Going From Top Salesperson to Sales Vice-President Destroys Life, Conclusion

Larry’s wife saw the frustration in her husband’s demeanor. Gone were his deep-belly laughter, smiling, and ability to get a good night’s rest.

After nearly a decade as his company’s leading salesman Larry was now a joyless Sales Vice-President. Neither Larry nor his wife was happy with the way things had worked out.

His wife pointed out an ad for an Advanced Leadership Certificate program at the local Community College. After a little encouraging they decided that he should take a few classes to see if they could help him.

As instructor of the class I saw Larry sitting in his seat the first night. The burden of his worries was evident in every aspect of his body language. At the end of the first class Larry lagged behind and shared his story with me. Not only was he struggling with the weight of discouragement from being in a position for which he had not been trained he was having difficulty dealing with being the only vice-president not related to the owner.

Larry and I agreed he would benefit from some one-on-one coaching with me. I asked him to take a quick online assessment so I would know his personal weaknesses, strengths, motivational factors, and career interests. When I read the results of his questions there was only one logical conclusion — Larry was in the job of his dreams!

Why dream jobs can be torturous

Now many will wonder how someone can have the perfect job and not find happiness. Life has taught me this is often true. Dream jobs are usually aligned with someone’s interests are not always aligned with motivational factors and exposed talents.

Take for example the person who loves to make sandwiches. They decide to open a sandwich shop. Things generally run well at first but soon they will struggle with the other aspects of running a sandwich shop. Taxes, payroll, procurement, maintenance, and other business requirements for which they were not trained nor had the motivational interest will overcome the joy of making sandwiches. The focus will turn from creating beautiful sandwich masterpieces to total frustration at making challenges for 48 hours a week.

Larry’s mistake

Larry’s main problem was that he loved sales too much. During those times when he should have been coaching the salespeople he was taking over the sales call completely. The salespeople were becoming frustrated because they wanted to sell themselves and saw his intervention as a lack of confidence in their abilities. They dreaded hearing that he would be joining them on one of their sales calls. Instead of learning from the best salesperson the company had ever had they were so filled with negativity they learned nothing but resentment.

Larry’s change

Larry began to concentrate his listening skills on the salesperson’s approach to a prospect. He fought the urge to jump down during a sales call preferring to work with the salesperson after the call helping the salesperson to realize what the customer wanted and what the company had available to meet those needs.

Over the course of our coaching experience Larry saw how to make the Transformation from the talents of the salesperson to the talents needed by the sales vice president.

Six months later he completed the coaching program saying the fire is back in his belly and he “looks forward to work every day”. His peers commented that there was a “new” Larry — one that was fun to work with side-by-side.

The following season Larry’s company experienced a double digit sales increase, almost reaching their capacity to deliver product. This was in spite of the beginning stages of an economic downturn.

Presidential Museums – Visiting Lancaster, Pennsylvania and the Home of America’s 15th President

Welcome to another in a series of travelogue articles spotlighting presidential museums, homes, and historic sites. In this article we will provide a visitors overview of Lancaster, Pennsylvania and the beautifully restored estate of our 15th President, James Buchanan…

President James Buchanan: An Overview

Presidential trivia buffs know James Buchanan was America’s only bachelor president, but his life and presidency is a fascinating story. Elected to the presidency at the relatively advanced age of 65, Buchanan had previously served under three other administrations.

At the time of his election in 1856, tensions that ultimately led to civil war were escalating. His successor, President Lincoln, carried out many of the agenda items from Buchanan’s administration. The most notable of these was a show of force against the confederate states if Fort Sumter was attacked. Buchanan fought long and hard to avoid war between the states, but was generally hamstrung by a divided Congress.

Buchanan’s niece, Harriet Lane, had lived with him since being orphaned at age eleven. She assumed the duties of First Lady during his administration, and was in fact the first person to be bestowed that title. Buchanan himself, a staunch opponent of war yet a strong supporter of the Union, retired to his Pennsylvania home after his presidency. He continued to advance his causes as an elder statesman until his death in 1868.

