Sales leaders talk about how SalesWise has transformed their businesses.
COO & Executive VP of Assets, PIC Investment Group
Seven years-ago, our group of companies determined that we had an issue. We had an ambitious plan to grow, but how were we going to capture and successfully navigate all the growth, changes, and challenges ahead of us if we did not build the capacity within our current and future Leadership Team? We needed a solution.
We realized that we were looking at a cultural shift within our group. We also recognized that growing as a Leader is a constant learning process. We wanted the change we were implementing to become the new norm of how we engage within and without our organizations. There were very few solutions that met this requirement. And after some research there was only one solution that could meet our needs – SalesWise. The SalesWise approach is to listen and adapt. This is not a canned solution.
We are currently in our 4th cohort of leaders, with the first three also continuing their training journey with SalesWise. We have developed multiple levels of leaders and we have made every person, and in turn every company that has participated, better.
Without SalesWise as a partner, we would not be at the stage where our culture now supports our business objectives.
Human Resources, PIC Investment Group Inc.
With (SalesWise’s) coach-like leadership approach, our organizations have experienced creative, helpful and successful business outcomes. When our leaders partner with their people and each other to be curious, focus on the issue and hold each other capable and competent, we know that trust, growth and opportunity flourish.
What Janet and Nicki do in their work facilitating and delivering content to our leaders is masterful. How they do it is the real magic. We experience Nicki and Janet as our partners in our leadership journey. They work with us to design, adapt and focus on the development of our people so that our businesses continue to grow and succeed.
VP WholeSales Sales, Moen Canada
I strongly believe in investing and developing my team so we can continuously grow and be leaders in our industry. Working with Nicki and SalesWise has been very important for me, for our sales leadership team, and for the sales teams and projects we lead.
Previously, our leadership culture was to be in the middle of everything – stick handling issues for our salespeople, taking over, not trusting them enough to handle complex customer situations, and not providing them with enough opportunities to develop. We have a number of retirements coming up and wanted to ensure we developed our promotable talent, and the team was ready. Our leadership team has worked hard to cultivate the culture, skills, and good leadership habits that result in high-trust, ongoing learning, collaboration, and developing and growing our people. Everyone loves working with our team. Other Moen departments notice our teams’ “special sauce”.
Our sales results, talent pool, and performance metrics have improved significantly. SalesWise and Nicki are great to work with. They are smart, engaging, strategic, and insightful. I highly recommend SalesWise.
Founder and President, Northern Co.
Northern Commerce engaged with Nicki and Janet when we were actively scaling our business to grow. As the company Founder, I felt a sense of responsibility to grow the capacity of our leaders so that we could achieve our big vision and goals. We decided to make an investment in our future by developing our leaders’ capacity to lead and influence our broader culture. We had something good and wanted to make it great.
The CliftonStrengths Based Development really resonated with our team. Getting an understanding of each individual leader’s strengths and how that influences how they act and communicate was really helpful. The opportunity to consider how we partner using our strengths elevated our effectiveness, especially in the face of challenges or change. It has become a strategic approach to how we collaborate across our team and organization.
Most businesses focus on the SMART side of business, including us. We are really good at what we do. This leadership program helped us focus on the HEALTHY side of the business – skills that enhance engagement and built a strong, intentional culture.
During our work with Nicki and Janet we acquired another company. We were very intentional about how we would integrate the two leadership teams. The team-coaching in the early stages of our integration helped our leaders get aligned towards a common vision, provided a way to learn about each other and resulted in a strong sense of cohesion. This helped us to stay calm and productive as the integration unfolded, which has been critical to our success over the last couple of years.
Ultimately, our work with Nicki and Janet has allowed me to spend more time on the bigger picture and setting conditions for our future, knowing that our leaders are well-equipped to lead the day to day. When our Leadership Team works well together, the larger team mirrors back what they see at the top. Our work has created conditions for a more productive and engaging team culture.
