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Empathy Doesn't Mean Lack of Accountability

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The following episode is also available on YouTube:

Today’s work environment is dynamic. Leadership approaches that worked for decades just aren’t as effective today. Chet Lovegren, aka “The Sales Doctor” shares ideas and insights around managing the balance between empathy and accountability in diverse teams. 

Chet has had over 11 years of sales and sales leadership experience before starting The Sales Doctor back in 2020 as a way of providing a prescriptive approach to revenue problems and struggling go-to-market strategies.

In this episode, you’ll learn

  • Why yesterday’s leadership doesn’t work with today’s employees.
  • Why good managers have both empathy and hold their employees accountable.
  • What are the three employee types to watch for, and how to manage them.

If you find yourself in need of some coaching for yourself, or your team, don't hesitate to give Hamish a call. 


Arnold - On Netflix

Trillion Dollar Coach: The Leadership Playbook of Silicon Valley's Bill Campbell - by Eric Schmidt, Jonathan Rosenberg, Alan Eagle

Chet Lovegren on LinkedIn

Chet Lovegren on Linktree


FFF S01E133 Chet Lovegren

Chet Lovegren emphasizes adapting leadership for millennials and Gen Z, balancing empathy with accountability, supporting personal growth, and prioritizing meaningful connections over material wealth in sales leadership and personal development.

Generated Shownotes


0:00:00 Changing Times and Leadership Perspectives
0:00:49 Full Funnel Freedom Podcast Introduction
0:01:13 Introducing Chet Lovegren, The Sales Doctor
0:06:53 The Talent Tide: Understanding Generational Work Differences
0:16:51 Balancing Empathy and Accountability in Leadership
0:20:48 Proactive Conversations in Sales Leadership
0:30:38 The Three Types of People in Organizations
0:32:56 Coaching Up or Coaching Out: Managing Departures
0:35:26 Inspirational Viewing for Entrepreneurs
0:37:34 Sales Enablement Co-Pilot: The Sales Doctor

Long Summary

The podcast episode commences by addressing outdated leadership practices in today's workforce, acknowledging the evolving needs and expectations of the younger generation, notably millennials. The guest, Chet Lovegren, known as The Sales Doctor, shares his journey through various professional roles culminating in his current venture. He discusses the dominance of millennials and Gen Z in the workforce and the necessity for adaptive leadership styles that align with their values.

The conversation expands to debunk the misconception that empathy undermines accountability, highlighting the significance of balancing empathy with responsibility in leadership roles. Chet shares personal anecdotes and insights throughout the episode, shedding light on the disconnect between traditional leadership approaches and contemporary employee expectations.

The importance of maintaining accountability while understanding and supporting employees facing personal challenges is emphasized. The interview provides a framework for effectively managing diverse team dynamics by categorizing employees as builders, maintainers, or departures and stresses the need for proactive leadership strategies.

The interview delves into identifying and managing maintainers within sales teams, focusing on setting clear expectations, providing coaching, and fostering continuous improvement. Personal growth, embracing imperfection, and cherishing relationships beyond material possessions are also discussed, with recommendations for further resources for sales leaders.

The heartfelt conclusion urges listeners to prioritize meaningful connections and experiences over material wealth, emphasizing the fleeting nature of possessions and the ultimate value of time and relationships. Overall, the interview offers valuable insights into sales leadership, personal development, and the pursuit of a fulfilling life in today's dynamic work environment.

Brief Summary

The episode discusses the need for updated leadership practices in today's workforce, focusing on adapting to the values of millennials and Gen Z. Chet Lovegren shares insights on balancing empathy with accountability in leadership roles and effectively managing diverse teams. The importance of supporting employees through personal challenges while maintaining accountability is emphasized. Tips on managing different types of employees in sales teams are provided, along with advice on personal growth and valuing relationships. Listeners are encouraged to prioritize meaningful connections over material wealth. Overall, the interview offers valuable insights for sales leadership and personal development in today's dynamic work environment.


updated leadership practices, millennials, Gen Z, empathy, accountability, diverse teams, managing employees, sales teams, personal growth, meaningful connections


Changing Times and Leadership Perspectives

[0:00] Who owns CDs anymore, right? Everything's on digital now.
Everything's stored in the cloud. So why do we still try to lead people the same way in a period in time that is not relevant anymore?
We're not dealing with corporate hostile takeovers anymore. We're not dealing with the yuppie culture.
We're not dealing with people that want to work 60 hours a week until they drop that at 70 of a heart attack and let their spouse carry on with their pension until it runs out and then live on whatever's left in their social security for 10 more years. We don't have people that have have that.
We have a generation of people in millennials who feel that the amount of work that's required for the amount of outcome that they receive is not relevant.
It's not that they don't want to work and they're lazy.
They don't understand why I have to work to make $5 the same amount of effort that my parents only had to work to make $1.

Full Funnel Freedom Podcast Introduction

[0:50] Welcome to the Full Funnel Freedom Podcast. If you are listening to this, you are likely leading a team responsible for generating revenue.
Purpose of Full Funnel Freedom is to support people like yourself and keep your.

[1:03] Music.

[1:03] Funnels consistently, reliably full.
Welcome to the Full Funnel Freedom podcast. I'm your host, Hamish Knox.

