Hiring, Firing and Knowing When to Leave, with Bridget Gleason [Episode 332]

Welcome to another Front Line Friday with my remarkable guest, Bridget Gleason. On this week’s episode, Bridget and I discuss, among other topics, employment-related questions people have asked Bridget, the sales team characteristics of companies in different stages of growth, whether personal growth or employment stability is more important to a sales professional, and how a manager should make the decision to terminate an underperforming rep.

Key Takeaways

  • Andy sets the topic: employment questions that sales reps and managers have asked Bridget.
  • How does a rep, who is being recruited by other firms, know when it’s time to leave their current company?
  • Questions to ask yourself when considering an opportunity to jump to a new job at another company.
  • When will I look like a job hopper? Is there an appropriate length of time to stay at a position? How long is too long?
  • Boards and CEOs tend to project company development through stages. What do CEOs want to know about a salesperson’s skill set, career history and goals?
  • Bridget talks about different types of salespeople choosing to work at companies in different stages of a growth.
  • When the corporate environment changes around you and loses its appeal, what do you do?
  • If the opportunity to keep learning from people you respect goes away, do you look for a better place to learn and grow, or do you hang on?
  • Reps tend to prioritize opportunities to learn and grow. Is an offer of more money a good substitute for growth? Do people coming into the profession see sales as a great career path in itself, or as a stepping stone to something bigger? Is one view more appropriate?
  • If you’ve crushed your quota, and there are days left in the month, is it time to take it easy?
  • Should you put a salesperson on a performance improvement plan once you are certain that they’re not a good culture fit?

Episode Transcript

Andy Paul 0:56

It’s time to accelerate! Hi, I’m your host, Andy Paul. Join me as I host conversations with the leading experts in sales, marketing, sales automation, sales process, leadership, management, training, coaching, any resource that I believe to help you accelerate the growth of your sales, your business and most importantly, you. This is another special edition of Frontline Friday with my special and regular guest, Bridget Gleason. Because for the first time we’re actually in the same location.

 

Bridget Gleason 1:30

This is the most special, Andy. This is the most special, special, special because we are actually in world headquarters.

 

Andy Paul 1:40

Of the best, Accelerate Media Empire. Yes.

 

Bridget Gleason 1:42

Exactly, the Accelerate Media Empire, and I feel honored to be here in your presence today to do this live. I am so excited!

 

Andy Paul 1:51

Well, semi-live. Live together, unfortunately not live to the audience. 

 

Bridget Gleason

That’s true. 

 

Andy Paul 

Someday we’ll do that though. We’ll do a live episode.

 

Bridget Gleason

Yeah, that’d be fun. 

 

Andy Paul 

So yeah, here you are, actually in one of the world headquarters, actually the San Diego world headquarters of the Accelerate Empire. 

 

Bridget Gleason 2:05

That’s what happens when you have an empire.

 

Andy Paul 2:07

More than one central of power, seat of power. So anyway, special episode because we get a chance to be together. I guess we’re gonna answer questions for question day.

 

Bridget Gleason 2:22

And I’m excited about these, Andy, because these are questions that I’ve gotten. So this is where we get to turn the tables.

 

Andy Paul 

Oh, gosh. Another one of those turn the table days. It’s the Bridget Gleason show.

 

Bridget Gleason 2:31

I love it, before I have my own media empire, the Bridget Gleason Empire. But these are questions that I’ve gotten.

 

Andy Paul  2:43

From people that you know, from sales reps or managers.

 

Bridget Gleason 2:46

Sales reps, and there’s reps who I’ve managed, or I spoke at an event a couple of weeks ago up at the offices of Lyft in San Francisco. And I got a lot of questions there. Companies where I advise, and so I collected a couple of them. So I took a couple of them that were from reps. And the reps, there’s a theme, but I’m not going to tell you. You’ll hear soon enough.

 

Andy Paul  3:13

I hate surprises.

 

Bridget Gleason 3:14

I know. Well, how do you think I feel each week? And then a couple from managers, too. Okay, so the first one that I got from a rep, and this is one that I get frequently, particularly in Silicon Valley. Is a rep asking, sales rep, account executive, it’s all different levels, when it’s time to leave the company where I am. Because I get recruiters contacting me daily, and they’re these great opportunities. And it pays more money.

