Up, Down or Sideways?

In this episode, Wendy Kane, Director of Sales Leadership Development at Ricoh Americas Corporation, talks about Situational Leadership®‘s role in her training curriculum.

Episode Transcript


Welcome to Leadership Quick Takes from The Center for Leadership Studies. In this episode, Wendy Kane, director of Sales Leadership Development at Rico America’s Corporation, talks about the direction of influence in her organization. For The Center for Leadership Studies, here’s your host, Sam Shriver.

Sam Shriver

If you accept the notion that leadership is multi-directional, which direction or angle would you say your Situational Leadership® training is focused upon?

Wendy Kane

I think all angles at this point, and I think probably for most organizations, certainly at Rico, this is the case. We are so highly matrixed inside of what we do. Each team relies very heavily on multiple other teams. So as a result of that, not only is communication more important, but influence becomes drastically more important. In most cases, it’s not a do this, or I’ll fire you kind of context because the majority of what we’re doing is not dealing with or trying to influence somebody. That is a direct report. Instead, we’re leading using influence. My team and myself, we’re probably excellent examples of it. I’ve got a team of sales trainers, and our responsibility is sales manager development. But our authority is nothing. We don’t have any managers that are directly reporting to us. So what do we have to do?

We have to help them see why they want to do it. We have to help them see what the value and the impact is. We have to influence the behavior change in order to get to that end game result. And that’s both with them and also with their leadership. So how do we connect the dots so that our VPs of Sales know what it is that the sales managers learned, reinforce it, and kind of follow that forward? Otherwise, we go in, and we might be very entertaining. They might love the program, but it’s a one-time learning event if we can’t get some behavior change from it.


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