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4 Tips for Getting More Out of Your People in 2016

Hamish Knox




by Hamish Knox; President of Sandler in Calgary, Canada

Your organization’s most valuable asset is your people starting with you, their leader. Below are four tips to support you in getting the highest return on that asset in 2016.

  1. Make time for your own personal and professional development – a 2009 study by the Aberdeen Group found that best-in-class leaders spent an average of 3.5 hours per month on their development. You may be wondering where to fit that in to your calendar. That’s why this tip is called “make time.”
    For example, I’m a member of EO’s Accelerator program, which has both monthly and quarterly time commitments. Since joining that program almost one year ago I grew my business and hired two full-time staff in one of the worst economic downturns in Calgary’s history.
    The leaders who belong to my leadership development group spend an average of four hours per month with me in training when the demands on their time are ever increasing. One member of this group doubled their sales and another quadrupled EBITDA by implementing what we discussed in our sessions.
  2. Become an expert in your team’s communication style and behavior patterns – humans are predictable, even those who are making major personal or professional changes, because we carry with us hardwiring that developed when we were children.
    By understanding how your team likes to give and receive information (the Extended DISC model is useful here), their behavioral preferences (we and our clients typically use the Devine Inventory) and how they tend to interact with others (Transactional Analysis) you can better leverage each team member’s hardwired preferences to achieve your corporate goals.
    For example, if you have a team member who communicates with lots of detail, prefers solo activities and lashes out when their credentials are questioned they probably aren’t the right person to lead a technical analysis team who will be required to consult with many stakeholders internally and externally.
  3. Role play daily – the hardest four inches to move in our life is from our brain to our mouth, which is why role play is consistently the best way to develop yourself and your team. The leaders I work with are typically surprised and thankful to learn that role play doesn’t have to be a giant, time consuming production. In a coaching session recently a client and I role played a critical conversation in four minutes without skipping any points that needed or shortening our scene.
    Role play isn’t just for salespeople or customer care. Role play difficult conversations with your Accounts Payable group or phone interviews with Human Resources. If an activity involves communicating with another person voice-to-voice or in-person you can role play it.
  4. Hold yourself and your people accountable weekly – a client of ours, the leader of a large telecommunications sales team, posts their personal and professional goals on the company Intranet each quarter and gives their people permission to hold them accountable to achieving those goals. Unsurprisingly their team are top performers because they are being accountable to their team so their team feels, and acts, accountable to them.
    As the Navy SEALS discovered, holding your team accountable to higher standards causes them to achieve more. The individuals who will help your organization reach a higher mountain top want to be held accountable and want a leader who will hold themselves accountable to higher standards.


Participants in our leadership development group hear regularly that the “lead dog sets the pace.” Set a faster pace this year and hold your people accountable to keeping up. You’ll probably end up farther ahead than you planned.

Until next time… go lead.

About HAMISH KNOX, PRESIDENT – Sandler Training

As a licensed member of the global Sandler network, Hamish works with COPs (Chief Executives, Owners and Presidents) who seek the edge an accountable, growth driven organization has over their competition.

Hamish worked in sales across a variety of industries including media, communication services, software and professional sports before joining the Sandler network, which melded his passions for sales and education. Early in his Sandler career Hamish was anointed a Sandler “Rising Star” for quickly building his business and helping fellow Sandler colleagues with their businesses.

Hamish is a former Sandler Global Rookie of the Year, is a current member of Sandler’s Franchisee Advisory Council and his book, Accountability the Sandler Way was published in November 2014.

Committed to giving back so other entrepreneurs can enjoy the same opportunities he had when he launched his business, Hamish is an active mentor with Futurpreneur Canada, is a Maple Leaf Club donor to Enactus Canada and is a volunteer judge for regional and national student entrepreneur competitions.


Sandler Training provides training solutions and consulting for small- to medium-sized businesses as well as corporate training for Fortune 1000 companies. We will work with you to identify the training solution that best suits you or your organization.

We’ve built our training programs on the concepts of incremental growth and change — supported by reinforcement, business coaching and accountability. We accomplish this through our innovative programs, progressive use of technology, and our network of over 200 global training centers, which is unsurpassed by any other organization in the training industry.

Sandler has more than three decades of experience helping professionals like you grow and businesses like yours succeed. We have both the reputation and the results to prove it! If you’re looking to move up to the next level then learn more about our various training solutions to the left or contact us to let us know how we can help.

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