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Making Yourself the Right Leader for a Change Initiative

Looking to transform your sales team? Are you ready? Notice the question was not about getting the team ready but literally getting YOU ready. Having a Big Idea is one thing, but making it happen is another.

ITT (a manufacturer of connectors and interconnects for broad-ranging applications) made a cultural change—shifting from an engineering culture to more sales and marketing focused. While this change was all business, the executive leading the initiative—VP and Director of Business Development Tracey Peacock—took it very personally.

She did three things that within a year took her division from underperforming to growing:

  1. Recognized she needed help. Tracey was leading a difficult transformation of a very analytical, engineering organization. She knew outside help was needed to help implement her ideas and provide objective input on the steps to take.
  2. Trusted her instinct. Mike Griego from DSG described it this way, “She has maneuvered well, and I told her to continue to trust her good judgment. She has good, good instincts. Her gut on people and things has always proven to be right on.”
  3. Showed up in person. Executives at Tracey’s level often set wheels in motion and rely on others to manage global implementation. Tracey took a hands-on approach and attended trainings around the world—seeing in how people were responding to the process. Then, she participated in coaching calls to sustain the change.

Tracey explained her understanding of what change requires of a leader:

"To make it successful, you really have to own it and drive it... if this was going to work it had to have very clear sponsorship, and I really took that very seriously and really worked with my sales leaders to drive that discipline through the organization."

Heather webBy Heather Easterday
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