Introducing Chet Lovegren, The Sales Doctor

[1:14] Today, the doctor is in the house. I am delighted to have Chet Lovegren, aka The Sales Doctor, as my guest today.
Chet had over 11 years of sales and sales leadership experience before before starting the sales doctor back in 2020 as a way of providing a prescriptive approach to revenue problems and struggling go-to-market strategies.
Chet has helped build out sales processes and teams that led the company successfully raising over a hundred million dollars in venture capital funds.
Chet's prescriptive approach to solving revenue problems provides go-to-market professionals with the right dose of practical and tactical info needed to stop the revenue bleed from archaic practices and methods. Chet, welcome to Full Funnel Freedom.
What's going on Hamish? Thanks for having me. I know it's been a heck of a time for us to get this on lock and get together, but third time's a charm, right?
Amen, brother. And the important thing is we're talking right now.
So I've given the audience, the 30,000 foot view, dive us deep, tell us the chat story. How do you, where did you come from?
Where, how'd you get to here and where are you going in the future?

[2:18] Yeah. So I think like any salesperson, you know, never any intention of joining sales, but I think, a, you know, kind of fell backwards into it.
But if you look at everything that I did up to that point, it kind of makes sense.
I grew up in a very conservative Christian household, also was a musician.
I was homeschooled until high school.
I actually ended up leaving high school pretty early, just going to get my GED and joining an internship program at a church at the age of 16.
Ended up going to a Bible college at 18. I have a degree in pastoral studies with a minor in grief counseling.
It was the side of pastoral work that I liked was being able to work with people going through grief at the church that I was raised in. one of the best pastors that, you know, he never got any clout. He wasn't the senior pastor.
He wasn't the worship pastor on stage every week. He wasn't even the executive pastor running the books, but the grief pastor was the guy that he poured into a lot of people's lives. And he was like the unsung hero.
You know, everybody knew about Dave, Pastor Dave. And he was like, I was like, I want to be that guy.
I want to be the guy actually doing the work. And I don't care about being the face of anything, but that was the introverted side of me speaking out.

[3:20] As I got into things, I ended up moving and being a worship pastor for a while because I played music and I could sing and there was a need for that and things just changed over time ended up deciding that ministry was no longer something i wanted to pursue so i came out to la because my brother worked as a personal assistant to jerry bruckheimer at the time and thought i'd try my hand at the next best thing which is entertainment right i have stage presence delivered sermons i play music there's entertainment um started working in the music industry a little bit started working doing some stand-up comedy some acting doing a lot of auditions doing some like web commercials and stuff.
Cause that was right when people started making commercials actually for YouTube.

[3:56] So like FanDuel, DraftKings, those kinds of smaller companies, Manscaped, you know, companies that were trying to basically play like the big players, but on the smaller screen.
And so they were a lot more apt to hiring new talent for commercials.
And it was a nice way of living. Had to supplement that still.
Decided the best thing was to go manage a bar at a really nice restaurant because I knew how to work in the service industry.
And then life just changes. I ended up hurting myself on the job.
Couldn't really work in that kind of capacity, 12 hours a day on my feet.
Kind of lost the passion for the entertainment industry and got involved in selling commercial insurance products and basically risk aversion solutions for co-owners that want to have life insurance policies in place so that if one of them dies, they're not left holding the bag, things of that nature. Did that for five years successfully.
Saw a lot of my friends that were in sales making a lot more money than me.
Some people were moving into frontline management. I said, well, how?
Well, you got to get into software sales. So I basically went through this period for the next year where I interviewed for maybe a little bit over like 300 jobs, but everybody, every time wanted me to be an SDR.
And I said, look, I've worn a wool suit in North Hollywood, California in the summer, knocking on doors of businesses i've paid my dues i know what it means to generate pipeline i have all the buzzwords you want to talk about grit perseverance all that stuff.

[5:24] And accountability, you know, that's when you and I were talking about earlier.
That's something I have too, because if I didn't hit my targets on outside sales, like outside sales, a much harder thing to do than it is having pipeline generated for you.
So I held out and I'm really proud of that. My story that I held out until I actually got someone who offered me an AE job because everybody wanted me to be an SDR.
I said, one thing I would ask too, is I would say, what's your average deal size?
It'd be like, Oh, 20 K 30 K. And I'm like, I just got somebody who owns four El Pollo Loco fast food chains to part with a quarter of a million dollars for their annual insurance policy. Like I'm selling way more dollar amount than anybody on your team is selling in a whole quarter. I'm selling that in one deal.
I can do this. You know what I'm saying?
Finally got somebody to give me the shot, give me an opportunity.

[6:06] And it wasn't long before that person saw what was really a formality was me going to sell software for a little bit.
Once a management position opened up, I moved into SDR leadership, kind of climbed the ranks from there, went over to Pavilion as a director of growth, moved to Jelly Smack, running their sales development program globally.
Probably 60 people, 10 SDR managers, 50 SDRs, and then went out full-time with a sales doctor at the beginning of 2023, now that we're in 2024.
So that's the 20,000-foot view.
It's not the 30,000. We're in a little deeper, but thanks for asking.
And I hope that's insightful for anyone who's maybe come from a similar background or is on a similar journey.
Yeah. And what an incredible journey. And thank you for sharing that 20,000-foot view with us.
And I look forward to getting to to hear more about it offline at some point.

