Corporate Training Blog

An Interview with Tracy Bullock of Sandler Training

Tracy Bullock
Tracy Bullock serves as the President/Chief Executive Officer at Sandler Training and is a guest presenter at the Fall 2017 Leadership Boot Camp.

Tracy Bullock brings 30 years of business development experience to her Sandler Training business. She builds and delivers Sandler programs for companies of all sizes, across multiple industries, including medical, restaurant, IT/software, and consumer product goods.

During her 30-year career with Procter & Gamble in customer business development, she developed sales and management teams, grew individuals’ performance, and coordinated cross-department strategic planning with top customers in the U.S. and globally.

Tracy is currently on the Boards of the Tempe Chamber of Commerce, iCommand, and is the Chairman of the Board of Ubora, IT.  She leads the Tempe Chamber Women in Business Council, and facilitates the mentoring program.  Tracy was presented a Lifetime Achievement Award, Top Female Executive, and was noted as a Top 101 Industry Experts for her work in Global Management Training Development by Cambridge’s Worldwide Who’s Who.    

Tell me your story.

I was hired from University of Arizona campus by Procter & Gamble and went through their fabulous sales training program. I was one of their few women sales representatives and got promoted up the ranks very quickly. At 24, I was managing people twice my age. I had to quickly learn the difference between managing and leading. One the biggest lessons was recognizing that engaging your employees in your organization’s vision is more important than directing or waiting for them to leave the organization. 

How do you continuously build relationships with customers, client, and colleagues?

First, I get to know them personally so not only can I respect them, but I can also have a better understanding of how to position ideas in their world. Sometimes we may not click and that is fine. 

Second, I understand their short-term and long-term goals. Without understanding their goals, it is hard to help someone to get where they need to be.

One of my first experiences being a young 24-year-old woman manager was working with a male employee twice my age. At that time we worked out of our home offices. One day we met at a coffee shop for a meet and greet. After we sat down for breakfast, he told me exactly how the supervisor - employee relationship was going to work. I was stumped. First, I thought I would never talk to a manager like that. Second, I was thinking about what I should say as I am the manager in this instance. Next, I gave myself time to think about what he was trying to convey. Finally I figured, it was not about me, it was about his wife not being comfortable working with a woman supervisor. Just that small finding helped me change things around to what best works for him and his wife. We started meeting at his house when his wife was around. Eventually, I became friends with the family. 

Third, you can never forget that people like to be recognized among their peers for doing a job well done, even if it means showing up for work when they are having a bad day. Rewards such as annual raises and bonuses are not enough. People remember the personal notes and thank yous for life.

In your world, what are the keys to developing the next generation of leaders?

Leaders need to recognize and treat people individually, regardless of their generation and communications styles. You don’t motivate as a team, you motivate your employees as individuals. Technology has moved us so far ahead -- we have dashboards for everything, but all the information we have at our fingertips does not replace the personal connection. The best leaders I've worked with took the time to build a personal connection with their employees.

What is your biggest accomplishment so far?

I believe raising my children is my biggest accomplishment so far. They are leaders in what they do. They learned to advocate, represent and stand for what they are without putting people off. They are wonderful at accepting diversity and differences in thoughts. Parenting has helped my leadership and vice versa. 

During my career at P&G, I was given a global assignment without any road-map or direction. What I had was the trust and flexibility to develop a program for leaders from across different functions while given the permission to take a lot of risk, the chance to fail and succeed, and above all, the opportunity to learn. To translate an idea that worked in North America to a global audience was something that was not done before at P&G. It was hard, but I couldn’t wait to go to work every day. Some of the best lessons I learned were during this assignment. None of the credibility, reputation, and knowledge that got me the job mattered to the people I worked with if I was not familiar with their work and industry. People criticized me for all sort of things including the way I looked. My epic failure was not recognizing and communicating to the people that I was not there to change what they were doing, instead I was there to learn about their work and industry to add new ideas to it.

Now being a solo-entrepreneur, I am able to utilize the same skills and translate it to businesses and people from various industries and various levels. 

What are some ways you break away from your everyday busy schedule? 

Something I started recently to incorporate into my day is a meditation practice. I find that it is a commitment to be quiet and calm my brain. This is a new skill I am learning this year. After practicing for 3 months, I am able to successfully relax my body. I am still learning to calm my mind.

Tracy Bullock presented at the MCOR Leadership Boot Camp on the topic of ‘Coaching for Higher Performance’.

 

Learn more about the Leadership Boot Camp



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