 

Andy Paul 3:53

This is what they’re saying. 

 

Bridget Gleason

This is what they’re telling me. 

 

Andy Paul 

Of course, I know they’re calling you constantly, but yes.

 

Bridget Gleason 3:57

But salespeople are getting hit up by recruiters, hit up by friends. This is one of the things that I hear frequently from companies that are thinking about building sales teams in the Valley. It’s really hard. People move frequently. And they do. So what would you tell someone that asks you, how do I know when it’s time to go? How do I decide, should I leave or should I stay? How do I decide? 

 

Andy Paul

Cue the music in the background.

 

Bridget Gleason

Cue the music.

 

Andy Paul 4:35

That’s a tough question. Because here are the factors at play. Of the factors that would interest you in a new position, especially in the Valley, A, is it gonna make me rich? Does that possibility exist? What stage are they at? If I get in early enough, I get an interesting package. 

Is it something that I could be passionate about selling? And for me the passion is really twofold. One is not are you passionate about it, but is it an environment where I’d really learn something new that would add to my skill set. Would I be working for somebody that would really teach me a lot or would it be an environment where I’d have to learn something really new and challenging that, again, overall would increase my skill set. 

I’ve been in that position in the past. Those are things I looked at. Because I’ve passed opportunities where I was in environments where I was working with people I really liked, and we were selling some great products. We had excellent customers. The pay was great, the options package was great. Could have been better at some other places potentially. But the risks seemed too great at that point in terms of what the potential upside would be where I just made the judgment of I’ll stay here for now. 

And there are several instances I can recall where I made that call. Oh gosh, the environment’s even changed and keeps changing, and life is short. And so the flip side of what I just said is life is short. You’re young, you’ve got skills that people want. What’s the downside of going?

 

Bridget Gleason 6:29

Okay, so part of the downside, and I cannot tell you how many of these conversations I have. 

 

Andy Paul

Oh yeah, it’s not an easy discussion. 

 

Bridget Gleason

It’s not an easy discussion. Because just as I’m counseling people from other companies, I guarantee the people who work for me are having this conversation with others. Sometimes they have it with me, too, even though they report up into me. So the question I get asked around the same topic is part of the downside, two of the points that I’ve heard that are part of the downside. One, am I going to look like a job hopper? And so what’s the right length of time, the duration? And that’s changing. Okay. Again, I hate going back to the old people thing here. But Andy and I, job hopping, like you were a job hopper if you hopped every–

 

Andy Paul 7:33

Three years?

 

Bridget Gleason 7:34

Or five years even. 

 

Andy Paul 7:36

Well, I’ll tell a story about this just to show the passage of time. Yeah, when you and I started ages ago, I always used like three years, but you said five. More frequently than that, people thought you were hopping jobs. 

 

Bridget Gleason

Yeah, you’re not stable.

 

Andy Paul

Why are you doing that? And so on. 

 

Bridget Gleason

You’re risky. 

 

Andy Paul

So before I started my own company, I was with this one startup for seven years. And we went through the whole cycle of things to very small, we eventually went public. We started acquiring other companies. I saw the whole gamut of things. And about a year after I’d left to start my own company, I get a call from a recruiter. And I wasn’t really interested in going to work for another company. I started my own business. But I thought, what the heck, I’d go do the conversation. Maybe I’d meet somebody interesting. 

So I go in, and it actually wasn’t recruiters. I was meeting with Director or Vice President of HR for this company. And his first comment was well, so why did you stay so long at your last company? And I burst out laughing, because it was like, isn’t that funny? It was seven years. And it’s like, what was wrong with you? You stayed at this place for seven years.

 

Bridget Gleason 8:54

And you know what’s interesting about that, Andy, is that bias also exists today, as well. It cuts both ways. So in some ways, damned if you do, damned if you don’t. If you don’t stay long enough, you’re a job hopper. You stay too long, why did you? And so that’s the question that I get asked is, is there an amount of time that is respectable? And what I’m seeing, and I’m trying to remember where I read this recently, I think it was in the New York Times, which is often a source of information for me because I read it every morning. That was saying that particularly in the Valley, people don’t look down so much on shorter stints. And shorter being, I think, one to two years.