The Talent Tide: Understanding Generational Work Differences

[6:53] So Chet, we had a bunch of really cool conversations around sales leadership and this phrase kept coming up that you brought up, which is the talent tide.
And I love alliteration. So I'm a huge fan of that.
So tell the audience of sales leaders, what the hell is the talent tide and how is that relevant to them and organizations today? Yeah.
Yeah. So being a millennial myself, it's kind of snuck up on me.
You know, I still feel like I'm 25 years old.
I just have more responsibilities, but it's not, that was a decade ago.

[7:26] And so the talent tide is the idea that 50%, I'm sorry, 60% of the workforce by 2025 is going to be comprised of millennials and Gen C, two generations that work completely different than Gen X and boomers.
And unfortunately, we're still running leadership practices the same way that our parents and our parents' parents did in the late 70s, 80s, and even early 90s.
And if you know what was going on then, it was a lot of hustle until you drop dead at 70 of a heart attack, work forever until your pension runs out, or work forever until you have a pension that you can basically live on.
And there was a lot of hostile takeovers in the corporation, in the corporate world. world.
I just learned the other day that Sports Illustrated is actually part of a larger company that also owns like a bunch of stores in the malls.
And it's so weird when you look at like these conglomerations behind these big name brands that you're actually buying from.
And it really does feel like the America specifically is just made up of like 15 massive corporations that are basically holdings companies.

[8:26] Even a client I had, I looked, I was like, well, so this is the the company like no this is the company and we own 18 other companies and these are all the other companies and i was looking through all the other companies like these are some big name companies and like so your company that i'm working with is basically a holdings company that just has all these other you know companies underneath that umbrella um and so it's it's wild to think of things that way that you know we don't still send faxes anymore maybe some people do and i haven't seen one in a while when i sold logistics software we had one client that needed their invoice fax to send faxes anymore.
People aren't sending as much direct mail anymore.
These are, you know, we don't have corded phones even anymore.

[9:06] Everybody's got a cell phone. We don't even, who has, who owns CDs anymore, right?
Everything's on digital now, everything's stored in the cloud.
So why do we still try to lead people the same way in a period in time that is not relevant anymore?
We're not dealing with corporate hostile takeovers anymore. We're not dealing with the yuppie culture.
Uh, we're not dealing with people that want to work 60 hours a week until they drop that at 70 of a heart attack and let their spouse carry on with their pension until it runs out and then live on whatever's left in their social security for 10 more years we don't have people that have that we have a generation of people in millennials who feel that the amount of work that's required for the amount of outcome that they receive is not relevant it's not that they don't want to work and they're lazy they don't understand why i have to work to make five dollars, the same amount of effort that my parents only had to work to make one dollar millennials will not be able to afford homes for at least at a pace of 15 years longer than their parents were able to afford homes and the types of home they will be able to afford or 30% less space.
So you have a generation of people that the amount of work that they're being told to do that their parents did that they made a dollar, they're going to have to do $5 worth of work. And that just doesn't make sense anymore.
We're earning pennies on the dollar in comparison.

[10:17] You move that to Gen Z, you have a culture of people that basically saw a generation put all their effort and time into their job only to get laid off in 2009 and be left with nothing.
And one of the really dark things and one thing that really pisses me off right now about how many layoffs there are is the human side of layoffs.
It's being looked at as like an oopsie right now. It's kind of wild that companies are like, oops, well, we overplanned.
Oops, you're gone. on. But people, one of the things that if you watch like the big short, one of the interesting lines is like for every hundred thousand people that get laid off, there's like eight suicides or something like that.
Like it actually affects people really, really bad.
So you think about beyond that in 2008, people's parents losing their jobs, you know, how many people, you know, ended their lives because of it, or people that felt like they failed and, or people that had nothing left because their pensions got wiped out because the pensions were used to leverage investments that were basically gone.

[11:13] So you have this entire generation of people who don't trust the corporate entity now, an entire generation of people who actually believe that, you know, who were raised in a much more political environment than even I was raised.
You know, when I was in college, people weren't really talking about politics.
If you're in college now, or you were in college in the last five, 10 years, politics were at the forefront of every discussion you had in the classroom in college.
So you have a very politically charged vocal generation who doesn't trust the system anymore in Gen Zs.
So why do we try to train, coach, enable people the same way and lead them? It just doesn't work.
And so this is the talent tide that we're dealing with.
I also want to call out that other than voluntarily choosing to go fight in the Iraq war, millennials are the first generation that weren't really, I guess, in their adulthood, like faced with war, if that makes sense.
Like when nine 11 happened, you know, I was preteen just about, I was in middle school.
So you think about the generations that were able to go to war then and there, that was like.

[12:16] You know very young gen xers and and beyond right so we but since then there hasn't really been a war where it's like the whole country moves towards people wanting to go fight in that war so we were really the first generation that has not been faced with what i would call like traditional wartime you know you think about the korean war vietnam war world war ii world war one that was like the forefront of those people's lives and so that's a completely different culture as well right you're not raised with a war mentality and so i think that's where the the whole conversation about empathy comes in.
But one of the big points that I like to make when I talk about this is the problem now with millennials and younger generations is that they think that empathy means a lack of accountability, and that's not.
And it's primarily because they weren't raised in that wartime amongst all the other factors that we just discussed.
That's really surprising to me because, and for what I tell the leaders that we support is, everyone's a wonderful human being. They just may be a bad fit for the role.
However, However, they are still a human being and they still have, you know, at some kind of expenses, whether they're just out of college or whether they've got a mortgage or a spouse or children or whatever. So we still have to consider that human factor.
I'm boggled by this idea of empathy equates to a lack of accountability.
Would you unpack that for us a little bit more? Because I've never heard that and it's fascinating to me.

