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Are You a Manager or a Great Leader?

Guest Post By: Kitty Barrow


leadership1-248x300Favorite pieces of leadership advice when running a 1000+ team was “You can’t do for 1 what you can’t do for 100”

Think about that. Think about your business and what you are doing for your team members today.

Write out that list and now put on your thinking cap. What can you do to systematize this so that you aren’t running around putting out one fire at a time?

Recently, I was working with one of my amazing coaching clients who is a future Area Manager with Wells Fargo Home Mortgage, Karli Spahr. She is growing to a 23 person team and has brought in 7 new people in a few short months in 9 different branches. In order to get people trained and successful, she is working on a systematic way to ensure they are all getting the right training in the right order and that they know where to look for help if she isn’t available. Here are a couple of issues that she is dealing with and how she decided to deal with them. I hope this helps you think of ways to deal with what is stealing your leadership time every day as well. Comment below with your ideas.

Issue #1: New loan officers constantly coming to her with questions about different loans.


1. Put together an onboarding system that includes a chart showing the entire loan intake process from start to finish and who will have the answers in different areas.

2. Compile a list of the most commonly asked questions and add them to the training material.

3. Partner with more experienced loan officers for certain types of questions.

Issue #2: Loan Officers scheduling meetings for her to go with them to visit real estate agents at all different times during the week.


1. Share her schedule with everyone the week before with the times she is available for going with people and they are to sign up first come first serve.

2. Create a script and outline for how to meet with real estate agents and words to use. Train on this so that they learn how to do it for themselves.

Issue #3: She plans her schedule every week, but she never gets to keep to it because people are always calling her and popping in to ask questions.


1.Do a sales meeting where she teaches them what she has learned in coaching about time management and setting a weekly schedule.

2. Share her schedule every Monday by 8 a.m. with her team.

3. Let her team know that this is her schedule and when she is available and what they need to do if they have a question when she is not available and what constitutes an emergency that would be cause for interrupting her schedule.

Since we have been coaching together, we have been working on a ton of issues just like this that bother sales leaders every single day. Why do that? So you, as the leader, can make the time to do the things that will have a significant impact in growing your business and your people. Instead, so many sales leaders spend their days running on the hamster wheel and wondering why they are frustrated and overwhelmed.

It’s not hard to be a manager, but to be a Great Leader who runs a well-oiled organization that positively impacts your clients and the lives of your employees, it takes a lot of thought and preparation. So which are you today, a manager or a Great Leader? If you’re not a Great Leader, what are you going to do today to change that?


Kitty Barrow is a Senior Partner and Executive Sales and Leadership Coach of Southwestern Consulting. She specializes in creating successful systems that are easily duplicated. Her motto is “Keep Things Simple for Stress-less Selling.” Kitty has trained thousands of sales professionals in companies such as Wells Fargo, MassMutual, New York Life, Xerox Global and Allstate.