 

Andy Paul 9:49

Yeah, I think less than that. That’s a problem, right? Because what have you learned? That’s what I want to know. So if somebody said, look, I saw a resume not that long ago, because a client’s doing some hiring and they wanted me to look at some people they are evaluating. And one person had been in three places in the last 18 months. And to me, that was problematic. 

Because what did you learn when you were actually at that place? Were you there long enough to, A, contribute anything, and B, what could you possibly have learned that would have upgraded your skill set or your experience that that would be valuable to my client as an employer? And so I thought, six month stints were too short. And they weren’t as contractors. They were full time employees. But two to three years, that’s not a problem.

 

Bridget Gleason 10:33

Well, three years is long.

 

Andy Paul

Three years is long.

 

Bridget Gleason

You know what’s interesting is I had a CEO call me for a reference for a VP of Sales candidate, somebody who’d worked for me previously. And we had a really good conversation. And at the end he asked me, because this individual has changed jobs probably every couple of years. And he was wondering, he noticed that. And he said, do you think that I could count on him for 18 months? And I just thought, oh my god, it’s changing. And I started to laugh and said, yeah, I think 18 months. If you’d said five years, I don’t think so. Four years? That’s a lot to ask.

 

Andy Paul 11:18

The difference is these days, especially at the more senior jobs is boards, and investors, CEOs are saying, look, as I project forward five years, we’re going to go through three different stages. And is this guy a stage one, or stage two, or stage three person? And I think that’s more of the calculation. So they’re not gonna look at five years and say, is this person a long term player. Because I’m gonna want a different skill set. Is this an initial stage, early entry, pioneering sale type person, the Renaissance man profile that people talk about that can be all things on hand? 

Or is this maybe stage two what’s really we’re scaling the organization. We need a different skill set at that point in time. Or is it stage three, the more steady state growth, build out the infrastructure and so on? I mean, I have to admit, I’m more stage one myself. That’s the companies I’ve tended to work in and fill that role. So I can understand the 18 months. Yeah, that’s reasonable. Can I get the value out of the person based on what I’m gonna pay them over that period of time, 18 months, 24 months. And then if we’ve hit our targets, quite frankly, we’re probably looking for somebody else.

 

Bridget Gleason 12:28

Yeah. And so I’ve seen it from the CEO thinking, and the Board, okay, I may need to refresh this role every 18 months, two years, three years. It’s interesting, though, that there’s also this recognition that that person may decide to refresh themselves and go somewhere else. Again, it cuts both ways.

 

Andy Paul 12:54

Well, yeah. And I think that’s what’s interesting, as we see in a lot of companies, that certainly I’m seeing, is that back in the day, let’s say, whenever that day is, 20 years or so ago, is that if you hired somebody into that role, you would expect and hope that they could grow with the company. But you see that as less of an expectation these days. And so you have specialized skill sets. So you’re a stage one person, that’s fine. I’ll go from place to place. I’ll get better at stage one. But I’m never going to be the one that’s considered for, hey, this is the real scaling role.

 

Bridget Gleason 13:30

Yeah, well, I think I told you, Andy, I had talked to somebody recently about a role at a very large company, a very big job. And I had said to the recruiter, have you looked at my LinkedIn profile? I don’t– Do you see any big company on here? It’s not where I like to play. Also, there are people that look, and they want to go being from stage one. And they want to gain a skill set and go to stage two. And you just have to know who you are and what you like. There’s some people that want to keep climbing in that way. I, similar to you, like early. I like the messiness of early. I don’t mind the risk of early. I like the setting up of early. It’s risky.

Andy Paul 14:24

Well, it is. I tell the story about one company I went to work for. They brought me on to start a commercial division. They were a defense business, and they wanted to start doing commercial work. And my charter from the CEO was this. He said, what do you want to do? I said, well, we’ve got all this technology that we’ve been developing. We’ll try to leverage some of that into commercial prices. That’s fine. He said, you can do whatever you want to do. The only rule is, and we were a hardware company primarily, so we were gonna build hardware, telecom hardware. He said the only rule is, customer has to pay for all their R&D.

