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Are you working ON your business or IN your business July 9, 2010

Posted by truenorthtrainingsolutions in business, Professional, success.
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Or is there even a Difference

It’s a well known business corollary that any plumber who owns his own plumbing business and continues to be a plumber all day, will in fact continue to be a plumber for the rest of his life! Sounds reasonable right? No? Well let me explain.

If I ask you what you do for a living and you tell me you’re a plumber than guess what, you will never grow you plumbing business large enough that you can one day hang up your wrench. Ok so if I don’t want you to be a plumber what DO I want you to do?

Be a BUSINESS owner that’s what! See a business owner, who knows HOW to be a plumber will always have the ability to go out in the field in a pitch and help “catch up” on work. But a Plumber who owns a plumbing business and spends all his time out in the field practicing as a plumber, will never have enough business to allow him to move inside and start to generate MORE business. Because he’s the one who is always on the job site acting the part of the plumber, he won’t ever create the opportunity to spend time to drum up MORE business.

Someone who knows HOW to be a plumber, well enough to DO the job, is the PERFECT person to be in the office, mining referrals and calling clients back, scoping out jobs and doing all the things needed to develop his business. Now I will be the first one to admit that everything that I know about plumbing came from a Time-Life book, but when it comes to promoting a business and working customer service and handling customer contacts and call backs, THAT I know how to do and how to do well! However, in the Training Business if I’m the ONLY one who knows how to train folks, then I am at a severe disadvantage. After all how often can I be in the classroom teaching AND be in the office promoting, at the same time? Obviously never, but that’s what NEEDS to be happening, or one will suffer and eventually there wont be any more classes to teach!

So once you decide that you’re going to work ON your business, what is it that you’re going to do? Well we’ve already talked about promotion and marketing. But let’s look at the business itself and see if we can wrap this up ion the 3 P’s of business.

P (1) – PLAN – You need a business plan. I don’t necessarily mean one of those 200 page documents that MBA’s and Bankers love so much, although its never a bad idea, but more of a where are you, where are you going and how do you expect to get there. For example, let’s take our plumber. Let’s say that he wants to have 10 more trucks on the road, with an annual income (gross) of $1M a year. Well 10 trucks into one million means that each truck should be generating $100,000 a year, break that down by month, taking into account holidays and downtime, and you need each truck to earn $10,000 a month or $2500 a week, So there you have it, THAT is your PLAN. Of course NOW you need to GET 10 trucks. You have 1 that you work out of, now you hire an assistant, if it takes HIM 90 days to reach the point where you feel you could trust him with his own truck you now know that during your FIRST year, you could end up with 5 trucks and you could MAX out at $500,000 during your 1st year, assuming a stead rate of hiring and training with no attrition. This of course assumes an IDEAL world, which of course we know were not in, so the plan won’t follow EXACTLY, but at least you have a PLAN!

P(2) – PROCEDURE – if you have EVER worked for a large corporation you will probably have come to HATE procedures (and yes the US military counts!), but you also have to admit that in MANY cases procedures are the ONLY way to get anything done.  For example in today’s litigious society I can not tell you how many managers I run into who all have one or two folks on their teams that have been there “forever” yet are just not performing up to par. Why do you keep them? I ask, typically the response is something akin to “: terminating them is too hard.” There are too many folks in mid level management who feel that you must catch a cold blooded murder (or sex act) on video tape, in front of a minor in order to have sufficient reason to terminate someone. POPPYCOCK! What you NEED is one good procedure on HOW to fore someone! For example, in one company I worked for you had to be late 3 times in one week in order to be given a verbal, 3 verbal’s in one quarter and you got a written 3 writ tens in one year and you COULD be terminated. Are we following the math here? That means that not only are you ALLOWED being late no MORE than 26 times a YEAR with no issues, BUT those tardies have to fall within the same week! Late twice 1 week and twice the next? Nope you’re good. But at LEAST they had a procedure that the managers could follow! Now the MOST interesting thing about this whole thing was that once you passed a certain pay grade, you could and often WERE terminated for almost ANY reason (apparently it was in the contract), but I saw Senior Managers ($125k + folks) get turned over 3 or 4 times a YEAR! At that rate they actually ran out of qualified internal candidates and were FORCED to develop an internal breeding ground for management trainees. Which of course brought its OWN issues when they found that some folks wanted the money, but NOT the responsibility? That’s a whole nether problem. So while you’re inside planning make some tome for procedures, you will NOT regret it.