[13:33] Yeah. It's actually empathy does not mean a lack of accountability.
Empathy does not mean a lack of accountability. Okay. So, so still unpack that a little bit more.
Yeah. It's like quiet quitting. We get it confused.
Somebody clocking in, doing their job, giving you 80 to 90% quota attainment.
That's not quiet quitting. That's what you hired them to do.
And people would say, no, I hire them to hit a hundred percent of quota. You do.
Then why do you hire headcount as if everybody was going to hit 80%, right? Cause that's what sales leaders do.
When we headcount capacity plan, we look at what if every, we need to get 80% of our are individuals of quota to equal 100% of my team quota.
That's where overhiring comes in, obviously, and why we're in the crap storm that we're in.
But that's somebody, quiet quitting, somebody that clocks in, does their job, doesn't want you to message them after five o'clock on Slack, isn't going to hop on a call before 9 a.m. their time working, even if it's for a deal. That's not a quiet quitter.
That's somebody who wants to clock into their job. I call them a maintainer.
We'll break down the three types of people when you're leading and how to identify them in a second, but it's the same thing with empathy, especially to work from home, remote work environment.

[14:32] We've gotten into this thing where empathy, oh, well, they didn't hit because of this. Oh, that's, we need to be empathetic. No, no, no.
That empathy does not mean a lack of accountability. We still need to be accountable.
Obviously there's more that's required to be able to walk in someone's shoes and understand what's going on.
It's like when people perform really badly and they scapegoat their performance on like something personal in their life. Yeah.
That's a tough line to walk and you have to move within lines of your HR.
But when I immediately get met with that, for instance, Hey, my show, you know, Hey, your quota was, and we can't be hitting 75% under for a whole quarter. Like that's going to be tough.
Like we need to hit at least 90% next quarter, or I'm going to be forced to put you on a pip.
That's just, we need to justify the ROI of having you in the seat and you can't have 75% attainment in a month.
Well, you know, Chet, my, my wife got kind of sick and my kids have They've just been battling a lot of like my kids got COVID this and that.

[15:25] Okay, dude, everybody deals with stuff though. You know what I mean?
Like, that's the thing, like your, their situation is not special. Yeah.
That's like a father or a mother or even a grandparent, if you're really close or maybe aunt's uncles, like brothers, sisters, I get it.
That's a little bit different, but everybody's going to go through that.
So does that just mean like, and I don't want to sound like insensitive here, but like I've, I've lost my grandpa and my uncle in the last year and a half who were two very close people to me.
I mean, I grew up working with my grandpa painting houses when i was a kid uh my uncle was incredibly close to us my second oldest brother even named his kid's middle name after my uncle you know what i mean like it wasn't just like an uncle fun uncle like he was very involved in our lives and we loved him and he passed away at the age of 63 he was very young it was unexpected but it's like i can't just hit the pause button you know like i still have bills i still have things i need to support did i take week did i go to the funeral did i spend time with my family did i come back and And maybe I wasn't a hundred percent for a week. Yes.

[16:21] But especially since I'm an entrepreneur, like I had to find ways that I didn't be create, I had to creatively grieve, you know, I can't just like lock out and not work and just want to sit around and get stoned and watch Netflix all day or something. You know what I'm saying?
It's just not how it works. And so I don't mean to sound insensitive when I say this, but everybody deals with personal struggle.
So my favorite is when like people say like, oh, it's, I didn't hit my number because of this, or this was going on, or, you know, my dad's been really sick or like, I mean, mean, I've heard it all.
You know what I mean? I've led SDRs. I've led AEs. I've heard it all.

Balancing Empathy and Accountability in Leadership

[16:51] And so I always ask three questions. Okay. Well, do you want to work through this?
Because if they don't, then it's an easy question about, you know, what do we do next? Right. You don't want to work through it.
Then that's an easy question. Easy question. We work on that.
Second is, okay, are you ready to work through this? Because if you're, you want to work through it, but you're not ready, we can hit the pause button.
We can figure out what that looks like. Family medical leave act.
Maybe we have COVID policies, whatever that might look like. Totally.
If you are ready to work through this, great. So you do want to to work through it. You are ready to work through it.
The last question is how are we going to hold ourselves accountable that if we have to have the same conversation in, in, in a month.

[17:24] That it's done in a different way. Like, how are we going to make sure that we are answering honestly to number one and number two, because that's where you create that action plan with one another and you hold them accountable to that.
So then in a month or whatever your measurable timeframe is, if they don't hit it, you're like, okay, well, you didn't fall through with it.
And I'm also making sure that in a month, you're not going to tell me the reason you didn't hit your sales activity numbers wasn't because your dad wasn't feeling well and you had to go take care of them a couple of times.
Because if that is a problem, if that's going to be a recurring thing, I can't have that. I have that liability on my team.
And that's why I think leadership forgets about is you have a responsibility to the business as much as you do people.
But in the same light, some people don't remember that they also have a responsibility to people as much as they do with the business.
Totally. It's a lot better if I can figure out a creative way to have you taken care of while not affecting my team and also not affecting yourself.
Because there might be a way where we can figure this out so that if you don't need to work for two months, you can come back in two months when your dad's feeling better and you still have your job. Whereas if you keep trying to like do both, we're probably going to let you go because you're not hitting your number.
Like despite things going on in your life, like you're not hitting your number, it's at will employment.
So you're actually doing people a better service by trying to figure out how can I best support this person?
Because also if that's really something, if that's not just a scapegoat, if that's actually something affecting that person, I think it's in their best interest to keep trying to have them juggle the two.
No, truly be a leader and support them in the way they need to be supported.
Now, Hamish, I say this and nine times out of 10, it's just a scapegoat. like we get that.