This work is ideally suited to companies who are growing rapidly, scaling fast, are struggling to build out a solid leadership team or gearing up for a big change i.e. readiness for an acquisition or merger. It’s a proactive versus reactive approach to leadership development and culture building.
Janet & Nicki are great partners. They bring a tailored approach to meet our goals, are flexible and able to pivot the program based on our team dynamics as our business needs change. As coaches and facilitators, they are warm, welcoming, engaging, thoughtful and caring.
Director of Human Resources, Northern Co.
Janet & Nicki provide an individualized approach to leadership coaching services. They have the unique ability to see a team’s strengths, both at an individual and group level. The awareness and appreciation of those strengths among the leadership group is at the forefront and serves to solidify a foundation of strong and cohesive leadership for the growing business. At Northern, with the business growing quickly, we sought out Nicki and Janet’s help to bring a greater amount of alignment and cohesion to our new and growing leadership team. The results have shown a marked increase in communication, alignment and focus on the future.
Utilizing a high EQ, they hear what is being said and also what isn’t being said in order to dig deep and get to the heart of what’s important and what will propel the group forward. There’s no fluff here – the sessions are well-prepared, relevant and create an introspective lens with which to view and strengthen one’s own leadership capability.
President, Panther Industries
When I started the program, my father, who was President and CEO, was about to retire. I was 38 and terrified about stepping into the role. There were business challenges everywhere – the main industry we sold into was Oil & Gas, which was tanking. Although we had a culture and individual values we didn’t have words around it, or values based on the company as a whole. The result was confusion. I was unsure of myself and reluctant to give up control or make decisions. I didn’t feel confident in my leadership.
The Tribal Leadership program saved me. In particular, I established my personal values, the values of the company, and our Noble Purpose. Our financials are healthy, which is an outcome of a little luck in the market, as well as making every single decision based on our values and purpose. Another great take-away was that I’ve learned that if your decisions aren’t based on your values, you have the wrong values and it’s hard to succeed.
Articulating my Noble Purpose – “I build great teams” – has made a huge difference to my leadership and ability to influence. As a young leader, when I sit at the executive table with senior leaders, instead of doubting myself and feeling intimidated, I know I deserve to be there because of my purpose and my increasingly courageous leadership skills and attitudes built by this program!
Our company has changed because of the work we have done, and continue to do, with Nicki and Janet. Because of how powerful the program has been for me, I put all our company leaders through it. The bad part about their training is that people who aren’t in line with our values stick out like a sore thumb, and we have to deal with it. By weeding out unaligned people, our company has prospered.
During the pandemic, most of our competitors are either struggling or going out of business, while we are staying in the black and looking for/landing other opportunities. Our values and Noble Purpose help us attract better people and opportunities. Our leaders are skilled. We are having a blast in the time of COVID. That’s pretty great, and a big contributor to all of this is working with Nicki and Janet.
Getting there wasn’t easy, but once you’re there…it rolls. Thank you, Nicki and Janet.
Former VP of Conservation & Demand Management, PowerStream/Alectra Utilities
We worked with Nicki and Janet for two main reasons: to operate optimally in a consistently changing environment where the stakes were high and continued to rise, and to build a highly functional and healthy team that would last if I left the organization. We worked with them for 6 years and our work with them paid off.
Leadership can be fuzzy for people. Janet and Nicki provided us with specific and practical language, tools, and frameworks that grounded us in how to be effective leaders and cultivate a strong culture. They bridged theory into reality and made leadership and team development tangible.
We were able to successfully excel at achieving very difficult targets, merge divisions from 4 utilities together with very little politics and resistance, create alignment much more easily, cultivate a common culture that is highly functional and caring, and lead people through very uncertain and challenging times. Our division’s amazing team culture and our consistently strong business results were recognized across the company. When I left the organization to pursue other opportunities, the leadership team said they didn’t miss me because they were confident leading without me and our culture was healthy. That was exactly what I wanted.
