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Stacy Sheedy
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By Sharon Daniels With change a defining force in the market today, it comes as no surprise that change also defines inside sales. According to a recent article by, “inside sales is growing at a fifteen times higher rate over outside sales” – or at 7.5% versus 0.5% annually. While these numbers demonstrate a definite increase in the emphasis on inside sales, unfortunately we can’t say the same for how organizations are strategizing to capitalize on this trend. The reality is that most organizations do not engage in thoughtful strategic planning when it comes to their inside sales teams.... Continue reading
Posted Apr 30, 2012 at AchieveGlobal's blog
By Sharon Daniels Have you ever noticed, when you walk into a restaurant, department store, or office building, you may immediately feel comfortable or uncomfortable? It’s that intangible sense of ambience – the feeling or mood that we associate with a particular place. And though it may seem nebulous, it is so real that ambience can dictate whether we want to linger in a place, return to a place, or avoid it like the plague. The same can be said for a company’s culture. Create the right sort of culture and your customers will return time and again, and remain... Continue reading
Posted Apr 9, 2012 at AchieveGlobal's blog
By Sharon Daniels In a recent article in Talent Management Magazine, I shared some key thoughts about the importance of recognizing psychological needs of workers as we lead our teams toward higher levels of performance. The reality is that tangible rewards will only motivate a worker so far, and when external motivators are removed, employees tend to lose their commitment to performance. Our extensive research dictates that responding to workers’ intrinsic needs is a far wiser approach, as it yields both engagement and retention. The Talent Management article offers a balance of perspectives between the needs-based approach to coaching and... Continue reading
Posted Apr 2, 2012 at AchieveGlobal's blog
By Sharon Daniels From the outside, it may seem that racecar driving involves an extremely simple principle. Drive as fast as you can around the track and win the trophy. The reality is that drivers have many obstacles that they must overcome and navigate around in order to win the race: limited visibility in the cockpit, competitors, and of course the performance of the vehicle. That’s where the crewmembers come in. The driver must rely on communication with team members like the crew chief, spotter, mechanics and other specialists who guide the driver around the track, to find the racing... Continue reading
Posted Mar 26, 2012 at AchieveGlobal's blog
By Sharon Daniels There’s a wonderful quote by George Orwell that goes, “Each generation imagines itself to be more intelligent than the one that went before it, and wiser than the one that comes after it.” This age-based egocentrism is at the root of the imagined generational divide that can often work against productivity in the workplace. But there are steps we can take to work across the differences and collaborate toward greater efficiencies. The reality in today’s workplace is that it’s quite common for workers to represent a fifty-year age range or more, which means an increased likelihood that... Continue reading
Posted Mar 19, 2012 at AchieveGlobal's blog
By Sharon Daniels If you’re a trainer of any kind, the best compliment your trainees can pay you is winning races, collecting awards, and achieving goals. That goes for athletic trainers and sales coaches alike. So we were truly honored recently to learn that, according to Aberdeen’s 2011 annual report Uncovering How the Best-In-Class Sustain, Reinforce and Leverage Best Selling Practices, AchieveGlobal customers show strong benefits of sales training. But how do these companies put into practice the behaviors associated with Best-in-Class performance? One finding in the report is that the practices of prospecting, nurturing and closing professional sales deals... Continue reading
Posted Mar 12, 2012 at AchieveGlobal's blog
By Sharon Daniels At AchieveGlobal, we think of ourselves as transformers. Not the science fiction, Autobot kind, but the kind that helps companies transform their sales processes and build a more successful sales organization. Recently, we worked with Cardinal Health Nuclear Pharmacy Services as they positioned themselves to deliver greater customer satisfaction and retention, simultaneously building their sales performance. The results? An increase in first year performance of well over 15 percent. But success like this isn’t arbitrary. It requires a deep appreciation that the process the organization must undergo is nothing less than a transformation. For Cardinal Health, four... Continue reading
Posted Mar 5, 2012 at AchieveGlobal's blog
By Sharon Daniels For any company, the prospect of growing, compared to merely maintaining market share, during tough economic times is truly daunting. With tightened markets, and more discerning customers, sales teams must rise to an array of challenges beyond those that are par for the course in a more stable economy. But one company did just that. Waste Connections, Inc. is a leading 29-state solid-waste handling services provider, with a sales team that is both geographically and culturally diverse. The challenges confronting the company included the realities of a highly competitive industry, in which competitors have consolidated and merged... Continue reading
Posted Feb 27, 2012 at AchieveGlobal's blog