[18:52] We've been in leadership long enough. We know how it works because then the person gets let go.
And nine months later, they get let go from the next job they have that we see on LinkedIn, right? It's a rebellion pattern.
It's always an excuse for something, but that's where I say empathy does not mean a lack of accountability.
We still need to have accountability in place. Yes, it's great to be empathetic, but we've now driven culture too far the other way where it's like everybody gets a trophy, everybody can do whatever they want and we'll walk on eggshells around everything right no like we're still running a business and i am a firm believer that part of that mentality if that was there was a bigger focus on that we probably wouldn't have the over hiring and the underperformance that we have right now but it was.

[19:32] You know, remote work, hire everybody and anybody, let them do whatever they want. And if they don't hit, they don't hit whatever. We're just going to keep hiring people. And now a bunch of people are out of jobs.
Right. Right. And, and you and I are aligned on that because I believe in having emotional conversations without the emotion, which you just very beautifully illustrated, which is, Hey, you were off target, which is emotional.
And you're asking those four really incredible, insightful questions.
So that should things happen in the, again, in the future, we already already had the conversation there's no surprises and and that's a really great lesson sales leaders who are listening is be proactive right just take what chet just illustrated there that was a proactive conversation not a fingers crossed oh i hope hamish hits his target next quarter and then when i don't then we have to have the pip conversation or an even stronger conversation and now you and i are fighting which again sales leaders listen to those questions chet just asked you can have that conversation in advance so that should you get to that point following quarter, your person might even just be like, hey man, I didn't keep my word.
Here's my resignation or whatever that might be. And again, I'm not hoping that they quit, but they at least know I committed to this.
I didn't do it. Here's what the outcome is.

Proactive Conversations in Sales Leadership

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Now, back to the show.
So, Chet, you talked about the three types of people you lead, and I'd love to learn more about this.
What are these three types of people that we're leading, and what does that mean to our success as sales leaders?
I've recognized that in any organization.

[21:37] Part of reactive leadership is that we manage the 20%, the bottom 20%.
If you think about Pareto principle, it makes us feel like we can't have our cake and eat it too, but we really should be able to.
So somebody at the bottom does something bad and we make that rule for everybody.
Whereas you have this top 80% of people who are like, why do we now have this new babysitting rule?
Just because Chet's not doing his job.
And Hamish is sitting here like, dude, I hit 190% of quota last month.
I'm on target to hit president's club by month five.

[22:03] And it's like, Like, I know there are nine other people that would love to have me on their team.
And that's why people quit and you lose good people because they're reactive leaders by nature. And we make rules for the bad apples.
I mean, we do it. Parents do it too. I see my littlest kid doing something.
Littlest kid broke a couch. So now I'm like, we're getting really serious about like the levers on our reclining couches are sectional.
And I'm like, but my other kids aren't doing that. So why do I get all like frustrated with them when they do the slightest little thing on the couch?
Whereas it's the youngest one that's just causing all havoc.
You know, that's don't manage to the 20% managed to the 80%.
And in your organization, there's typically three types of people. There's builders.
Those are your day ones. The people that are next to you by your side, they probably have the same career aspirations that you want to have or that you do have.
And the way that you can lose a builder is by giving them more than they can handle and having them ask, well, if I'm doing all this, then what is Chet doing?
Or what is my cohort Hamish doing? I feel like I'm doing my boss's job and I'm doing more than anybody else on my team. But they're always open to leading conversations, group coaching calls.
They're always open to being a buddy for the new people that are on board.
They're always open to helping create new sales emails and stuff like that that you might need to implement.
They're the closet manager, so to speak, right? They're the hidden manager on your team.

[23:21] Then there are maintainers. And that's what we talked about with the quiet quitting.
There are people clock in, clock out.
Don't give them more than they can handle and don't assume they all want to be builders and don't hold it against them that they don't have the same career aspirations that you or the builders have.
Some people just want to do their job. I know a guy that's, Hits 140% of quota every year, goes to president's club and he's in a cover rock band in Chicago and he loves it. And that's what he does.
And he puts a lot of his time into that. He doesn't want to be a manager because he knows that he's going to have more paperwork and he's going to have to play politics.
He likes just showing up, putting his head down, hitting his number.
That's what he likes doing. That's great.

[23:53] And then the last one is the departures. And those are people we either need to coach up or coach out.
Always coach them up on the first go around. If they don't follow through with that, coach them out.