Visiting Lancaster And President Buchanan’s Home

President Buchanan’s restored estate, Wheatland, can be visited just outside of downtown Lancaster, Pennsylvania, about 85 miles west of Philadelphia. Tours are available daily during the spring, summer, and fall, with limited winter hours.

Visitors will experience not only the home of the president, but also the expansive Wheatland Garden and Tanger Arboretum. The arboretum is a popular attraction that hosts a collection of over 100 species of trees from around the world.

Tours last about an hour, longer if you linger in the garden and arboretum. The home itself is restored to the appearance when Buchanan lived here. It is a beautiful two story period home, with many original furnishings and memorabilia from his life and presidency.

In the aptly named Presidents Shop, you can purchase items not only related to Buchanan, but other presidents and the presidency in general. We added several unique items to our collection not found in other museum stores of its kind.

Lancaster is a perfect stop on the way to Gettysburg from Philadelphia. For presidential historians, this trip is ideal. Philadelphia of course is known for its historical attractions, as is Gettysburg. Don’t pass up a chance to stop in Lancaster on the way. Not only is Wheatland a must see, but the historic downtown area is a perfect stop for lunch or dinner.

Presidential Museums – Visiting Cincinnati and the Home of America’s 27th President

This is another in a continuing series of travelogue articles showcasing presidential museums, homes, and historical sites. Join us as we visit the Queen City, Cincinnati, and the home of America’s 27th president, William Howard Taft.

President Taft: An Overview

America’s 27th president, William Howard Taft, was born in Cincinnati just before the Civil War. He pursued the legal profession early in his career, which ultimately led him into public service and politics. In the 1908 elections, he won the presidency and served in office until 1913.

Taft is the only U.S. president who also served as chief justice of the Supreme Court, a position Taft held in higher regard than the presidency. He was appointed to the court by President Harding and served for several years until just before his death in 1930.

The Taft Home In Cincinnati

Located about a mile north of downtown, the Taft Historic Site welcomes visitors free of charge. This is the home where the future president lived up until the time he left for Washington.

Guided tours are conducted daily by National Park Service rangers. You will see period rooms which have been restored to their appearance when Taft lived here, along with fascinating political memorabilia from Taft’s presidential campaign.

An overview of his many accomplishments as president and chief justice are spotlighted, and you can stroll around the grounds to see the home’s exterior and the adjacent visitors center.

Visiting Cincinnati

Nearby in downtown Cincinnati, there are numerous attractions, especially along the Ohio River. Take a river cruise in the summer, or dine in one of the many waterfront restaurants with a view of the Cincinnati skyline.

While you’re here, be sure to try the chili at either Skyline, Gold Star, or Camp Washington, three of the area’s best known chili parlors. The chili is a slightly sweet, slightly spicy mixture that is served over spaghetti, along with onions, cheese, and beans.

For an historic lunch in a beautiful urban courtyard, we recommend Arnold’s Bar and Grill on 8th Street downtown. This is Cincinnati’s oldest bar and restaurant, open since 1861. Try one of the daily specials and soak in the historic ambience.

Just a mile from downtown, and almost straight up, is a well known city entertainment area, Mt. Adams. Here you’ll find specialty shops, restaurants, and nightlife options dotting the narrow, winding streets. An under the radar gem is the City View Tavern, well known for its outdoor deck overlooking the city below. They have a limited food menu but be sure to try a mettwurst, a mildly spicy sausage that is famous in these parts.

There are numerous other attractions in and around the city, like a world class aquarium and the famed white Bengal tigers at the Cincinnati Zoo. You’ll find an active local sports scene, dozens of great local restaurants, and a real sense of history.

Summary

Accessible from just about anywhere in the country, Cincinnati is an ideal weekend destination. Visit the home of America’s 27th president, William Howard Taft, and then explore the many attractions and great local cuisine the city has to offer.