A Non-Lombardi Moment… Part 1

Leadership

Many moons ago… heck, many Blue Moons ago… I remember beginning work for a start-up company in town.

Well, actually the company had been around for awhile but they were opening a new division that seemed right up my alley.

Alright… alright, let me define this alley thing.

The truth is that I was twenty-five, extremely ambitious and extraordinarily interested in making some money, which happened to be in relatively short supply in my life at the time.

So, since I was broke and this was the only offer on the table, well like I said… it seemed to be right up my alley!

There, full disclosure… now everyone’s happy :)

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If you’ve ever worked for an employer who gave you absolutely NO TRAINING whatsoever for three or four minutes and then threw you into the fire… please write me, because it is likely that we may know each other, having worked for the same firm :)

Gosh the memories… companies like this have launched a thousand… maybe a million… entrepreneurs, just like me.

Apparently, my boss had seen the famous video of Coach Vince Lombardi giving his standard Opening Day of Training remarks… you know, where he stands in front of the players… tells them he’s going to teach them the basics, and then, holding up a football, says, “Gentlemen, this… is a football!”

Of course, I assume the difference was that Mr. Lombardi actually did some additional training after that, seeing that the Packers went on to dominate the National Football League soon thereafter. It also probably helped that the players already had a pretty good idea of what was expected, all of them having studied the game in college and many of them having played for the coach previously.

In my case, I was brand new to the position… the company… the industry… and the product line.

And the additional training?
What training?

Here’s how it went on Day One, back in 1986…

7:47am – Arrived at my new job
7:48am – Told to park somewhere else
7:49am – Instructed to wait in an empty office at the end of the hall
7:51am – Waited (did I mention the room was completely empty?)
7:53am – Continued to wait (no desk… no phone… no chair… nothing)
7:57am – Still, well… you know (listened to my own echo)
8:11am – Heard footsteps coming down the hall
8:12am – Handed a W4 and I9 Form (a new tool that year to eliminate illegal immigration :)
8:13am – Heard more footsteps coming down the hall

And wallah!!

8:14am – The Vice-President of Sales walked through the door, and in the most welcoming and sincere manner asked if I had any questions…

“Yes, it’s great to be here!”, I said… “What would you like me to do first?”
“Get out and make some ?#@*&%! sales…”
“Okay… I’m eager to learn the service line, and our advantages and benefits to the customer. Also, do you have any suggestions on what’s working within different sectors?”

And then came the non-Lombardi moment…

“This…,” he said, “is a phonebook. Now get out and make some ?#@*&%! sales.”

8:14:32am – Listened to footsteps disappearing down the hall
8:14:42am – Considered business applications of the Golden Rule

To be continued…

 

Photo Credit:

yatyat003