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Draw within the lines? .. Not in my Job Description!!


When you are the one responsible for bringing in the revenue for your company you’re always thinking outside of the box and trying to find new and efficient ways to exceed your goals!  Always thinking, Always exploring.  We do this in order to get the job done & Win!

Aaron Howard’s recent posting “DRAW WITHIN THE LINES OR ELSE” got me thinking.  Why in the world would an organization stifle the very creativity that might just be the key to growing revenue or saving costs? The answer may very well be that the CEO and or the management team have lost touch with the troupes on the line.   Or it might be that the employee is not creative enough.

One of the greatest bosses I ever worked for was Fred Brown of the Seattle Super Sonics.  Great because he cared about his people and taught me a lesson I still follow today. At the time Fred was in executive management at SeaFirst Bank in Seattle.  Early in our relationship I had gone to Fred with some sort of problem, which for the life of me I can’t remember what it was, and spent a good 10 minutes complaining.  I was on a roll and at the time I was a top producer for the department. Surly Fred would take me seriously and be impressed that I was on top of the situation and ready to fight the less worthy employees that were getting in my way of closing more deals!

Fred sat there patiently until I stopped to take a breath. He then said, “So what do you want?”

Total Blank! I just sat there with absolutely no answer. Fred just sat there and looked at me.  Finally he let me off easy and suggested that I not come back until I had a solution.

My point is this:  There are many ways to resist the message that your creativity and competitive energies are not welcome.  If you decide you want or must stay with the company that is sending you these messages, then I suggest that you get creative so you can be creative. CEOs, CFOs and department managers will listen to anyone who presents sound solutions to the challenges of making or saving more money.  Solve a problem or find an opportunity like these and you will find your creativity and competitive spirit embraced.

As for me and Fred:  I never forgot his lesson and always tried to have a suggestion on how to fix the problem I was complaining about.  Not all of my suggestions were stellar, but I always got a fair hearing and was never told to stop thinking outside the box!

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  • About The Author

    Kirk Bottles

    Kirk lives in the Pacific Northwest. He grew up working in a small family business where he experienced the impact of relationship Sales & Service. Mentored by his father, Kirk laid the foundation for his success in sales and sales management. While attending California State University at Los Angeles he earned degrees in English and Business. During this time Kirk also earned his Pianoforte certificate from Trinity Collage of Music – London, England. For the past 25 years Kirk has held senior management positions with both National and Community banks focusing on sales, sales management, SBA product delivery / management & installed customer bases strategies with emphasis on portfolio growth, risk management and profitability enhancements. Kirk also enjoys sailing, music, photography, education & vintage automobiles.Read Full
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