P(3) – Policies – These tend to go hand in hand with procedures, to the point that many people fee; they are interchangeable, but they are not. Policies and Procedures should be very distinct and critical components which should act as the glue that holds everything together! The Procedures will step you through HOW to do something, the Policies will give you the WHY of what you’re going to do! Let’s go back to our plumber from our previous example. While he is inside drawing up the plans for his expansion he had BETTER also be developing both his Procedures and his Policies. For example in his initial plan he talked about hiring and training new plumbers and having them up to speed where they could take over their own truck once they had been there for 90 days. Well I can tell you from years of practical experience that no matter how GOOD your training plan is, you’re going to have some guys that are ready to take over a truck in 6 weeks and some won’t be ready to take over their own truck no matter how much time you give them! So what are you going to do with then? Well your policies will dictate exactly what it is that you will do. For example, will the plumber have some type of a ‘testing’ scenario with a non subjective grade that he can base his decisions on, or will he go strictly off his own feelings? Well if he has a policy developed for HOW he selects when his folks are ready to represent his business on his time then it will be simple. But even if he goes “with his gut” a policy for termination can save him MANY headaches down the road. For example, let’s say that the plumber you just put out on the truck is a GREAT plumber, just a LOUSY people person. Well you know what; maybe that’s why he became a plumber so he wouldn’t have to deal with people. That’s fine by you, but if your policy states that 3 complaints in any 1 30 day period is enough to put him on suspension, well now your customers’ are the ones doing all the dirty work. You’re just enforcing it! I won’t try and convince you that writing policies is a simple task, but THAT’S why you need to be able to have time free to work ON your business!

Work ON the Business not just IN the business.

So many business owner get so involved in just doing what they need to do to be the best “Plumber/Carpenter/ etc” that they never spend the time they need to develop the business itself.

Now you’re ONLY challenge is ENFORCING your policies and procedures. Remember if you identify dead weight in your organization and you have developed the policies and procedures needed to deal with such things the ONLY reason that you should still have dead weight, is because there is something about them that is worth MORE to you than the business to you! That’s a decision that only YOU can make, but it is one that you will have to make. No one can enforce these ideas but YOU!

You have just seen the 4 steps that YOU need to take in order to guarantee that you may NEVER have to make another ‘cold’ call ever again! Are these the only things? Not by a long shot, but I can tell you from personal experience, you can make a HIGH 5 figure income with EVER touching any of these ideas. But if you want to cross that chasm, make that leap take that step into the 6 and 7 figure business developments you find yourself working on one or all of these processes throughout your career. I have been rich and I have bee poor, trust me Rich is better!

Cold Calls NEVERMORE quoteth the salesman- part 3 July 1, 2010

Posted by truenorthtrainingsolutions in business, internet marketing, Professional, success.
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Step 3: Modeling

So you have found your customers who can afford what you’re selling, you have used education based marketing to START the ball rolling, now you have an appointment, or better yet your standing in front of your client! Now What?

Well obviously you will want to IMMEDIATELY launch into your big loud sales pitch about how you’re going to do GREAT things once he signs with your company. His customers are going to LOVE everything extra that you do and charge and. then of course there is the big purple inflatable guerrilla that you’re going to park out front! – WRONG.

I could give an entire history lesson on this next idea, but I won’t instead let’s just jump into it and talk about the concept of modeling. Again this idea has been taught ½ dozen ways by 6 dozen folks and called everything from Modeling to NLP Physical Adaptation. As a matter of fact there is one particularly successful internationally known trainer (real tall, good tan BIG smile) who has actually changed what HE calls it 3 different times just in the periods that I have been learning from him.

Right or wrong, good or bad I can tell you one thing point blank, every single time that I have REMEMBERED to put this technique in place I have increased my closing rations and brought them up to OVER 50% for that time period. For those of you not good at math let me say it this way. When I remember to model my clients I have been able to approach EVERY single appointment knowing for a fact that would SELL every OTHER appointment I went to! How would THAT change your outlook on Monday mornings?