By Sharon Daniels Two of my recent posts focusing on coaching have considered that leaders need to stir things up in times of uncertainty, and that leveraging internal motivation as opposed to external rewards can be very powerful. As I jotted down ideas for this post, and worked toward a kind of capstone statement about coaching, it struck me that the I’s have it… Leaders can improve their leadership by focusing on Ingenuity, Individualism and Intrinsic Motivators. Ingenuity The effective leader understands the value of resourcefulness and the power of originality. It is also important to recognize benefits of these... Continue reading
Posted Feb 21, 2012 at AchieveGlobal's blog
By Sharon Daniels We can all remember that great 70’s hit by the Hues Corporation – “Rock the Boat!” This song came to mind recently when I attended the Argyle Executive Forum conference 2011 Leadership in Human Capital Spotlight: Learning and Development. The program description for one of the panel discussions, titled, “Rock the Boat, Don’t Get Thrown Off: Lessons in Authentic Leadership” suggested that, “Leaders must be unreasonable, for they must challenge the status quo and develop change through new ideas and tactics.” And while the session included a variety of discussions on topics like collective leadership behavior, leadership... Continue reading
Posted Feb 13, 2012 at AchieveGlobal's blog
By Sharon Daniels For many leaders, it’s daunting to think that external rewards are less effective or important to most workers than we may once have thought. It’s akin to the parent who suddenly discovers that promises of a new video game, or threats of taking away certain privileges, have limited effect on their child’s behavior. If you remove rewards and punishments when trying to motivate others, what’s left? The answer to that question may at first deepen our anxiety as leaders. Research on motivation in the workplace has shifted from a focus on the carrot or stick methods of... Continue reading
Posted Feb 6, 2012 at AchieveGlobal's blog
By Sharon Daniels Why do foreign exchange students who wish to learn a language visit the host country? Because immersion learning works. The old-school approach to learning a language meant reciting vocabulary by memorizing lists of words, or learning to conjugate verbs by rote… tengo, tengas, tengan… But most language learners who immerse themselves by visiting a country would likely tell you their rate of learning increased exponentially. The reality is an extremely important way most people learn: through informal learning experiences. This was the topic of discussion at a recent Argyle Executive Forum conference titled 2011 Leadership in Human... Continue reading
Posted Jan 30, 2012 at AchieveGlobal's blog
By Sharon Daniels Research and trends support what we have known for a while. Social media is considered extremely important for building business presence and company outreach. After all, as the experts would have us understand, Facebook alone has over 800 million users, and if it were a country – would be the third largest in the world! Early last month, I participated in an Argyle Executive Forum conference: 2011 Leadership in Human Capital Spotlight: Learning and Development in New York. As the meeting overview outlines, the conference set out to examine the innovative strategies that learning executives are using... Continue reading
Posted Jan 17, 2012 at AchieveGlobal's blog
By Sharon Daniels Back in December, I participated in the Argyle Executive Forum conference 2011 Leadership in Human Capital Spotlight: Learning and Development, and if I had to sum up in one word how participants defined today’s organizational learning environment, I’d have to say: EVOLVING. Recently, we’ve been seeing the organizational learning environment evolve along two axes: Focus on individuals Emphasis on conversations In the past, leaders were rewarded for operating with a traditional command and control approach. Today’s learning environment is better defined by an increased focus on the individual, and appreciation for the wholeness of each individual worker’s... Continue reading
Posted Jan 9, 2012 at AchieveGlobal's blog
By Sharon Daniels Those last five seconds of the New Year countdown can be quite emotional! Reflections on whether you’ve accomplished everything you set out to over the past year, and projections of what the dawning year will hold are wrapped into a single moment of anticipation and nostalgia. Whatever dominates your thoughts during this season of renewal, the end of the year is always a great time to ponder the mistakes made in the past year and set a course for success in the New Year. The same goes for managers who are wise to use the end of... Continue reading
Posted Jan 3, 2012 at AchieveGlobal's blog
By Sharon Daniels In my previous posts on leading virtually, I wrote about what it takes to lead a virtual team – separated across geographies, cultures, and even time zones. To recap, leaders must overcome several challenges, including understanding how to address the diversity of a virtual workforce while also recognizing that virtual leadership requires far more than mastering a few technological tools or platforms. In order to build a productive virtual workforce, leaders can use a simple framework that provides a focus on key principles. You might think of this model as representing a Yin and Yang balance for... Continue reading
Posted Dec 19, 2011 at AchieveGlobal's blog
By Sharon Daniels The heading of this post is based on that age-old saying, “Absence makes the heart grow fonder.” But there’s a less-known second half of that saying: “It also makes the fond heart wander.” So there are potential positives and negatives to having space between two people in a relationship – whatever defines that relationship. A similar duality can be said to apply to virtual workforces. In a recent report on Leading Virtually, the point was made that when managed properly, teams that are dispersed can perform even better than teams that are collocated. The question is, what... Continue reading
