of things very differently. He likes rules and structure. I’m a little more free form.

The project he is working on is behind schedule.  He believes that there is nothing he can do about his team running behind.  Leadership in the organization won’t support him trying out some new things to get his project headed in the right direction, he feels. “I’m just a peon and can’t do anything to change how things are done,” he said.

Hearing this made me a little sad.  I wanted to start spouting off Gandhi quotes (You know the one: “Be the change you wish to see in the world.”) and suggesting books and articles he should read. Instead, I shared these three thoughts:

  1. Leadership doesn’t have to come from the top. Just because you aren’t a manager or “the boss” doesn’t mean you can’t be a leader.  Leadership comes in all shapes and sizes and your rank at work doesn’t determine the ability you have to lead. The best part about leading with a good example is that it’s infectious.  Once you take the reins on leadership within your circle, others will follow.
  2. Your boss didn’t start a career in the same position. Chances are, they worked their way up. So, instead of complaining about what’s not getting done, do it. Prove to your superiors that you’re ready for the next step.
  3. Know when to ask for forgiveness instead of permission. It’s not the best practice to go against direct instructions, but proven success is hard to argue with. Action and small changes can lead to bigger ones.  Start slowly, like trying a new project management software or a new system. No one will get hurt or die.

In any industry, work can be frustrating. Projects run behind schedule. Wrong parts get ordered. You may not get the right attention for a problem you dedicated your entire week to solving. Maybe you feel stuck without solutions.  Keep on working anyway. Leadership is not defined by title. Be defined by ability, the example you set, and the impact you make – at any level.

photo credit: © Satoshi Miyazaki–

AVA_RU-Blog-ADaughertyWork can be frustrating. Wrong parts get ordered, an important task falls by the wayside, or your boss ignores a solution you brought to the table. How do you lead, especially when you feel like more of a peon? Share your thoughts below or with Girl Wonder directly.

Use Your Assets


Let me show you what I’m working with.

Hold on there – get your head out of the gutter.

But seriously, have you ever taken a personality test? There are all different kinds of quizzes out there that speak to the inner you. Some are used to qualify candidates for job interviews, and others sneak up on you in Cosmo, all of which result in insights to your personality that may or may not hit home.

But you already know about yourself, right?  I was right there with you until I took a 5-minute, mind-blowing quiz a few weeks ago.  28 questions are all it took to inspire this article.

Business books for me are hit or miss.  The childhood reader in me enjoys a storyline beyond pages of sales advice.  So when Captain Reman left How the World Sees You on my desk, I took a close look before deciding it was the real deal.  This book was different-It wasn’t about a sales process or customer satisfaction; it was about me.  Or rather, how the rest of the world sees me.

Did I feel a little selfish for wanting to learn more about myself? Absolutely.  But that’s exactly, positively, oppositely the wrong way I should have been thinking about this.  This book and its accompanying online quiz teaches you how to use the personality advantages you are blessed with to make you your most valuable self, and how to strategically make up for the dormant advantages you may not be as strong in.

Better yet, it covers the many personality types of my customers and how to best work with them.  Some clients are “Alert” and feel best about our sale when we can provide data and details about their specific transmission.  Others have a “Trust” advantage, and base their sale on several comfortable and personal conversations with one specific rep.

It’s hard to know how others perceive you.  My label of “The Victor” was initially a tough pill to swallow. As a humble person, I really didn’t like the idea of being known as a something so commanding.  But after reading more, it revealed that I am likely respected, ambitious, assertive, decisive, and only accept high-quality results.  Wow.  It went as far as to tell me that my team needs to know these things about me because I have a low standard for mediocrity.

That was all it took to convince me that my results were spot on.

And, I’d like to share that same experience with you.

The first 100 of you readers who use this link and enter promo code EBL-megcloud will be able to take a short version of this quiz for free.

As the author herself says, “Start learning about how people see you at your best, so that you can do more of it.”

You’re probably pretty smart, hardworking, and customer focused right? But, do you know how the world really sees you? Kentucky Fried Sales Chick Megan Pierce shares what she learned about herself recently – and an offer just for you. Did you take the quiz? Share in the comments or with Megan directly.

Alphabet Soup and Employee Engagement

Engagement Soup

Pop Quiz: What’s your business’ best asset?