 

Bridget Gleason 15:00

Yeah, I’ve had that.

 

Andy Paul 15:01

And so that was my assignment. So I had a complete blank canvas in front of me. And I could fill that canvas in any way I wanted. Only stipulation was that– 

 

Bridget Gleason

Somebody else pays for it.

 

Andy Paul

Someone else paid for it.

 

Bridget Gleason 15:18

Right, being the customer.

 

Andy Paul15:19

Right. And so I built an organization that we went and did that. And I liked that.

 

Bridget Gleason 15:26

Yeah, there’s a lot about that. Okay, here’s another question. Different person asked me this, but along the same lines. So this individual was at an early stage company, loved it, loved it, loved it, loved it, loved it. And as you were talking, this is very relevant to the previous question. 

The company grows, they bring in a new VP of sales. The VP of Sales brings in a whole new set of people. And so this person was very junior. It was his first job out of school. And he went from being an SDR, to an SDR manager, and then he was selling and loving it. And there were a couple of field people. Well, there were a bunch of field people. But there were a couple of field people who were his mentors. That was everything to him, and all he wanted to do was learn from these, he’d identified a couple of them. 

Well, they got let go. And so now he’s in an organization where the mentors, for him, of all the things that were important, learning from these amazing field reps. That was gone. And so his question was, what do I do? Do I hang around and wait and see if he’s gonna hire somebody new? Do I go follow these mentors somewhere? What do I do there? It’s lost its magic.

 

Andy Paul 17:01

Yeah, so many good questions today.

 

Bridget Gleason 17:06

I know. I get good ones.

 

Andy Paul17:08

And ones that don’t have answers, right?

 

Bridget Gleason 17:11

Those are the best.

 

Andy Paul 17:12

Yeah. Gosh, we’re so existential today. To me, it gets back to what I talked about before. I’m passionate about self development and continuing the learning. If the person doesn’t think that there’s an opportunity to keep learning the same way, because he’s very new in his career, to me, learning was about everything. I wanted to do as many different things as I could, have as many different experiences as I could, and learn from people that I respected. I’d prioritize that. Because again, life is long. You don’t have to have a home run with your first company you go to work for.

 

Bridget Gleason 17:57

It’s funny, because earlier you said life is short. Okay, life is short. Life is long.

 

Andy Paul 18:00

Well, it’s sort of the same thing, right?

 

Bridget Gleason 18:02

I know what you mean.

 

Andy Paul 18:04

It’s too short to be in places where you’re not learning. But life is long as we have lots of opportunities to succeed. And I would prioritize the learning experience at that point in time if I’m three, four years out of school. I remember a similar experience, I was about four years out of school. I’d been with my first employer, got promoted very quickly into sales management and had, gosh, 12 or 13 reps working for me. We had two originally two sales managers, and one of them left. So I had 13 direct reports of these young new salespeople. 

And the division of the company I was working with got merged into another division. And I was working for a guy that I really liked that I was learning a lot from. And they let him go, and suddenly I was working for someone who really didn’t care. And for me, that was the motivation to leave at that point in time. Because I was only 26 years old, I wanted to try something new. But yeah, I wanted to work with somebody in an environment where I thought, I’m gonna learn something and be challenged every day when I come. And so to me, that was enough stimulus to say, okay, let’s go try something new.

 

Bridget Gleason 19:19

I’m the same way. And actually the sales reps that I hire, I look for that. Because here’s what I’ve seen, Andy. The ones that I have seen that do well and that I work well with, I need to know also as a manager and a VP, what are the right people that I need to hire that are going to work with me, the type of manager that I am? 

And what I’ve noticed is they do prioritize and optimize around learning and their growth. And it’s not always money. I think we make that mistake that we try to keep people, and I’ve seen a lot of situations where money’s thrown at them. Stay, we’ll give you more money. Stay, we’ll give you more territory. Stay, we’ll give you this, the things that you think if sales people are coin operated, we give them the coin, and this is gonna make the difference. 

