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I was promoted to VP of Sales from a channel sales role about a year and half ago.  As a company, we decided not to backfill my position for two reasons:

1.  I felt I could handle the additional responsibilities.

2.  I had worked too hard to hand over my relationships and was confident that it would work out.

Fast forward 18 months and I am still doing both jobs but we have evolved as a company.  Our partners have increased, we have lost people and added people and my daily and monthly workload seems to have increased.  I have become a very integral part of the company (and the family) and am at a point that I need to make others aware of my sinking as a "jack of all trades".  I am currently doing the following:

  • VP of Sales (manage 9 folks across two channels)
  • Regional Sales Manager
  • Multiple product roll outs
  • National Sales calls (monthly)
  • About to have two other folks starting that will report to me
  • Another channel launch
  • Covering sales for another market
  • Running social media for our company
  • Traveling to tradeshows around the country a couple times a month

I start my day with a Blackberry in hand and end the night putting down my Blackberry.  My balance is terrible and I want to make a change.  I really need some advice on this as I love the company that I work for and the work that I do.  I am pretty sure that my mgt team is simply unaware of how much my workload has increased recently and it is up to me to bring them up to speed and ask for help.  I need advice on how to do that.  Thanks in advance.

 

stringl's picture

 Hi Yahtzee,

it sounds to me like there are two questions here. The first is how to change the structure / process / team so that you can continue to make happen all the excellent things you're doing, while not having to get embroiled in so much detail, and get a bit of balance back. My guess (based as much on having seen others do this, as on your question) is that you're doing too much yourself, and need to delegate more. There's a step change needed from just managing others directly to moving to being an exec and managing other empowered managers. [MT listeners - I've heard Mark talk about this a dozen times, but I can't point to any one cast that says it, can you?] Delegating that much ownership of things, particularly things you do really well, is really hard. And really important.

I'd guess that perhaps you don't have enough senior people on your team to delegate to that much? In which case you may need to create a new role and hire in to it. Perhaps that's the old one you stepped out of, or perhaps it's different. Additionally, maybe the people on your team could take on more than you think.

 

I'd start with the juggling Koan on delegation, and the need for it http://www.manager-tools.com/2007/01/the-juggling-koan. Closely followed by the initial cast on delegation at http://www.manager-tools.com/2008/03/the-management-trinity-delegation. If you like those and want more detail, there are a few more casts such as what to delegate etc. There's also the recently released cast on how to manage a massive workload at http://www.manager-tools.com/2011/02/how-manage-a-massive-workload-increase-part-1

 

Your actual question though was how to discuss this with your management team. It depends a bit on the people involved, but I'd say the way you put it in your email sounds pretty good to me, with the addition of some sort of plan. That changes it from saying "I have too much, what do I do?" to saying "I have too much, I think I need to delegate more, and restructure things perhaps like this, can you give me some advice on that?". That makes it a more positive question, and puts you much more in control of things. Pick someone who's advice you trust, and go for it.

Good luck,

STringl

 

Mark's picture

But don't assume the answer is telling your bosses you're swamped.  NOT the solution.

Mark

yahtzee's picture

So I did put together a list of things that I was currently doing along with a proposed solution for getting each one of them off of my plate.  Instead of sending this info in an email to him I called him.  We are a pretty small, family-owned business.  My CEO said, "you are part of our family and we will do anything we cant to help you."  He also asked me what I want to do with our company and said "you are doing 2 full time jobs and 4 part time jobs."  Very positive call and I think my next step will be flying out to HQ to meet with the 4 principals to discuss.

 

Mark's picture

Keep us posted.

Mark