So on to the meat of it, what is this mysterious modeling and how can YOU acquire the skill? Well for all intents and purposes you probably used to do this when you were little, in a game kids call “Mirror Mirror”. You and a friend would sit facing each other and try and mimic each others movements as though you were looking in a mirror. This time however, as an adult you are going to model, not mimic, your prospective customer. For example, if your client invites you to sit down and they lean WAY back in their chair, arms folded across their chests, most folks would correctly assume that this is a NON buying signal. But for a minute here lets also take it as a challenge, instead of seeing a customer with his defenses up, lets see them as saying “Go ahead I dare you, convince me!”

So while most folks will LEAN into the client’s space and do their best to draw them into the conversation, instead let’s lean back and cross OUR arms, and see if we can match their tone. Now I will admit there are some folks out there who will advise you to get SO involved in the modeling as to raise YOUR voice if the client raises theirs! Although you can do that somewhat, MANY people, especially men, find that anyone in THEIR office raising a voice had BETTER BE them! So if you’re going to go that far, do so with care. But very simply match their tone and perhaps, if you can do so without mocking them, their speech style. Use this for a few sentences; most busy clients will only give you a few in order to make your point. What you will find is that as you start to model his tone, inflection and mannerisms, he will begin to relax, as he begins to relax he will start to listen more closely (now here comes the important part). As your client begins to relax and listen you need to start drawing them IN to your way of thinking, start asking those questions that they HAVE to answer with a YES. As they start agreeing with you THEY will naturally start to model YOU! Meaning that as you lean in slightly, so will they as you start to show more interest, so will they. What you will find is that within a few short minutes you will have successfully drawn your client IN to your way of thinking and feeling. Once they are on YOUR side, you can start to close.

I am not going to tell you that this works EVERY time, after all its YOUR job to get in front of your client long enough to apply a technique such as this, and some clients wont give you 20 seconds, much less 2 minutes, but when you can GET 2 minutes, use modeling and you should notice a HUGE increase in your closing percentages. As I stated earlier, EVERYTIME I used this technique I closed more than ½ of all the clients I saw. That makes for a REALLY great day!

Need more? check back tomorrow  for our conclusion or better yet, head on over to:

http://www.TrueNorthTrainingSolutions.com

and ask about our Remote Control Management Kit!

The WARM referral part 2 July 1, 2010

Posted by truenorthtrainingsolutions in business, internet marketing, Professional, relationships, success.
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Step 2: Education Based Marketing.

So what IS education based marketing? Essentially it’s the idea behind offering something of value that will teach your prospect something that they didn’t know they needed to know, for the opportunity of meeting you?

Let’s go back to our bankers. Most reps call up and say “President Gomez of Banco de Popular, I’d like 15 minutes of your time so I can show you how much money you’ll save by letting us….hello? El Presidente? In all reality you usually won’t get THAT many words out before your call gets disconnected.

Let’s try this instead. Presidente Gomez this is Mike Davis with XYZ bank, I have an appointment with Dr. Johnson at Planters Union across the street next Monday, and I would like to make sure that you have access to the same report. Recently Bank XYZ produced the report entitled “The top 10 errors most bankers make when choosing an EFT Provider. If you’ll be in your office at 11 I would be able to drop this off for you and provide you with the report. Even if he tells you just to drop it in the mail you now have a valid reason to follow up with him, a WARM follow up.

Now you’re only challenge is producing the report.

But WAIT you’re thinking, what if he just tells me to “stick it in the mail?” Well that my dear reader is entirely up to you. If this is a customer worth pursuing, and I would hope that you haven’t gotten THIS far without making that determination yet, then there are TWO ways to proceed.

First, you can do EXACTLY what he asked and just “stick it in the mail” however f I were you, and this were going to be MY customer that I was ‘banking on’ (pun intended) then I would make SURE that this report that he’s about to get is interesting enough to get his full and undivided attention! There are a few ways that you can do that; just off the top of my head here are 3:

1)      Make it EXTREME. There is a marketing promoter out there (who will remain nameless at this point) who suggests that everything that YOU do should be done in a VERY extreme and eye catching format. Make the envelope bright BLUE, use a font that looks like your 3 year old wrote it with a crayon, use post it notes etc.

Now I will be the FIRST to admit that thus does NOTHING to lend an air of professionalism to your document, however, on the HOME front, it WILL help it get read! However, in the example were using here (Bankers with multi million dollar accounts) maybe your should go with one of the most RECENT ideas, that of 3-D mail. This idea says that if your mail gets put “on the stack” there is less of a chance of it getting read; the closer to the bottom of the stack it is placed. This means that a nice 8×10 report in an envelope of the same size is a PERFECT piece of material to act as the FOUNDATION for a stack of mail.

