I am a GM in a satellite office.  We have several other offices around the country.  We each have our own P&L.  When I started we were losing money.  I have turned that around through head count count reduction, operational efficiency and sales.  We are now profitable.

Throughout the rebuilding process I was always reminded that I was the only office that had two sales managers (hint, expense).  So, we let one go.  Now, my boss has made an offer to another sales manager, who has accepted the offer.

My dilema:

How do I tell my boss?:

- You kept telling me we had too many sales managers.

- He is the weaker of the candidates you had me talk to.

- I do not need him  yet.

I want to be a team player, but what is the point of having responsibility and being a manager.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.


mmann's picture
Licensee Badge


Your boss has the means to affect your addiction on food, clothing, and shelter.  I recommend you don't tell your boss anything.

You've been handed a gift.  Perhaps it's not the gift you would have chosen, but it's been given nonetheless.  Be gracious and professional, and begin to build the relationship with your new sales manager.

Go through the Manager Tools Basics podcasts to learn about an effective way of developing that relationship.


ManagerPlus's picture

 Thanks for the quick reply.


tberge's picture
Training Badge

I too have felt resentful when my boss has either not listened to my advice or thrust people/decisions upon me without the input I would have liked to have.

The bottom line is that your boss wants you to succeed, there is no doubt to that.  You took some cues wrong and did what you thought was right by eliminating a position.  Your boss has given it back to you to make the office successful.  My not be the perfect person or perfect fit, but it rarely is, just like any gift.

ashdenver's picture

May not be the perfect person or perfect fit, but it rarely is, just like any gift.

I needed to hear that.  More importantly, I need to remember that.

DiSC profile: 7-2-1-5

mmann's picture
Licensee Badge


Sorry to pile on, but one additional thought came to mind.  As you listen to the podcasts, pay particular attention to the DISC behavioral model.  Understanding and using DISC profiling will help your interactions with your boss become more effective.

  Good luck!

asteriskrntt1's picture

And quite another to be a total doormat.   Of course, I don't know all the details here nor the history.  And there is no 100% sure-fire answer in this. Sometimes you need to speak up, sometimes it is better if you don't. Maybe there is something going on here besides the obvious.  Maybe they are looking to promote you and want a successor in line.

If this decision is coming at you totally out of left field, you might want to consider ramping up your communications/relationship with your boss.  As others have said, you can't manage up, but you can manage your communication frequency and reporting status and try to build or improve that relationship. 

mjpeterson's picture

Manager Plus,

You must have seen it coming.  Your comments indicated you interviewed the candidate along with a couple of others.  From this I assume you knew this person was going to your office.  The time to discuss the need or lack there of is before interviewing or at least during the process.  Not after the person has been hired.  Not much you can do now, expect execute effectively and work to make sure this person turns out better than you expect. 

cruss's picture
Licensee Badge

Looks like the latest podcast on Prepping your favorite candidate for the interview with your boss came out too late to help you.

But for others worried about finding themselves in this situation, it's a great formula for getting the best chance of your boss liking your preferred candidate.

I know this doesn't help answer the "we don't need this position" question but they do talk about why your boss has an interest in who you hire.

At my current company I was interviewed 3 times for a position. First by an HR Recruiter, Second by the hiring manager, and third by a Senior VP who is the hiring managers boss's boss. I didn't get that offer but they liked me enough to offer me another position in the org. I'm sure that my interview with the SVP was why I didn't get the first job I was trying for. The other candidates you talked to might feel the same way about loosing out to someone you considered a "weaker" candidate. 

Canyon R

sklosky's picture

But, I bet you $10 that your boss is aware of the items you mention.

asteriskrntt1's picture


My comment is based on a couple of things.  If ManagerPlus was only concerned that he/she got the wrong candidate, that would have been the focus of the posting.  Second, the comments about "you had me talk to" and that the boss made an offer without consulting him says this was shoved down his throat.  Doesn't sound like this was a well-shared well communicated plan - ie, out of left field. Just my interpretation.




ManagerPlus's picture

 Let me clarify and update you  - 

First, I found a good book that has helped:  How to Work for an Idiot by John Hoover.  I recommend it.

I knew the second Sales Manager (SM)  was coming.  I didn't (or did not want to) believe it was going to happen that quickly.  I also thought my input mattered more.  Lesson learned - Deal head on and accept.  

Based on conversations, I believe my boss wanted to hire the second sales manager:

- As insurance in case the first one quits.  
- Thinking it it a good way to drive more sales.
- Create competition between the sales managers.  (which brings up another question below)

The new guy has been on board about three weeks.  I think he can make a contribution and I am encouraged.  The boss' thought is that we are going to divide the sales team in half and them compete with each other - five inside sales reps each.  I want to try a different approach:

Keep the sales team whole and rotate the direct reporting responsibilities of the reps the the SM's on a weekly basis.  The week you're on you do all the lead distribution, forecast gathering, etc.  The other SM spends his time in the field with the rep.  They do the one-on-one's together with each individual rep. This way each 
SM is familiar with every deal not just their own.  Our SM's are compensated on how we do as a group.  Why not try to build the group, and teamwork, to be in line with how we are compensated.

Your thoughts?

mmann's picture
Licensee Badge


 "They do the one-on-one's together with each individual rep. This way each SM is familiar with every deal not just their own."

What I've found is the primary benefit of the O3 lies in the relationship between the manager and the direct.  Ideally that relationship is valued by the direct to the point that it drives their performance.  It's not really about the manager being familiar with the work, although that is a by-product.  Additionally, one-on-ones, by definition, are two people.  You're simply not going to build the required relationship in a two-on-one.