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.

American Presidents Historic Sites – Visiting President Andrew Jackson’s Hermitage in Nashville

This is another in a series of travelogue articles about U.S. presidents historic sites. Our 7th president, Andrew Jackson, built a beautiful home with spacious ground just outside of Nashville, Tennessee. That homestead still welcomes thousands of visitors every year…

Andrew Jackson: An Overview

Andrew Jackson, America’s 7th president, held the office for two terms, ending in early 1837. He returned to his plantation home, The Hermitage, just outside of Nashville and commenced a meticulous remodeling project of the home, which had been damaged by fire three years earlier.

Jackson himself was a self made man who had lost his entire family to illness and tragedy by the time he was 14. He studied law and enlisted in the military, becoming a national hero in the War of 1812.

He soon entered the world of politics, running unsuccessfully for president in 1824 despite handily winning the popular vote. He won the election of 1828 and 1832, and had many notable achievements as president. After leaving office, he continued to be an influential national figure until his death in 1845.

Visiting Nashville And The Hermitage

Nashville, a vibrant city in central Tennessee. is a center for the music industry. Be sure to visit the Grand Ole Opry while you are here, and stop in at one of the many downtown Nashville bars to catch up and coming music acts.

The neighborhood known as the West End, just minutes from downtown, is a walkable shopping and dining area favored by visitors and locals alike. Vanderbilt University and other colleges call Nashville home, lending a youthful, energetic vibe to the city.

Nashville is also a foodie town, well known for its many excellent local restaurants serving a variety of innovative cuisine. There are numerous great choices downtown, in the West End, and in the suburban areas.

The Hermitage is located about 15 minutes east of downtown, and it is open every day for visitors. A visitors museum details Jackson’s life and career, and an introductory overview film is available for those not familiar with his place in American history.

Also on the spacious grounds is the mansion Jackson lived in, restored to the late 1830’s time period when he returned from Washington. Many of the furnishings are original, as is much of the wallpaper. Numerous Jackson artifacts are displayed, and it is fair to say this is one of the best preserved early presidential homes.

Summary

Both Nashville and The Hermitage, located minutes from downtown, are an excellent destination choice for those interested in American and presidential history. Nashville is a thriving, lively city and an epicenter for the music industry. Meanwhile, The Hermitage is one of the best examples of historic home preservation in the country.

Both The Hermitage and Nashville are appropriate for all ages and interest levels, making this a perfect weekend travel destination.