Looking after the triangle?

Skyscraper workers

He was a really great sales rep working for Guinness out of their Cork office. He had been in the job for a number of years, was very efficient, very intelligent, very successful and was quite popular with his customers.

He was a great asset to the company with his knowledge of the local area, which was a big deal to Guinness as it was very competitive with both Murphy Brewery and Beamish and Crawford located in the city. In his role he would have had a lot of liaison with the various brand teams in Guinness.

This was probably the most competitive patch for Guinness in all of the country. The sales structure in Guinness consisted of sales reps, there were nine regional managers, three divisional managers with an overall Commercial sales director.

As he was highly rated a lot of pressure was being put on him to look for a promotion and move up the corporate ladder. Any promotion would have probably meant a change of location. To most of the team this promotion opportunity, with more seniority, more perks and a bigger pay packet would have been a godsend – our guy had no interest, he was happy in Cork and loved what he was doing.

When this rep’s name came up in conversation in management circles there was always a sense of a “black mark” and a little cloud of disappointment against him because he wasn’t seen as being ambitious enough.

My Triangle Theory!

Triangle Theory

At the widest point of the triangle there are lots of workers. Some of these are ambitious and push themselves up the triangle into more senior jobs with more responsibility.

Above them are even more senior managers and the business owners – at the very top of the triangle there are a select few who earn the big money, are adept at corporate politics and can handle the responsibility and pressure at this level.

Often these guys and gals will have sold themselves for the job, made the big personal sacrifices, possibly relocating themselves and their families and made work their ultimate priority.

For the triangle to work best we need satisfied, happy people at each level – for those who want to push upwards there are opportunities and for those who are happy with their lot they can stay doing what they hopefully enjoy doing.

Isn’t it better having lots of happy sales reps than a bunch of unhappy sales managers?

Sometimes you have to let the Triangle look after itself …

Greg Canty is a partner of Fuzion

Fuzion are a Marketing & PR firm with offices in Cork and Dublin

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8 Responses to “Looking after the triangle?”

  1. irishminx Says:

    Love this Greg. Great analogy. I agree too.

  2. Niall Kenny Says:

    Good point on your triangle. Just have to accept there are various motivations outside of money to match everyones ambition. Thankfully this is so, for a society to survive, we still need bin men.

  3. Tara Mac Says:

    Isn’t it the Peter Principle that states that you are promoted to the level of your incompetence??

  4. Fergal Bell Says:

    It was years before I realised this, Greg. Not until I got chatting to a colleague who was very successful in a job that she’d been doing for several years and could haven done with her eyes shut. Chatting to each other one time she told me that she was perfectly happy and never wanted to become a manager.

    For her she could see the hassles associated with being a manager (lot of problems to sort out/little thanks etc.) and she didn’t want any of it.

    Importantly, the company benefited from her excellent experience and didn’t have to worry about finding a replacement for her. The clients were also happy because they didn’t have to deal with new faces. And just as importantly, she was happy as well!

    There’s an assumption that if you’re not moving up, then there’s a problem somewhere. Not true!

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