It’s OK. Take a minute to think about it. I’ll wait here.

Got it?

Is your best asset your state-of-the-art facility? Nope. How about that super-impressive-sounding equipment you just bought? Still no. Obviously, it’s your envy-inducing client list, right? Strike three, buddy.


It’s engaged employees.


Now, engaged employees aren’t the same as happy employees. I’ve known plenty of happy employees who do little more than convert oxygen to carbon dioxide. And engaged employees aren’t the same as satisfied employees. If you’ve ever listened to Captain Reman, you should know that satisfaction is the bare minimum gauge of success – and satisfied employees are content employees… until something better comes along.

In short, engaged employees give a damn about your company. They’re not working just for a paycheck ­– they’re working because they’re connected to your company’s values, committed to its goals, and feel responsible for its successes or failures. Not only are they valuable as employees, they’re valuable as recruiters, salesmen, and marketers.

Sounds pretty awesome, huh?

Here’s the catch: engaged employees aren’t hired – they’re a product of your company culture. And building an engagement-centric culture is as easy as reciting the alphabet.

A is for Autonomy – Are your employees able to take ownership of their work without having to go through layers of management approval?

B is for Branding – Are your company’s values and mission well defined and clearly communicated?

C is for Communication – Is there a clear, direct, two-way communication link between upper management and employees?

D is for Development – Is there opportunity for employee advancement, mentorship, and professional growth?

E is for Enjoyment – Do your employees actually want to come to work?

F is for Fellowship – Do your employees feel like they’re part of a team and do they regularly meet outside of work?

G is for Gratitude – Do you openly show appreciation for a job well done?

H is for Human Resources – Do your HR practices communicate the values of your organization and provide managers with clear and fair process to follow in regards to compensation increases and performance evaluations?

I is for Importance – Are your employees’ roles clearly defined in terms of their essentialness to fulfilling your organization’s mission?

J is for Job Security – Is your employee’s job security tied to their performance, is his/her performance measured, and are performance standards, benchmarks, and expectations communicated at regular intervals?

K is for Ka-Ching – Are your employees being fairly and adequately compensated for their duties, abilities, and performance?

And, finally, L is for Leadership – Do you realize that you’re an integral part of your employees’ engagement?

Conducting annual performance reviews isn’t always fast. Giving praise doesn’t always feel natural. And building a department around something as abstract as employee engagement isn’t always easy. But the success – or failure – of developing an engaged, loyal, performing workforce starts with you.

Aimee didn’t need to draw on her background as a copywriter to learn the ABCs of employee engagement, she just had to draw on her work experience – good and bad. So think about your job and ask yourself, “Do I give a damn?” 

Like what Aimee has to say? Comment below or email her directly!

How Do You Rally?



Have you had a long hard week at work?  Is your team tired and unmotivated by the time Friday creeps up? Rallying your troops is one of the hardest things to tackle as a manager and last week, that’s exactly the challenge I had to meet.

After a busy week slinging transmissions, a group of our sales team flew to two simultaneous trade shows in different cities…leaving just part of our team and a busy day of customer support ahead of us.  How’d we handle it?

Preparation – We’d spent the first half of the week dividing up larger accounts to reps that could cover them for the day, and preordering lunch for those of us staying behind in anticipation of the busyness to come. Our Director of Customer Experience even set up a music playlist on an extra computer for the day!

Set the tone and environment – The most crucial element as a manager is you.  How hard you’re willing to work rubs off on your team.  Being willing to come in early and stay late on a day when your business needs you.  Keeping a cool head in times when you are extra busy, and maintaining your positive attitude all directly affect the tone of the office.

Say thank you – Yep, those two little words go a long way.  Expressing your appreciation to the team that just knocked it out of the park will leave them more motivated to do it again the next day.

Having the right manager (you) in place for the day-to-day is crucial to rallying your team.  I’m not saying that you need to replace yourself as manager with a new manager (yet) but it’s important to look in the mirror before looking out your office window wondering why team members are not excited about their jobs. I know that as a manager, the things I mentioned above are what I’m tested on everyday. But becoming a better me is important to my team.  Are you striving to be a better you?

When the chips are down and the days are long, Kentucky Fried Sales Chick Megan Pierce steps up. How do you rally your own team? Share with Megan or in the comments below!