[24:03] And when you think about it 50 of your group is going to be maintainers 30 are going to be builders and the bottom 20 are the departures grass is always greener on the other side less than six months at every role they go through their honeymoon phase and they start gossiping and creating doubt with people and again that's what we do we take the bottom two out of our 10 reps and we focus on making rules and processes for accountability around them instead of finding out ways to develop enhance and nurture and support and coach the other 80 which is five Five out of 10 people being maintainers, three out of 10 people usually being builders.
Great analogy, great way of looking at the team. And recall a client I had several years ago, this is pre-COVID.
And when I sat down with the CEO, they had three sellers and we looked at them and we did some assessments on them.
And it was like, well, this person's not really trainable. And I learned they were like 18 months from retirement.
So I was like, don't even spend money on this. Just let them roll out to pasture, right? Like they've been a good soldier, just let them go, let them ease into their next phase.
And then there was these other two and there was one who was just like an absolute like, yes, this person is going to move the needle.
They were a builder. They were also shockingly the top seller.
And then there was this third one and they looked like a maintainer.
And I and I said to the CEO, you know, based on what I'm seeing here, this person is probably going to quit within six months.
I said, hey, I don't make higher fire. I'm not a shareholder.
Right. If you want to if you want to invest, like, go ahead.

[25:31] Five months to the day I had that conversation with the CEO, this maintainer had revealed themselves to be a departure.
And the CEO called him and said, hey, I'd like to have a meeting with you, which was code for I'm going to fire you.
And and this person said, oh, I just took another job in another company.
I was going to give you my two weeks notice. And the CEO's like, great, see you later.
And four jobs in the next year for that person who moved on.
So they do reveal themselves over time.
How do we make sure that we're not getting frustrated as a sales leader?
Because as a sales leader, theoretically, we're supposed to develop, right? That's one of the things theoretically we're supposed to develop.
How do we accept that we have 50% of our team as maintainers and not overwhelm them or drive ourselves nuts trying to develop them into people who they never want to be.
Well, number one, how do you identify who you actually have so that you get as close as you can to make sure you know who are your maintainers without them departures, hiding as maintainers.
That's something we don't have to get into today. This is part of a larger SKO workshop keynote presentation I do.
So if anybody listening wants to know how to identify those people and the language behind those people and what it sounds like in a nine box exercise, you can reach out to me on LinkedIn. in. I'll share the, I'll share the three slides that I have in my keynote from this that you can just take for free.
I don't care because I know we won't have time to get into it here, but that's important is identifying them.
But how do you not get frustrated with them?

[26:51] I think has to go into what is your development plan for everybody at the company in terms of coaching versus training versus support and letting them know the expectation of development.
Because even if If you're a maintainer, you're going to develop, you're going to develop, you're going to develop skill sets that help you stay motivated and keep you in the right mindset.
So you can constantly perform at the, you know, between the 80 to 90% clip.
I mean, you have maintainers that do hit it a hundred percent too.
Right. But like, it's like some people go, I had this person who just, it's 85, 89, 87, 85.
They're a maintainer. Great. That's good. You have guaranteed revenue coming in, right? Guaranteed production.
So I think the first thing is it's setting expectations.
This is, you know, you don't have to become the next sales leader.
You don't have to go to President's Club, but this is what we expect at a baseline in terms of your coaching cadence, your training, your professional development here.
Right? We have a $500 a year professional development budget.
You got to let us know in 30 days how you want to spend that.
And if it's on books, then great.
Let's work that into your coaching plan.

[27:57] By the way, let me add, there's a difference between training coaching.
Yeah, no dud, Chet, we know. But the problem is, is that everybody says that, but I still see it overlap.
When you get in a one-on-one with someone, you look at their pipeline, then you try to train them on what they should be doing. Wrong.
You get into a one-on-one with someone, when you look at their pipeline, you try to coach them up on a deal. Wrong.
Training is delegation. Coaching is direction.

[28:19] But neither one of those should be taking place in a one-on-one.
One-on-one is your opportunity to support the individual and manage the relationship between the business and the rep.
That's the goal of the one-on-one. Will there be some strategy on a certain deal in their pipeline review?
Yes. Will there be some certain strategy on a of potential discovery that you're going to join them because it's a massive strategic enterprise deal.
Yes, that is strategizing. That is support. To me, that is not coaching.
Coaching is Hamish, man, I looked at this discovery call. We got to talk about the medic framework you're using and how you're asking these questions because they sound very salesy.
We're dealing with educators. They can smell sales from a mile away.
They need to be more relational. Here's how I recommend we approach that.
Let's try it out and workshop it together. And when does that happen?
Not in a a one-on-one that happens in a weekly one-on-one coaching call that everybody should have with the reps.
There could be group coaching calls as well, depending on if you're leading SDRs or AEs, there should be weekly trainings or at least bi-weekly skill trainings, not trainings on the new product feature, not trainings on the org chart and how the department relationships are going to work out skill training.

[29:28] This month, we're focusing on discovery and in discovery, we're going to talk about medics. So week one, we're going to talk about M week two, we're going to talk about E so on and so forth.
Like, however you want to work that out, but you should be having a group training where it's just completely delegation on how you want the job done.
And that's outside of process product and people that's on the actual talking about the problem.
There should be group weekly coaching, which is good because especially in a remote culture, like learn by association.
There should be weekly one-on-one coaching, whether it's SDRs doing cold calls or AE managers doing discovery review, stuff like that.
And then your weekly one-on-one should be purely about support.
And we get that wrong. And it sounds like a lot of meetings, but it's like, what else are you going to do with your time?
You know, hit refresh on the dashboard all day long.