HOWEVER if you were to include a “phony” band of MILLION DOLLAR BILLS (almost any printer can make them for you), and band them up in a “money band” with your companies logo. That would make your envelope lumpy enough that it wouldn’t fit anymore on the BOTTOM. Or maybe you include a small plastic “commode” that when you hit the bottom “jingles” like coins instead of ‘flushes’ you could print “Don’t flush your budget away making these kinds of mistakes.” There are dozens and dozens of 3D ideas that you can use, most of which you can buy at the local party store, and there are certain promotion companies that have ideas s well!

2)      Place the Report in an envelope and instead of mailing it, do as your phone call suggests and drop it off while you’re at your next appointment. Then you can honestly walk into his office (well outer office) and tell his secretary that you’re there to drop of the information he requested. If she doesn’t let you in, that’s ok, you personally placed it in someone’s hand, giving it a far better than average chance of being read. However on the OFF chance that you DO get in to his office, start the conversation with “President Gomez, as I suggested on my call I can’t really stay because I have to meet with President Johnson across the street, I just wanted to make SURE you had this important information’s.” That way he knows you’re not going to say, as a matter of fact I suggest you not EVEN sit down unless he specifically asks you to!

3)       Finally, however you got your report delivered, it HAS been delivered (maybe FED EX with signature required?) so you NOW have a reason to call him next week! Make sure that in the envelope with your report you included a cover letter that said “and I’ll be calling next week to see if you have any questions” Then do the obvious thing, CALL HIM THE NEXT WEEK!

Remember you offered him the report, he agreed that he wanted to see it;     you’re still on completely good ground! You have a VERY valid reason to call him back, and discuss it with him, hopefully if you gave him a Time and Date on which you would return to call, he will at least have taken a minute to look over the report and has developed some questions!

Part 3 will come tomorrow, and you’re going to LOVE that one!

How NOT to make a cold call – Part 1 July 1, 2010

Posted by truenorthtrainingsolutions in business, Professional, relationships, success, time management.
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The Warm Referral

I know that many of you will find this hard to believe, but I have actually worked in sales a time or two in my life.  Personally I HATE cold calls, I have found that it is MUCH easier and MUCH more profitable if instead of COLD calls you do you best to develop a series of LUKE WARM calls.

You might want to take some notes, as my dad always told me, nothing in life STARTS until someone sells something, and as MY lovely wife will tell you, and these ideas can just as easily help you grow your business as turn a profit.

The idea behind the dreaded cold call is that you are going to sell something, in this case something very expensive to someone who doesn’t KNOW you from the next guy on the street. I’ll be the first one to tell you that the percentages of that actually happening make Direct Mail order seem like a DREAM business, and they are lucky to get a 2% response. So what can we do to increase our odds?

I’m going to walk you through 4 things that will absolutely work every single time YOU remember to apply them.  Mention that last part because even AFTER I learned this, it was several months before I REMEMBERED to integrate them into my DAILY schedule. However the FIRST day that I did, my closing ratio increased 50%

So let’s jump into it.

Step 1 find Buyers who can afford what you have to sell!

As many of you know Michele and me run a training company and we train on a variety of subjects, mostly communications oriented both in business and relationships. Now I can have the ABSOLUTE BEST way for men to patch up ANY argument that they start with their wives and not ONLY have their wives FORGIVE them, but feel lucky to be married to such a stud. But if my class tuition is $200 a head, and I’m talking to a group of public school teachers, in JULY, how well do you think I’m going to do? My classroom is going to be as EMPTY as theirs!

But if I have done my due diligence and I decide that I want to market my class on conflict resolution to young married folks, how much BETTER will I do if I can find a way to bundle MY tuition in with the CATERING package from the Wyndham on I-drive? Now think for a minute, the hotel is expensive, the bride and groom know that, they ALREADY have their checkbooks out, AND their wedding planner has ALREADY explained that before the ceremony if complete they will have fought with their photographer, their caterer and their in laws. So for an extra few hundred dollars I can give them the tools they need to not only survive the process, but arrive at the alter relaxed, happy and NOT on the next episode of BRIDEZILLAS?