The sales reps that actually I think end up doing really well are the ones that are not– the coins matter, but they’ve got a longer view. And their longer view is, I need to get the experience now. And that experience is worth something. And they optimize around that experience. And I’ve seen a lot of good salespeople leave because they didn’t get the mentorship. And that was really the straw that broke the camel’s back.

 

Andy Paul 20:52

Yeah, well, think about it. I find it interesting. I look back at the people that I started my career with. And we were working for a large company, we were scooped up by the hundreds, brought into sales training programs or marketing management programs as they used to call them, marketing management training programs. And I think about how many of those people that I’ve seen or caught up with or connected with online or stalked them online and see what they’re doing, they are no longer in sales. They entered that with no real intention of saying, sales is really a career that I want to stay in. 

A few did, and those that did, they never rose to real high, most of them, I’d say about 90%, didn’t want to be Vice President of Sales. They just wanted to be salespeople, serve their customers, have a territory, or be a regional manager or something. And I think that’s sort of the perspective hopefully more young people coming into the profession have. Sales itself is a great, great role and you can have an exciting career as an individual contributor, make a lot of money, support your family, do the things you want to do with your life. 

As long as you keep learning and improving when you’re an individual contributor, there’s still this imperative to continue to expand your skill set and your knowledge base and so on. So as long as we bring people in and I think encourage them that that is a path they can go through and go down, then I feel optimistic. And then the whole decision about do I stay or do I go really comes down to, okay, am I adding to myself in my career path?

 

Bridget Gleason 22:32

Yeah, and I’m also okay with people who see sales as a stepping stone to something else. Because it’s a great background if you want to start a company, if you want to run a company, if you want to be an executive in a company. Having good sales acumen and skills and customer empathy and understanding that life cycle is super important. So I agree with you that I like it when they see sales as a career. But I also don’t mind if they see it as a really important stepping stone to just about any other profession or career step that you’re going to make. It’s an excellent foundation.

 

Andy Paul 23:18

Yeah. Well, my point was that– I was talking to somebody yesterday. I was interviewing another potential guest for the show. Or actually, it wasn’t a potential guest. It was an actual guest. And she was talking about this idea that her mission in life, her passionate in life is to bring the dignity back to sales. And she wants to do everything she can to serve, eliminate from people’s perspectives this idea of the stereotypical salesperson and the bad sales behaviors that go on. Because so many people do sales for the right reasons and do an honorable, honest and professional job. And yeah, I’m not sure quite where I was going with that.

 

Bridget Gleason 24:07

Yeah, I would like, also, that people don’t feel like they need to cringe if they say, oh, what do you do? 

 

Andy Paul

I’m in sales.

 

Bridget Gleason

I’m in sales. And it’s not apologetic.

 

Andy Paul 24:17

Yeah. And so I think we’d said, we lay out this career path for them. I think that that’s really important. It is a great life

 

Bridget Gleason 24:24

It is a great life. 

 

Andy Paul 24:25

Because there’s so few professions in the world, short of working for yourself, where the rewards in most environments are based on what you produce.

 

Bridget Gleason 24:37

Yeah. And you’ve got a lot, in many instances, autonomy to run it the way you want. Not totally, I mean, there’s going to be guidelines and requirements, but there’s a lot of room to play within that. There’s a lot of room to be creative.

 

Andy Paul 24:54

Yeah. Well, I think it’s certainly more autonomy perhaps in certain field roles that inside sales, but not that we ever take advantage of that. But I remember days where it’d be a bunch of us, and we would have been crushing quota, and the month was done, and there was a few days left. And yeah, a lot of golf got played.

 

Bridget Gleason 25:18

God, you know what? I remember that. When you would hit your quota, and then you’d be like, okay, I can take a few days off. 

 

Andy Paul 25:25

Not just a hit. We were crushing it. We were above it comfortably, and then we’d take a day off and go do something. 

 

Bridget Gleason 25:31

No, I remember that. I don’t see that as much anymore.