[30:18] And so I think when you set that expectation with maintainers that like, Hey, this is what we expect in your development.
You're going to have a group. We're going to be, we have a group coaching call.
We have a weekly one-on-one coaching call.
We have a weekly one-on-one that's merely about your business performance and how I can support you in strategizing on deals.
And then we're going to have these team trainings that we're going to go through.

The Three Types of People in Organizations

[30:39] And there's an expectation that, you know, we hit these kinds of activity metrics.
We hit these kinds of attainment numbers.
And if those things slip, this is what, this is what our performance review process looks like, like educating those people on those things.
So they walk into the job and they know that if I maintain, this is what baseline looks like and what I have to do.
The problem is most people just come in thinking it's a sales job and they have no baseline and they're just see what everybody else is doing.
And they go, that's my baseline.
Right. Instead of the leader taking ownership and saying, this is our baseline. This is what we expect.
Because if you set that expectation, then boom, that's the expectation.
That's where I'm going to measure you. Right. And if you go above and beyond that, you want to be a sales leader someday and this and that, the other, then I know who my builders are.
But the setting, I think how you get frustrated is by setting that baseline because they go, go, okay, cool. I'm checked in. That's great.
That's the expectation.
We're moving forward with that, but they don't do that.

[31:29] They typically just let people find out and see what everybody else is doing or they do it and they don't really like measure it in any kind of way.
And so then they're like, oh, well, so-and-so does this and so-and-so does that.
And so this is my baseline for what I think my job is.
Yeah. Well, that's a exactly illustration. Cause you brought this up earlier.
Like, well, if you sit me in between one person who's doing 190% of quota and one person who's doing 65% of the reporter, do I just average them?
And then, and then that becomes right. So in the the absence of guidance we will make up our own thing that is probably wrong so for the leaders that we talk about minimal acceptable performance so we tell the leaders we work with your people need a map minimal acceptable performance which is what you've been talking about like hamish this is baseline right this is your minimal acceptable performance i'm going to coach you to this and then again if you want to go higher than that great you can't go lower than that because when When I say minimal acceptable, this is the minimum that you need to do to stay here.
So I love that illustration, Chet, of we as leaders need to give our people what the expectation is, especially if they are in that maintainer group.

[32:34] Listeners, I'm going to encourage you to reach out to Chet on LinkedIn.
We'll put his LinkedIn profile in the show notes.
Get those three slides so you can understand what that is. And, of course, connect with him for additional support because he's got lots of stuff. as we've already talked about.
We're not going to get to even half of the stuff that Chet and I talked about offline.

[32:51] So Chet's going to come back at some point in the future and give us some more amazing ideas and insights.

Coaching Up or Coaching Out: Managing Departures

[32:57] I do have a few questions to wrap up with Chet. So the number one would be, if you could go back and coach younger Chet, now go back like as far as you like, you're going to say, hey, younger Chet, you're going to have this amazing business. You'll be the sales doctor.
You're also going to have a bunch of scar tissue and bumps and bruises.
What would you tell younger Chet to say or do differently differently to arrive at the same place, but with fewer bumps and bruises and less scar tissue.
Those bumps and bruises won't hurt as much if you didn't put as much time into getting them. So stop trying to make everything perfect and just do V1 and figure it out.
Um, especially with like content creation, you know, I was just talking to my wife about that.
I'm like, you know, I probably overspent about $5,000 over the course of three years on gear because I tried to do like the perfect thing everybody else was doing. Right.
And do like the full production all at once. Like instead of just taking it step-by-step and when I took it step-by-step, I finally got this resolution, this look, this quality, you know what I mean?
And when I was trying to do all this at once, it looked like garbage, but it was first, you know, getting a green screen for my virtual background.
Ground. Then it was getting a better microphone.
Then it was getting, or I'm sorry, getting a better camera. Then it was getting a better microphone and it was getting better audio out of that microphone.
You know? So it was like, once I figured out, instead of trying to do everything all at once, do just be one of the thing and then make incremental differences that are better.

[34:14] You're going to be, you're not going to be as pissed off when the bruise hits because you're like, ah, it's just a tiny little thing.
It's not like I'm out of work for like three weeks with a fricking bruise on my bone.
I had, I had costochondritis last year. I actually went I went to the ER cause I thought I had a silent heart attack, but it turns out when I was wrestling with my son, he just need me really hard in the chest.
And I got like bruising on the joint between my rib and my heart.
No, no, you're fine. You just take some, a leave for three weeks and then let us know.
I was like, I was like looking up wet MD. I'm like, I think that's it.
And I'm finally having that silent heart attack. I was always told about the, but it's, you know, it's, it's that whole thing. It's, you know, don't go for.
You know, it hurts a lot less if you don't spend as much time trying to make it perfect, you know, perfect. They say perfect is the enemy of good.
I don't think anybody wants to be good. We all want to be great.
So perfect to me is the enemy of great. That's what I like to say.

[35:00] I love that advice. And by the way, having trained Muay Thai for 10 and a half years, I had a sympathy pain for you when you were describing that, uh, that injury.
Cause, uh, yeah, that happened to me a couple of times as well.
Uh, although it wasn't a small child, uh, who was, who was doing it to me.
So, uh, thank you for sharing that with, uh, that with listened to, whether it's in the recent past or maybe in a recently or in the past that you would encourage the sales leaders listening to check out to further their own development?

