When I first joined the company with Jan as my manager are business unit attended a regional meeting. It began with a very long serious assessment to the entire region recent downturn in sales and loss of market share to the competition. This was a national problem and when we left the main session I sensed that the entire company was getting chewed out. We broke out district sessions, and Jan ran his meeting in a totally different light. with a summary of what he wanted his sales people to do and went person to highlight what they were doing, and shared with the group how/why this plan would work. There were ideas shared but the bottom line is that my observation was that he sent his team out the door feeling confident and grateful to be on his team. While every other district manager reamed their team with an echo of the general session, Jan filtered what was important from above but spared the vast majority of any critiicisn/negativity. I stayed after all had left for dinner and Jan why. I was only with the company 3 months and shared my observations stated above. He said ” I have crafted the plan for my team. I know that each of them know that plan and what is expected of them. I ‘ve ridden with and watched them in the field. The know that I have full confidence in them and their abilities to succeed. I won’t let the negativity from above pollute their attitudes and I’ll filter that whenever possible. If they fail, it will be my fault for letting them do so.” I have had 15 managers after Jan over the years, but I can say with confidence that Jan Makela’s people would have walked the plank for him and he and most of them were consistently at the top of the rankings. I have had a few good managers in the Pharma industry, but Jan set the standard for me.
Jeff Schultz -VP of Specialty Projects – Theralogix