 

Andy Paul 25:34

No, no. I have this great story. Gosh, I had just been promoted to manager, and I was working alongside another manager who had been my boss. But I was promoted. And we were having a great month, and I think the quarter was good. We’re getting near the end of the year. And we’re up in the Bay area. And he shows up one morning and says, you got a minute? I said, sure. He said, let’s go for a drive. So I’m like, sure. Next thing I know, we’re at the ski slopes. He basically kidnapped me, we were doing a great job. He said, let’s go skiing.

 

Bridget Gleason 26:09

Some people would also call that sandbagging. There’s probably a few more you could pull in, but why? You might as well wait till the quarter’s over and start the next quarter. I know. I can’t imagine that you would do that. I wouldn’t dream of doing anything like that either. Okay, do we have time for one more question?

 

Andy Paul 26:31

Sure. We had President’s Club in the bag. We were good.

 

Bridget Gleason 26:36

Oh god, do I want to ask? No, I’m gonna stick to my questions. Otherwise, I was gonna ask you about President’s Club.

 

Andy Paul 26:40

No, ask me about President’s Club. Somebody asked me about that recently. Somebody asked me whether there should be President’s Club.

 

Bridget Gleason 26:45

That was my question!

 

Andy Paul 26:50

Maybe it was you. Did we talk about this already?

 

Bridget Gleason 26:51

Did we talk about this last time? 

 

Andy Paul

We could have. 

 

Bridget Gleason

Okay, let’s not go on that one, because we may have talked about that. But I’ve definitely had that conversation recently. You may have also. Okay, so another one, should I put someone on a performance improvement plan if I know that they’re not a good culture fit?

 

Andy Paul 27:20

As opposed to just?

 

Bridget Gleason

Firing them.

 

Andy Paul

Firing them right away?

 

Bridget Gleason 27:24

Terminating them. And part of this question comes because as companies get larger, there is the mandate oftentimes from HR, everything has to be documented. You’ve got to give them good warning. They’ve got to be on a plan. If they’re not on a plan, you can’t let them go. How would you respond to that?

 

Andy Paul 27:47

Put them on a plan.

 

Bridget Gleason 27:49

Even if you know they’re not a good culture fit? Okay, so let’s say at the end of the plan, they do well, and they’re still as bad a culture fit as they were before you put them on a plan. So there’s other issues.

 

Andy Paul 28:06

But you have to incorporate that into the performance improvement plan. Maybe one of the aspects could be, hey, you’re just not fitting, meshing well with the team. So we need to see these types of changes and behavior as part of your improvement plan.

 

Bridget Gleason 28:19

It’s so hard.

 

Andy Paul 28:21

But I’ve done that.

 

Bridget Gleason

I have, too.

 

Andy Paul

So you have hard and soft goals that people have to make. And yeah, the culture fit is one. And then you just have to – this is going to sound perhaps bad – but if you know the person is not necessarily going to change, you have to make sure you’re very stringent in the plan of what they have to meet in order to stay. And if they don’t meet it, then you manage them out the door.

 

Bridget Gleason 28:50

The thing about the cultural fit is it’s not quantitative. It’s qualitative. And that’s harder.

 

Andy Paul 29:02

But it’s still within your purview to do.

 

Bridget Gleason 29:04

Yeah, it is. And I have seen reps where you give them the things that they need to do, and they do them. But they are still the same not good culture fit. 

 

Andy Paul 29:18

But I think the thing with performance improvement plans is, to me, they’re messages to people. And if people aren’t completely clueless, they get the message. And they start voting with their feet so to speak.

 

Bridget Gleason 29:30

So I heard one VP of Sales that what they did, which I thought was a really good way to handle it, and they just did this routinely, that when they were going to put someone on a plan, they gave them at that time the opportunity to either be on the plan or to take an exit package. 

 

Andy Paul

That’s a great idea. 

 

Bridget Gleason

Which I think is great. Because sometimes you put them on a plan and they’re thinking, I don’t want to be here anyway. Okay, so now it’s gonna be painful for me to be here. And so I thought that was also a good balance. That these are the issues. We can look at a plan. These are the things I’m gonna look for. And at the end of whatever the amount of time is, if these things don’t change, we’re gonna part ways. Or if you really don’t think it’s gonna work out– 

 

Andy Paul

Let’s talk about that.