Gia M. DeJulio, LLM, P.Eng.
Acting VP, Conservation & Demand Management, Alectra Utilities
Alectra Utilities’ Conservation and Demand Management department (Alectra CDM) hired Nicki Weiss and Janet Frood to introduce the Five Stages of Tribal Culture, based on the book Tribal Leadership, by Dave Logan et al. Workplace culture falls on a continuum scale from Stage 1 (low performing, low engagement) to Stage 5 (high performing, high engagement – Life is Great!). Nicki and Janet (and the late Joanne McLean beforehand) helped the Alectra CDM management team to determine where on the continuum we fell, and where we aspired to be in the long run. The engagement with them over two years was truly motivating and created a cohesive and engaged group environment that continues to serve all of the team members to this day.
Nicki and Janet also helped Alectra CDM to establish Shared Values (Connectedness, Adaptability, Learner, and Courage) and a Noble Purpose (“Igniting Energy Evolution”) for the department. We learned that real power comes from building networks, and that this tribe works on big projects that require partnerships and holds each other accountable. We understood the value in seeking to outdo the competition (not each other), and we connected members with conflicting views through Triads (groups of three) in order to resolve issues. The outcome has been the creation of a successful business group, with tremendous mutual respect, and a true understanding of how teams of people (tribes) can support each other for an aspirational goal that rises above their day to day work operations.
Acting Director Program Operations, Conservation & Demand Management, Alectra Utilities
I walked into an already high-performing culture, joining Alectra as a result of four electric utilities merging into one (and later adding a fifth utility). Nicki and Janet had been working with the Conservation & Demand Management (CDM) team at PowerStream; their VP Raegan Bond became the leader of our merged CDM team. This department was one of the best functioning of my career.
Mergers are typically challenging when they involve two organizations, let alone five. While working with Janet and Nicki, our senior and middle leadership teams successfully integrated all five legacy operations and more than 80 people. We developed a strong identity, an engaged and aligned culture, and our “tribe” felt a true sense of belonging. We became an outstanding division in a short amount of time, which is not typical of merged teams.
A recent change in government direction has resulted in the wind-down of our division. Dismantling a team who loves working together and are committed to our purpose is painful. It has been one of the most difficult challenges I’ve faced as a leader. The groundwork we did with Janet and Nicki in building our remarkable culture continues to guide us as we lead through this period of transition. I am proud of how we have handled everything.
Nathalie McLauchlin, P.Eng, CEM, CMVP
VP Operations, Alectra Energy Solutions
Director, Customer Insights and Acquisition, Alectra Energy Solutions
We are a great case study because we’ve seen both sides – what happens when a leader has a vision of their team and invests the time, resources and energy into creating a great team culture, and what happens when leaders don’t.
We have worked in companies and on teams where there was no commitment to doing this type of work. Our experience is that work becomes siloed, people disconnect from each other, getting anything done is difficult, and the quality of work isn’t as high as it could be.
We were lucky to have a leader who cared. We needed to ensure we could achieve our huge goals with a fairly new team. We worked with Nicki and Janet from SalesWise throughout some very exciting and turbulent times for Conservation Demand Management (CDM). Over the years, we experienced being a new team, having the government create a new framework which was very demanding, and merging five utilities together. We consistently exceeded reaching our very challenging targets.
When we started with SalesWise, we were a team of 8. Within six years, we became a team of 80, successfully transitioned to working together across functions, on one goal, as one team, managing a budget of over $450M, and became the envy of other divisions.
With SalesWise, we worked on how to develop ourselves as leaders and on our team relationships rather than on how to develop strategy. Our strategies succeed as a direct result of our leadership effectiveness and strong team culture. We know the power of being connected to each other. Our work with Nicki and Janet was very different from any other work we did together. It was safe to speak up, often working in metaphor, which was fun and revealing. We articulated our values and our Noble Purpose, courageously brought our unspoken elephants into the room, developed and aligned on thematic goals, elevated trust and accountability, and designed structures to support our team. We take our leadership practices with us wherever we go.