Inspirational Viewing for Entrepreneurs

[35:27] Probably not a typical answer, but if you haven't watched the Arnold Schwarzenegger documentary docu series on Netflix, that's really motivational.
And especially as an entrepreneur when a lot of crap hits and you're like, oh man, am I really, do I need to go do something else?
You know, those really bad months. It just, I don't know.
It helps. It helps to just see this guy who didn't even speak English, not only become the world's best bodybuilder, but an American action star and a governor, potentially like everybody wanted to run for president at one point.
There were a lot of people who thought he'd run for president.
So, I mean, that's pretty impressive. Like, I don't think I could go to, you know, any foreign country and become like a national sports icon.

[36:08] And then they're one of their biggest movie stars and then run for office and actually get office.
Like, it's pretty impressive when you think about the reverse of that.
Like you think you could go to China and like do that or like Brussels or like wherever, right.
You couldn't, it just wouldn't happen. You know, the guy didn't even speak the language.
And so just his story. And I know he's done some stupid stuff in his life and there's a lot to hate him for, but there's also a lot to be impressed by.

[36:32] Um, and watching that, I'm like, if I think my life is ever tough, like I have nothing, I watched that and it, it, I don't know, intrinsically, it did something for me.
Uh tactically if you're looking for something um trillion dollar coach it's a book written about bill campbell early stage at um intuit and google big time leader and he's such a big influence on the people that he led that three people after his death actually wrote this book about him and his leadership so trillion dollar coach it's about bill campbell um would read that if you're looking for something more tactical.

[37:06] I love those examples. And I would say, you know, Chet, it's early in 2024 as we record this.
Who knows? Maybe we are going to move to Brussels next week and start that journey of becoming the Belgium's newest sports star and movie icon.
So last thing to wrap us up, you have given us so many amazing ideas and insights already.
And obviously, we've left a whole bunch on the shelf for the next time that we get together.
What do you have as a closing bit of wisdom, a final thought or even something to plug the floor is yours.

Sales Enablement Co-Pilot: The Sales Doctor

[37:35] People try to ask me what I do at the sales doctor. And sometimes it's hard to describe because I have so many different things that I do and I help people with.
So maybe you're a sales leader who knows you got to figure it out, but your people aren't performing.
I can help you try to upskill them in a very tactical and empathetic way that does not lack accountability.
Maybe you're like, look, I don't have it all figured out and I need to go back to zero and I need someone to help me build that because I don't have the time to do it all myself.

[38:00] Maybe you just want someone to bend their a year about your email sequences or your cold call scripts, or you're a founder looking to stand up your sales motion, or you've been doing sales and you want to do it better as a founder, or you want to hire your first two people, but you don't want to hire a full-time sales leader, or you're a sales leader and you want some coaching, or you're an individual with some coaching.
I mean, there's a ton of stuff, anything in terms of like, I like to think that I'm everybody's sales enablement co-pilot, you know, who's actually done the job.
You know, I didn't just read a bunch of books and be a project manager and work in sales enablement. it.
I've actually done the job myself and I was my own sales enablement leader because I worked at a lot of startups and I worked a lot of early, you know, enterprise companies that had early sales experience.
Uh, and I was like, basically a person was like, okay, this is how sales enablement works. Here you go. You know, my plug is that I'm here to help anybody.
Um, parting words would just be at the end of the day, it's just work.
Obviously you want to work on yourself, but sometimes I think some people take things so seriously and it's like, look, look, it's just a job.
Even the job market's tough right now, but there's always something else around the corner.
If a ding-dong like me can figure it out and be an entrepreneur, I'm sure anybody that's a sales leader that already has the title and the role on LinkedIn can go and figure it out if something happens.
But it's just a job. There's so many more important things in life.
There's people around you that love you, people around you that are going to miss you when you're gone.

[39:18] Focus your efforts elsewhere. Watch your kids grow up.
Call your parents. You know what I mean? If you're still lucky enough to have them, call your grandparents still lucky enough to have them, you know, uh, I think just the amount of loss I've experienced this year shows me, it's like, Oh, would I trade in a week of work to go visit my uncle in Wisconsin one more time?
Heck yeah, I probably would, you know, like even my best week of work.
So let me end with this. Uh, what was, I read the other day about, um.

[39:45] This roman emperor was dying and he said when i die i want the best doctors in the country to carry my casket um and i want all my money laid outside of my temple and all my possessions and i want my hands to be outside of my coffin and the whole goal was i want to show people that even with the best medical care you can still die you can't take any of your possessions with you all the gold and everything i earned on earth stays on earth it can't come with me and that at the end of it all, you leave the same way you came in, empty handed. All you have is time.
Amazing. Chet, what a great way to wrap up this episode. I have loved hanging out with you on today's episode and all of our previous chats.
So thank you very much for being a guest on the Full Funnel Freedom podcast today. My pleasure.
Thanks for listening to today's episode of the Full Funnel Freedom podcast.
You can continue to support us by leaving us a review and a rating, sharing this episode with a couple of sales leaders in your network who you care about.
I'd love to connect with you. I'm easy to find Hamish Knox on LinkedIn.
Also, if you'd like a free 15 minute call with me, go to forward slash how to Sandler.
Until we connect on the next episode, go create full funnel freedom.

[41:03] Music.