Kelly Riggs is an author, speaker and business performance coach for executives and companies throughout the U.S. and Canada. Kelly is a former sales executive and two-time national Salesperson of the Year with well over two decades of executive management and training experience.

His new bestselling book, Counter Mentor Leadership: How to Unlock the Potential of the 4-Generation Workplace, offers practical, actionable advice that improves workplace culture and enables organizations to bridge the generational divide.

Podcast Highlights

  • Who is Kelly Riggs?

Kelly started off going to school for engineering but quickly realized that wasn’t the path for him. He found himself in a sales position where he didn’t know enough about it to be scared. He approached his work from a blank slate, ready to jump in and learn and found he was willing to outwork nearly anyone.

You can do lot with people that have passion and perseverance and Kelly certainly qualifies.

  • Team Building with the Right People

People learn in different ways but the important part is that they don’t stop learning in order to stay current and stay on top. Asking your perspective hires what the last five books they read was and what they learned from them is a good way to find the right kinds of people.

Just because you start a book, doesn’t mean you have to finish it. Give a book three chapters, if it doesn’t grab you, skim the table of contents to make sure nothing jumps out at you and if you don’t see anything, move on.

  • How did you go from sales to Bizlockerroom?

Our approach to team building typically involves looking at our top sales people to promote into leadership but that rarely makes sense. Just because you can sell, that does not mean you can teach or lead a team. Kelly had to commit to learning everything he could in order to be a successful manager.

Leadership requires a coaching and teaching mindset. If you can’t grow people, how can you grow your organization? If not you, you can always bring someone onto the leadership team to fill that role but you can’t leave it empty.

  • When do you need to start coaching?

Most startups are a team of one with some assistants. Even with a small team, you need to be able to engage them. At a certain point, you will have to hire someone for a leadership role because leadership and team building are critical. Without a leader, the owner becomes the bottleneck for the business.

  • How to you get good at hiring?

As business owners, one of the most important tasks is to hire and train people. There are systems for hiring that work that you have to commit to learning if you don’t want to figure it out the hard way.

Leadership is not generational, it’s relational.

  • The Millennials

The Millennials are not necessarily to blame, you can’t forget who raised them. Failure is a great teacher and builder of character and many Millennials haven’t had the same experiences other generations have had.

You need to understand their perspectives and leverage what they do and how they work. You should adapt your principles to new definitions of success and work.

The workplace has changed dramatically in the last 15 years. If you hold the rope too tightly, your prospective leaders will get discouraged. Too tightly, and they won’t be able to lead. The Counter Mentor system is a team building system you can use that allows people to fail small and continue to learn.

Reference: Counter Mentor Leadership: How to Unlock the Potential of the 4-Generation Workplace

  • Kelly’s Takeaway

Find an accountability partner that will hold you to your chosen path. It’s too easy to encounter difficulty and give up. There is no sales manager quite as good as a motivated spouse! You do better, more effective work when you are accountable to someone else who pays attention and cares about your success.





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