Now what if instead of working with the Hotel manager I want to be Greedy and I don’t WANT to split my tuitions, instead I want to develop my OWN line of introductions that will give these folks the feeling that not only do they want my class, not only will it help them, but they in fact would be seriously missing out if they DIDN’T sign up?

That leads us to our next step: which ill be covered next time!

However if you JUST cant wait hop on over to:

http://www.truenorthtrainingsolutions.com

and ask for the remote Control management kit!

Is there no truth in Business? June 24, 2010

Posted by truenorthtrainingsolutions in business, internet marketing, Professional, relationships, success, time management.
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A take off on Shakespeare or Star Trek, your choice, but it comes from a very valid place. Recently my staff and I have been DEVOURING as much information as we can about online marketing. We don’t want to rely SOLEY on Web based business models, we saw how well that worked – How IS Pets.com doing? – and KNOW that as much money as you can make on line there is a LOT of money left on the table by folks who only look at one form of promotion.

So the team and I have spent the last 6 weeks reading reviewing, attending, listening to and watching everything we can from every corner of the world for as many “online experts” as we can validate. Sorry to the guy with the “Internet GuRu” hand painted sign on the corner of my street, I’m thinking you might not qualify. Well for those of you who know me well know that I have a sleeping disorder, and it’s not uncommon for me to wake up and spend 30 – 45 minutes online doing one form of research or another at 3am.

One night recently, it was especially bad. I got this email that said something like “Let ME send you the 10 things that every online marketer MUST know!” Now I will admit I’m a member (for now) of GKIC, and I do see some value in it, but inherently I AM a cheapskate. So if you’re willing to GIVE me the 10 things I HAVE to know, I’m all about it. SO I click the link in the ad.

Through my research I KNOW that when I get a link with AWEBER in the link, it is from someone using one of the LARGEST mass email companies on the planet earth. I’m not saying anything good or bad about them; apparently they are VERY good at what they do. So when the page opened up with LOTS of colors and “scrawls” and ‘Post it notes’ and other eye catching ideas, I had an IDEA that I was on a “squeeze page” and was about to be asked to OPT IN.

Now without going too deep into to much an OPT IN is basically YOU giving someone your name and email address as well as giving them the right to sell trade, barter, smoke signal and use that information with others of their ilk. So I scrolled down to the bottom, found the opt in and put in my nick name as well as an email address that I KNEW doesn’t get any mail (there’s a method to my madness).

A few years ago the phone company misspelled my 1st name when I set up an additional phone line. From then on, every time I got a piece of mail with THAT spelling of my name I knew 2 things: 1) It was an Ad for something I didn’t ask for 2) I KNEW where they GOT my information from, and it WASN’T me. So I decided to use the same method here. If I gave a nickname I would know WHERE it came from and if I used an email address that doesn’t get much, I could monitor it VERY carefully.

So I add my information to the ‘opt in’ form hit the button marked DOWNLOAD and am rewarded with a page that says “thanks for your information, check your INBOX for your download link.” Ok, now WAIT A COTTON PICKING MINUTE! I am NO high level web programmer, but even I know that there really is NO valid reason for Bob to make me go somewhere ELSE to download HIS PDF, if he indeed even HAS the PDF in his possession. Something’s not smelling kosher here.

SO I scurry back to my inbox (ok its 3am I’m not scurrying anywhere), and lo and behold there are 6 new emails. Hmm 6? Well that’s interesting….hey look his friends already know about me! One of the links is a PDF download link and I get my free report, and go back to bed.

A few days later another bout of insomnia and I’m back at the PC. PLEASE I AM A PROFESSIONAL, I do not recommend the following to the amateurs or weekend warriors out there. For some reason only myself and my creator may one day determine, I decided to go through the entire NEW MESSAGE section and “grab” every freebie being offered. I was there for about 90 minutes; luckily my buffer holds my nickname and email address, I skipped anything that wanted any additional info and anything that was a “joiner” and found some interesting things.

First off, a LARGE number of these “affiliate marketers” are all selling for the same folks. Out of about 90 emails from 90 different addresses there were about 40 distinct websites being promoted. Next, if you are USING affiliate marketers to promote your products, get on their email lists so that YOU see what your customers see. Its bad enough the tactics some of these folks use (free.bies instead of freebies to get past filters), but some of these emails are absolutely TERRIBLE. Finally, and most severely is some of the out right PLAGERISM that is running rampant through that industry. I don’t care if they steal from each other in their emails, but one of these guys was actually using verbiage from a VERY well known VERY well compensated speaker and trainer (tall well built guy BIG TEETH) whom you would all recognize, was having his material STOLEN WORD FOR WORD and being re packaged as this other authors.