Posted Dec 12, 2011 at AchieveGlobal's blog
By Sharon Daniels You might say that the world of business these days is defined by crossing boundaries: reaching out to customers across market segments, negotiating with vendors across the globe, and shipping goods and services worldwide. So it comes as no surprise that leadership today requires the ability to lead across boundaries that are defined demographically, geographically, culturally, hierarchically, and in terms of organizational function or talent expertise. The reality is that many leaders are managing work groups that include team members who live and work in far away geographies perhaps whom they’ve never even met in person. For... Continue reading
Posted Dec 6, 2011 at AchieveGlobal's blog
By Sharon Daniels The idea of working in a relatively remote office location is hardly a new phenomenon. As early as the 1970s, significant numbers of employees worked in satellite offices – removed from a company’s headquarters or home office. Since that time, a growing number of workers make up virtual teams – due in large measure to the growth in personal computers, Internet technology, and increasing global initiatives that define the business environment. Today, it's quite normal for a work team to be spread across several different geographies. The summary statistics below (represented in this infographic we recently published)... Continue reading
Posted Nov 28, 2011 at AchieveGlobal's blog
By Sharon Daniels Talent management is often thought of as an organizational function requiring “soft” skills like social awareness, or an ability to tailor communication to meet each employee’s individual needs. It is perhaps for this reason that many organizations relegate talent management to a line management position when, in reality, it should be tied closely to key organizational issues. In a Talent Management article I wrote with Robert Vulpis, executive director of HR, Learning and Development at Morgan Stanley, we explored the question of what talent leaders can do to build engagement among new recruits and manage their existing... Continue reading
Posted Nov 21, 2011 at AchieveGlobal's blog
By Sharon Daniels In an article that I co-authored with Robert Vulpis, Executive Director of HR, Learning and Development at Morgan Stanley, I explored the question of what talent leaders can do to engage new recruits and manage existing talent. In my last post, I discussed the importance of career pathing. In this post, I’ll focus on another talent trend we discussed: using new technology platforms to foster connections with current employees, potential employees, and clients. According to the 10th Annual Source of Hiring report, 39 percent of firms manage through social media tools. In fact, many an article has... Continue reading
Posted Nov 14, 2011 at AchieveGlobal's blog
By Sharon Daniels While businesses must continue to focus on investing in their workforces, today’s talent management reality is impacted by broad factors like the shifting economy and fluctuating job numbers. Among these multifaceted issues, talent managers are also faced with having to wade through a highly competitive talent pool with significant numbers of qualified workers who are ready for employment – an evident result of the downsizings that have occurred over the past few years. So, what can talent leaders do to engage new recruits and manage existing talent? In a recent Talent Management article I wrote with Robert... Continue reading
Posted Oct 31, 2011 at AchieveGlobal's blog
By Sharon Daniels The significance of effective customer service cannot be understated. In my last post, I emphasized that successful organizations focus on outstanding service at all levels of their business activity. There are other rules of thumb that such successful companies follow and ingredients for customer service success that help identify why their approaches work. These strategies are noted in our recent report: “Lessons From Leading Customer-Focused Organizations.” As I’ve pointed out previously, since superior customer service focuses on every touch point of the organization, it’s essential that all areas of the company are customer-centric and understand how other... Continue reading
Posted Oct 4, 2011 at AchieveGlobal's blog
By Sharon Daniels We’re all familiar with Isaac Newton’s basic law of physics, that “To every action… there is an equal reaction.” In the world of business and customer service, this law also proves true. In a recent post, I noted that companies that don’t keep incivility in-check lessen their chances for success. The good news is that the reverse of this is also true – if you treat your customers well, they will come back to you and reward you many times over. At AchieveGlobal, this thinking is etched into our training philosophy at all levels. To remind companies... Continue reading
Posted Sep 26, 2011 at AchieveGlobal's blog
By Sharon Daniels In the not-too-distant past, customer service was thought of only as those activities and initiatives that belonged within the walls of a customer service department, or as strategies by which a customer service desk could address customer complaints. For most successful companies, today’s approach to customer service is a far cry from this limited view. In a recent study, we engaged interviews with leading customer service-focused organizations. Through these interviews, we uncovered nine success factors for creating a successful customer experience. What are some of the key lessons or best practices among organizations that successfully maintain outstanding... Continue reading
Posted Sep 19, 2011 at AchieveGlobal's blog