Michael is a born leader and trainer. I’ve known her since Kindergarten, so one might say I am a biased “old friend.” That is not true. At a young age she had organizational skills others did not. She also held an authentic, compassionate capacity to call people out when necessary even as a teen! (I may or may not have been a recipient of said calling out.) As the time has passed, despite years and miles, I have witnessed her innate diligence blossom into mature leadership and inspiration to others both professionally and personally. Expect her to inspire and challenge you! This is what Michael does best.
Communications Professional and Old Friend
I was part of a sales workshop with Michael earlier this year, and was extremely impressed. Having been involved in the sales industry for over 10 years, I thought I had learned most of what there is to know about getting the best out of your people. But I was wrong. Michael’s approach is unique, and so easy to understand and implement. Her theory of “Tell me more” has made things so much easier in my role, and her approach to getting the best from your people is one of the best I have seen. I would recommend Michael to anyone interested in refreshing their sales teams, or looking to get more from their business.
I have just finished reading your book and I am absolutely buzzing to “tell you more!”
I had been a manager in training for a little over a year before I took on my current role as general manager. I have always prided my leadership skills as stemming from a foundation in staff engagement, and on my ability to make my staff and peers want to trust me to offer them guidance in their role.
As I’ve been training a new “manager in training” of my own, one of the things I have shared with her is my tactic of trying to answer a question with a question. I think it is very similar to your own notion of “tell me more,” and probably why your message resonated with me from the start.
However, while I may have thought I was following through on that principle, I must admit I am similar to Maria in the way that I assumed because people have always liked working with and for me, that I was developing them in a way that was highly engaging. After reading your book and reflecting further upon just what that looks like, I am sitting here in a slightly sheepish manner, knowing that I also am prone to let the perfectionist in me take on many of the projects that I could be better empowering my team to do. I, too, suffer from always feeling just 2 steps behind where I wish I was, and I think a lot of that stems from being too solution oriented in the now, and not enough solution oriented in the future. Sure, I can fix a problem quickly and easily, or take it off one of my staff member’s plates because they are uncomfortable, but how does that impact my team overall, and their ability to function without me? (A: not well)
While I may preach the notion of taking the time to answer a question with a question, reading your book helped me recognize that I am not always practicing that method on a daily basis (and if we are only doing something occasionally, does it ever truly change how things are done?).
I have never been so engaged by a book that is meant to be motivational and to teach a type of leadership strategy, and I am so grateful that I had the pleasure of meeting you in my shop! Thank you so much for sharing your insights with me via this book, and please do come by sometime soon to visit!
Stephanie Bedus | General Manager
LUSH Cosmetics Shop and Spa
ByNanette L. Steffenhagenon October 10, 2016
This book pertains to improving leadership skills by drilling down into issues using the “Tell me more” technique, which gets “all the cards on the playing table”. Using this fresh approach, the leader’s facilitation enables their direct-reports to figure out how to address various situations. The end result is that the subordinate gains confidence, ownership, and more buy-in with the resolution, which in turn benefits the leader. This technique could be used in any coaching capacity. The book is easy & enjoyable reading, which helps after a full day of work!
Byjscon January 2, 2017
So many leadership books are dry and simply deliver their step-by-step bullets to success coupled with some analysis and a pile of statistics. Ms. Sherlock’s book differs in that it is fictionally set in a corporate sales organization with character types we’ve likely seen before in our own experiences. That familiarity makes it easy to relate to the characters she develops and helps us remember the points being made in each all-too-true situation. I found myself rooting for each as they explored better methods and earned the resulting victories.
The book serves as a good reminder that respectful listening combined with genuine follow-up and follow-through are great ways to involve, encourage and empower people, whether they fall under your reporting line or not.
The importance of positive relationship development and the resulting value when the topics suddenly get real (the book relates the story of denying promotion to 1 of 2 qualified internal candidates) are points well made in the book. I was reminded that honest, direct and genuine dialogue can transform a potentially negative situation into a positive. Leadership qualities like humility, fairness and empathy are displayed by the characters, as is the payback that can be gained from building such a culture and pushing that down from the senior management level.
An aspect of the story that resonated with me involves our desire to solve problems and execute solutions quickly, without giving enough thought to the development of each individual teammate. We all want a shorter task list and that can lead to implementing half-baked remedies. Pushing back the chair to truly understand the problem, then guiding the person facing it to come around to his or her own understanding of the problem builds confidence and achieves buy-in to the solution. While it may still be your solution, they have arrived at it on their own through the ‘tell me more’ discovery method.
Finally, the story deals with the issues of personal confidence and vulnerability that many leaders feel. Can I do it? Will my people listen? Can I get out from under my own shadow? It describes the necessary transition from executing everything directly to empowering people to find and execute their own solutions. As the saying goes, ‘many hands make the work seem light.’ This book gets right to that point.