Sunday, May 31, 2015

I have a confession: I cheated.

The first step towards recovery is acknowledging your failure or weakness. I have a confession: I cheated. 

The worst thing about cheating is whenever someone cheats, he or she may not acknowledge the probable cause or the "why" of the situation. Well, I am about to do just that.

I cheated on myself.

As you may know, I started a new role back in March with Syngenta as a Seed Advisor Manager (abbreviated SAM), and a few weeks later, I also started training for a bodybuilding competition. At the time, I figured I could easily handle to large life changes happening at the same time. I was wrong. It is challenging, mentally draining and above all, demotivating. I pushed myself too hard in both work and training and am now paying the consequences.

Weihl Farms
View of Weihl Farms in Perrysburg, Ohio from the pasture.

One week ago. Just a bum look.
Over Memorial Day weekend, I went home to Ohio to see family and friends. This was the first time going home since Christmas. Yes, I know. I am crazy. I should have gone back home before now. At the time, I didn't see the need. Now, I do. To have life balance, you cannot work all the time. It is not healthy. Some might argue "I enjoy my work and am passionate about it". So am I! But, you know what? I have other priorities and life passions that I need to prioritize sometimes. I had not been doing that. I have concluded this as the cause of my cheating.

I planned a meeting with my Seed Advisors the week after Memorial Day. The focus of the meeting was to share updates on planting progress, agronomic updates, discuss tactics on how to continue relationship building through summer and talk about programs and business settlement details that will play a great importance in the coming weeks. We held the meeting on Thursday and I collaborated with some other Syngenta employees to split the talking points. The meeting was fine and my Seed Advisors expressed they had some takeaways. However, I think it sucked. 

Sunday, May 3, 2015

5 tips for being the coach and the athlete.

Planting Soybeans in Nebraska

9 weeks. It has been 9 weeks since I began my new "coaching" role as a Seed Advisor Manager. 

Yes, I said coaching. I may be in the "sales" facet of the business. However, my job requires I do more than understand my products and hit our sales targets. I must understand the business of my eight seed advisors and help coach them to be as successful as possible.

For example, the image to the right is from a morning where I assisted a Seed Advisor plant a soybean plot in south central Nebraska. Having an awareness of how my customers are acquiring real-world data of our products gives me more exposure to strengths and weaknesses in my overall territory and individual seed advisors and their businesses. I can then coach them on where changes might be needed or where we are excelling.

You know what? I never envisioned being a coach. It just happened to fit the profile of what I do on a weekly basis with my customers. But that isn't the only thing I did not imagine.