Hey we ALL may have made up a few social studies reports off what was in the Encyclopedia Britannica in the 8th grade, but as adults we GO TO JAIL for those kinds of things! Personally I hope Sir Large Incisors finds this guy and pins his legal carcass to the wall. But that’s my two cents.

So please if you are going to market online, there are some great ways to do, affiliate marketing is probably even a good way to do it, but please, screen your marketers and their material. I know for a fact that the workers for a company get busted doing THEIR jobs, the originator is [probably going down as well! Don’t let that be YOU!

By the way, the last time I looked, that email address was getting over 320 emails A DAY! One of the “affiliate marketers is actually sending 10 – 15 emails a day, each one hawking a NEW and DIFFERENT whiz bang product for each of whom he JUST hung up the phone with the inventor and, well you get the idea.

Drive your web mobile carefully, drive it wisely, and when you really need some good information, head on over to

www.TrueNorthTrainingSolutions.com and check out our resources!

No squeeze page, no opt in.

PS. After applying all the filters I can I just checked that email box, and since yesterday, 229 new messages!

Be INTENSELY ACTION Oriented! June 15, 2010

Posted by truenorthtrainingsolutions in business, Professional, success, time management.
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There are dozens if not HUNDREDS of “famous sayings” and pieces of advice making sure that you THINK before you act. Many also encourage you JUST to think, think positively (that’s where the Positive Mental Attitude theory got its name). As a matter of fact I know a trainer whose entire program is focused on getting you to take your thoughts and VERBALIZE them all day long! Now I’m not saying that this theory doesn’t have merit, personally I believe that it does indeed, HOWEVER even the bible will tell you that “faith without works is dead.”

Don’t get caught with your engine running and your transmission stuck in FIRST!

Remember your clients didn’t even know that they NEEDED your product or service. Now they not only need it but they WANT it now!

You should do at LEAST one thing EVERY day to move towards your end goal. For example if you are working FULL TIME as a Law Assistant in a Giant law firm, but your dream has been to become a writer, find a time EVERY day and do SOMETHING that will contribute to you becoming a writer.

Now there is a CAVEAT. Earlier I encouraged you to use your car as a rolling Library and listen to audio reports, seminars etc. Just because you listened to something for an hour on your drive in this morning, that doesn’t count. Remember his is ACTION oriented, not SLUG LIKE! Now if you have a topic for your story or book, and you need to do research about that characters life, and you sit down to read some trade manuals from an industry other than your own, that could count, for a little while.

But if you spend the next 3 years reading about running a Funeral Home because your main character is a mortician, you will become an EXOPERT n the mortuary industry, however if after 3 years you are STILL reading “Embalming Digest” your book will remain a pipe dream.

Set aside an hour a night and sit in front of the pc and start WRITING.

But let’s move back into an office environment. You started in a fairly entry level position and now 5 years later your still on the same team, but you have gotten a few promotions, but you’re STILL considered entry level.

NOW is the time to become action oriented. Start asking your boss for extra assignments, look for additional responsibilities.

I’m not saying give up ALL your spare time, but does you manager even KNOW that you want to be on X team? Most Managers in today’s corporate world know that is they keep you where they want you instead of where YOU want to be, you’re only going to be there a short time. As soon as you determine that they are the reason for your lack of growth you will EITHER leave that company or go around you and start interviewing with OTHER teams, then he’s got to start ALL over!

So tell him where you want to be, ask him if THAT place is something that he knows something about. Typically by the time someone comes into management, they will have gone through MANY of the positions that you will need to go through as well. They can, if you’re open with them, tell you the good sides and the bad sides of each. Best of all, by talking to them in advance if they are a really good manager, they will WANT you to succeed and grow, and by you being plugged into a path of growth you will become a better team member for them while on your journey. ADDITIONALLY you will have given them a 1 to 2 year warning of where and when you may be going. Thus allowing him to bring someone in to replace you and allowing YOU to train your own replacement.

But remember if you do nothing else, do this. Do ONE thing EVERY DAY to advance you on where you want to go!