We are grateful to have been part of such a transformational program.
COO, Round Table Management Ltd.
I’ve worked with Nicki and Janet from SalesWise over the past five years and found their concepts on leadership to be transformative. They helped me realize leadership is not just a job, it’s about who I am and how I show up. They helped me with communicating with people about their worth and potential talents.
My one-on-one sessions with Nicki have strengthened my core values, as well as giving me the knowledge and strength to deal with the difficult decisions.
Our work with the Dare to Lead principles was not only fun but challenging in a very positive way. Overall, my leadership growth would not have developed as far without their partnership.
Founder and CEO, Green Circle Salons
Nicki and Janet are the dynamic duo we refer to affectionately as “JaNicki”. If I were Webster’s [dictionary], here is how I would describe JaNicki.
They are a duet of radiant and sparkly energy. A “pas de deux” of talent, heart, mind, soul, and just great vibes. A coaching and experiential learning powerhouse with a unique talent to drive to the heart of the matter. To make truth the goal and elevate people to the highest, most authentic, and most lovable versions of themselves.
Director of Education, Sales & Customer Care, Green Circle Salons
At GCS, we are a fast-moving train. We were past the start-up phase and needed to become a more effective leadership team so that our company could continually accomplish our ambitious goals. The opportunity to take a step back and analyze our leadership team dynamic helped us to be better at doing the work of leadership. We are qualified to do sales, marketing and operations – all the decision sciences of business. However, we are not experts in addressing the messy human dynamics of organizational life. One of the most incredible things about working with Nicki & Janet & is that they create brave space and provide clear guidelines for us to wrestle with each other and our challenges in safe and respectful ways.
Nicki and Janet have helped us to learn how to become an integrated Team #1 rather than leaders defending our own functional areas. By being coached as a team, we got on the same page, we enhanced how we communicate with each other, and we learned that being clear is kind. Those three things have changed how we treat each other, how we show up for one another, and how we have become an aligned leadership team. Because of our work with SalesWise, trust and respect within our leadership team has greatly improved. There is certainly a benefit to one-on-one coaching. If you want to go quickly, you go alone. However, if you want to go far, you do it together. That is the benefit of relationship coaching as a leadership team.
Nicki and Janet have been instrumental in helping us evolve our culture. The work of identifying and articulating our core values helped us view our business more clearly. We are more clear about who our ideal employees are, the people who will help us achieve our vision and goals. The outcomes of the Epic Tale experience you facilitated with our entire company helped us reflect on and honour how far we’ve come together, the “baggage” we needed to leave behind, and the “luggage” we want to bring with us. Our entire company now works better together.
As coach facilitators, Nicki and Janet are always on point, calmly and positively listening. It’s like a full embrace the entire time we’re working with you.
Former TBC Co-Chair and Toronto Beekeeping Collective Member, Marketing & Business Development Manager, HGC Engineering
Nicki and I met as new members of the TBC. When we joined, the TBC wasn’t working effectively. There were some leading members who did everything, weren’t always transparent about what needed to be done, and complained that nobody else did anything. Meetings were fraught with an “us/them” tension. We were financially fragile. The culture caused a lot of turnover. Nicki brought the Tribal Leadership model to our collective. It took about three years to completely shift our culture into a well-run, positive, productive, and collaborative one. Now, our engagement and quality of work are high. Everyone is involved. The work is distributed across our organization of 50 people. We are financially stable.
I highly recommend Nicki and Tribal Leadership if you want to cultivate culture that thrives, is fun, gets a lot of work done, and attracts and retains high quality people. In my professional life at HGC Engineering, we are members of the SalesWise Academy and are finding great value. I recommend that, too.