I was facilitating a ‘meet and greet’ between some Key Talents in an international company and a couple of their seasoned leaders. The Talents were obviously interested in the leaders’ views on how to advance their careers. One of them asked an experienced Sales Manager if he thought it was a good idea to spend some time in Sales if she wanted to grow her career in Marketing.
The Sales Manager came down on her rather fiercely saying: ‘In my Sales team I want people who have a heart for Sales, not some temporary on-lookers planning to advance their career in Marketing!’ He added: ‘I need dedication, not personal agendas’. Who could argue with him?
Certainly not the young woman. She looked embarrassed and it seemed like the discussion was closed.
Then I asked the Sales Manager how, by the way, he appreciated working with Marketing people having had Sales experience. Without delay he replied: ‘That’s great, it makes life so much easier!’
Here he paused, after which he smiled apologetically…