 

Bridget Gleason

Let’s part ways now.

 

Andy Paul 30:27

I think back to this situation where I was brought in as VP of Sales for a small group, and it was in this crisis mode. Sales had been declining year over year for two years. It was in startup mode, obviously the wrong way to go. They had let some people go, so there was a core group of sales and marketing people that were there. 

And so I was brought in to help do a turnaround. And I said to everybody, okay, just so we’re setting the rules here, we all have to be in sales now. Because this is all hands on deck. And I know we’ve got two marketing and two salespeople, but we’re all in sales right now. Let me work with you, put together the plans for what you’re going to do going forward. And they resisted this idea of coming up with new sales plans, what they were going to do, how they were going to take ownership. 

And so one night I went home and wrote performance improvement plans for all four of them. And came back in the next morning and put everybody on notice. Because I said look, I personally can sell as much as all four of you are doing. So here’s the moment of truth. And three of the four left within a month, and that was fine. And the one person that stayed did marvelously, it was actually one of the marketing people. He became a great sales guy. 

And that was fine. It was a wake up call. It expedited the process of saying, look, they’re not interested in being here anymore. I don’t want them to feel like they’re being held against their will by any incentive plan or whatever. It was sort of forcing .

 

Bridget Gleason 32:18

Yeah. And the good thing, I think, my experience has been there have been situations when I’ve put someone on a plan, and they check out. And so they’re not done. They’re half in half out. 

 

Andy Paul 32:38

But you only do it for 30 days max.

 

Bridget Gleason 32:41

Yeah, it depends. I don’t like doing it more than 30 days. The 30 days can seem like a long time.

 

Andy Paul 32:48

The 30 days can feel like forever.

 

Bridget Gleason 32:53

And for the rep, too. It can be just very, very painful.

 

Andy Paul 32:58

Yeah, I remember early in my management career, I was at a startup. And I’d hired this guy in sales, he came extremely well recommended by people that I’d known, so people’s word I trusted. And for some reason, all he did when he first showed up was sit in his cubicle with his feet on the desk and read the Wall Street Journal. And this was before the internet was widely available. And I was like, John, what are you doing? Oh, yeah. And it was just like crazy. 

 

Bridget Gleason

Wow. I would like that job. 

 

Andy Paul

We did immediate performance–That guy was like third day on the job and he was on a plan.

 

Bridget Gleason 33:43

Yeah. And at some companies I’ve written in that the first 30 days are really a trial period for both sides. It’s a probation. Let’s see how this works. And I’ve had to free people within the first 30 days. Sometimes I have to free them with force like with a push and a nudge.

 

Andy Paul 34:08

Well, this guy was baffled at the end of 30 days when we let them go. It’s like, why? Because all you’ve done is read a newspaper while you’ve been here.

 

Bridget Gleason 34:14

That sounds like a good job. The Wall Street Journal would be fine. I could do that.

 

Andy Paul 34:18

The base salary wasn’t very high. So I don’t know what he’s doing to make a living, but maybe he’s trading stocks and doing great. Who knows? Hard to say. All right. Any more questions, or should we wrap this one up?

 

Bridget Gleason 34:29

I’ll save the others.

 

Andy Paul 34:30

Okay. Well, we can do another episode of questions. This has been, as I said before, a very special episode of Frontline Friday, where chance we actually got to be in the same place, the same time, record the episode in the same room at the world headquarters.

 

Bridget Gleason 34:43

The Accelerate Empire.

 

Andy Paul 34:45

 The Accelerate Empire. So thank you for the time. And thank you, friends, for spending time of your day to listen to us, and we look forward to talking to you next time.

 

Bridget Gleason 34:53

Sounds great.

 

Andy Paul 34:55

Thanks for listening to the show. If you liked what you heard, and want to make sure you don’t miss any upcoming episodes, please subscribe to this podcast on iTunes or Stitcher.com. For more information about today’s guests, visit my website at AndyPaul.com.