By: doug_mcrae | December 13, 2013

Sometime... Often, when we promote our top Salesperson to Sales Management, we end up shooting ourselves in the foot.

Why?  Two key reasons:  

1. We take one of our best Salespeople off the road... at least for a significant part of their time.  

2. The characteristics and attributes that make a GREAT Salesperson 'SELDOM' create a great Sales Manager.

We see examples of his frequently and we find ourselves feeling disappointed for business owners who felt they were doing a good thing.  While it makes some sense that having direct selling experience should help you to understand the rigors of the sales job and how to coach others, this nice idea seldom converts into results.

By: doug_mcrae | December 10, 2013

Many times position are filled easily, with little effort, for roles that are so highly structured that the PEOPLE criteria have limited importance.

When roles are more critical, carry more risk, are harder to fill, have experienced unwanted turnover, it becomes very important to work on the process that will lead up to Attracting, Screening and Selecting the right person.

It is important for your team to determine:
  1. What the right person looks like (psychologically)
  2. What is required to bring that person to your door
  3. How to recognize the right person when they apply
Doing so reduces the chance of and cost of the bad hire, which can easily be 3 - 5 times the annual income for the role.
It is a spend a little to save a lot decision.  

Typical hiring processes are often 14% accurate.  With planning it is possible to go from getting 1 in 6 right, to getting 4 out of 5 right.

By: doug_mcrae | June 05, 2013

Raise your hand if yourleadership is continually encouraging innovation, but when it comes down toimplementation, everyone continues to do things as they’ve always done them.Don’t worry; you’re not the only one with your hand in the air. It’s notuncommon for us to revert back to what we know, what is comfortable. What youdid five or ten years ago worked for you — it got you to where you are today.Perhaps what you did back then was unbelievably innovative, and ultimatelysuccessful, for your company. Do you know what your next steps are for aninnovative and successful future?  Do youhave the tools and talent necessary for your company’s evolution?


Approximately seven yearsago, a TTI-certified consultant, Vicki Lauter, was working with a healthcareconsulting company. A small, entrepreneurial company, the leaders were having ahard time hiring the right people. This isn’t to say they weren’t hiringgreat people ­— they were hiring recent cream-of-the-crop MBAs from Duke andChapel Hill. These extremely intelligent, driven graduates were staying withthe company for about a year, then moving on to run divisions at Fortune 1000companies. They were tomorrow’s CEOs, and this particular consulting companydesperately needed dedicated healthcare consultants. Moreover, the leaderswanted employees who would be trained on how to be the perfect healthcareconsultant the way their company envisioned and how they had experiencedsuccess.


Lauter and her teambenchmarked the healthcare consultant position by identifying the keyaccountabilities of the job, and then determining the most successfulbehavioral (DISC) style, motivators, acumen and competencies (soft skills) anideal candidate would possess.  As theyrecruited and onboarded candidates who aligned with that particular benchmark,they found that their retention rate increased substantially, and the firstbatch of benchmarked consultants stayed on staff a minimum of four years.


Let’s fast-forward now to2011.  Five years after the original (andsuccessful) job benchmark, the company’s leadership came to the realizationthat their clients were changing, and thus the company needed to change aswell. Lauter’s team was brought back in to re-benchmark the company’s standardconsultant position, and during the benchmarking process, the leadership teamtruly realized how much their talent pool needed to change. Originally, theywere looking for highly compliant, technically savvy individuals who woulddeliver the company’s strategy precisely as they were taught. Afterre-benchmarking, the position, the company leaders recognized that they neededconsultants who were comfortable talking and meeting with clients, anddelivering solutions to each client depending on that client’s individualneeds.  This was a very different type ofemployee.


Implemented successfully,this healthcare consulting company developed a cadre of talented consultants,equipped to evolve with the company’s strategic plan, but before they couldinnovate, they needed the right people working to fulfill the vision of thecompany.


Click here to read more blogposts featuring job benchmarking success stories:

By: doug_mcrae | June 05, 2013

Is Your Company’s CultureReady to Innovate?



Atthis year’s Front End ofInnovationevent, George Buckley, executive chairman and recently retired President andCEO of 3M, said, “A company can only be innovative if you have the culture toaccept change and risk … innovation comes down to people and how you lead andinspire them.”  As companies seekopportunities to innovate, they will rely on their people to move their companyforward. So what can organizations do to ensure their employees are optimizedto be the most productive, most innovative they can be?


ATTI-certified consultant, Mark Debinski was recently working witha client where innovation was a key initiative in the company’s strategic plan.Despite this tenet of innovation, the company’s culture prevented it fromchanging and taking the risks necessary for its people to be innovative. Thecompany, a hundred year old national law firm, had recently acquired twoboutique firms located nearly 3,000 miles away. The clash of cultures fromthese polarized entities virtually paralyzed the managing partners’ ability toinnovate and grow the firm, despite the fact that the acquisition was a vitalpart of that strategy. The people working within the firm were stuck in itslegacy culture, continuing to do things the way they've always done them. Thisculture supported only the ideas of department directors, eliminating theopportunity for other employees to contribute to the growth of the firm.


Debinskiand his team applied two distinct techniques to help the firm transform itsprohibitive culture into a more objective one where employees had anopportunity to help innovate the company. First, they took the firm’s employeesthrough trust-building exercises. This was necessary to create an atmospherewhere employees feel a sense of safety and security. With this feeling ofsafety, employees were more likely to take the necessary and valuable risks thatmake for creative and innovative outcomes, which in turn will create highquality business results.


Oncetrust was established, Debinski’s team engaged with different departmentsthroughout the firm using TTI Success Insights’ TriMetrix® HD assessment. Everyemployee was assessed, and the comprehensive TriMetrix HD reports revealed thedistinct value each employee was capable of bringing to the firm. Breaking outof the habit of only trusting the words of director-level employees, theassessments quantified the value of other employees. And, because trust hadbeen built throughout the firm, cross-collaborative teams were developed andbegan innovating. By eliminating personal biases, the firm was finallyoperating at its desired level. The assessment process provided a space forobjective conversation to take place and true talents to be revealed.


Tolearn more about companies that have used TTI Success Insights assessments tocreate innovative human resources solutions, read our collection of case studieshere:



Favor Larson is Senior Business Services Consultant for TTI Success Insights, striving to improve the quality of the workplace through the application of assessments in businesses using an in depth knowledge of behaviors, motivators, personal skills, emotional intelligence and acumen.

- See more at:

By: doug_mcrae | June 05, 2013

Amazing but true.  Try it.  Get a length of chain, any length and any gauge.  Lay it out on a table, floor or ground. Now, pick up one end and try to push the chain across a surface.  

YEP!  Can't be done.  A simple lesson about life, work, friends, negotiations, leadership or just about anything you can think of.

Leadership is about bringing people along, willingly, behind your leadership.

Think of this every time you are about to push.  Sometimes you may have to, but most of the time... probably not.