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Next Level School


Even some of the best radio managers in our industry fall a little short when it comes to being teachers and devoting meaningful time to training. You cant grow a business without growing your people. I call it Next Level School. Its an atmosphere where everyone is consistently growing to the next level. Its where new sellers learn to become senior sellers, senior sellers learn what it takes to be sales managers, sales managers are in GM school, air-personalities learn what it takes to be program directors, etc.

Next Level School requires top management to fully understand and practice the true art of leadership and understand how it differs from authority. Authority says, Do it because I say so. Leadership says, Ive received lots of input on this. Heres the direction were going and I want to share with you my decision and explain how I got there so youll know. There are two words that are the foundation of Next Level School. They are HERES HOW! These two words are hard to find today in leadership. If were not teaching HOW to get the results we want, were not leading, period. HERES HOW doesnt mean you always give them the answer even though you could. It means, Tell me what you think we should do, first. Make them bring their solution to the table. Next Level School means you have an ever-present atmosphere of learning and growing.

Lets drill down on an example of HERES HOW in sales. Ive taught radio stations to define what is required to be a Senior Account Manager. For example, one must have made budget for three years and be a Sales Coach for one year. Whats a Sales Coach? Lets say youre a senior seller on my staff and we just hired a new seller. Ill give you the opportunity to be their coach for the new hires first year. Youll know their activity every day, help them succeed, answer their questions and take some responsibility for their success. Every month the new seller hits 100 percent of their budget, Ill pay you a bonus. If they hit 100 percent of their budget their first year, Ill pay you a larger, annual bonus. As the manager, I win two ways here. Im helping insure the success of that new seller and Im also preparing you for sales management, or indeed, the next level. This is an example of Next Level School.

Another example is KXYZ UNIVERSITY (use your own call letters or company name). Most every employee is pretty good at something. Some sellers, for example, specialize in direct business. Some are great at collections. Some are experts at dealing with media buyers. Whatever their specialty, have them teach a class on that subject. Youre winning two ways again. Youre growing your team in that area and youre growing the teaching seller in the art of training and leadership. Building an internal faculty of teachers in sales, programming, promotion, and event management provides you a curriculum and a faculty for your own internal university.

Remember, the best way to ever really learn something is to have to teach it. The greatest way you can take your team to higher levels of performance is to make certain your radio station is always in NEXT LEVEL SCHOOL. Good people stay where theyre growing! When do classes start at your station?

Rob Adair is the President of Pinnacle Solving. His company provides revenue growth solutions, branding and differentiation strategies to radio and other industries. Adair is a former radio industry COO and Sr. VP overseeing 25+ stations and multiple major markets. He can be reached at 405-641-0458 or by e-mail

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