It is the skill not strength that governs a ship
I have known Romania for several years. One of the reasons is that before I got my MBA from the Open University, UK, I studied for a degree in International Studies focused on East Central Europe, including Romania.
Actually, as Mercuri International Partner – I am member of Mercuri International since 2000 – some of my responsibilities were to ensure the team’s reach through international projects within Central Europe. For example, I developed solutions for customers to support their development requirements in Sales Management and Key Account Management. And I enjoyed very much to search for resources to implement the concepts of Consultative Selling, Account Management for Business Relationship Managers in several IT organizations in Europe, Asia and South America.
Often during my business trips in Romania, a question came like a theme song in my mind. Why didn’t I meet more Romanians in Top positions in the Global Account Management? As I already know a lot of very talented Romanians in Top Management positions in IT, also in high positions in the UK, USA or some other prestigious worldwide Universities… Of course, maybe this happened because my network was too small, so probably any conclusion coming out from my observation is purely a speculation.
But recently, I found a potential answer when I started to search for a very good consultant in Bucharest. I’ve been in the situation to interview many candidates and all of them were very good in one or two areas. For example, some of the candidates were in control regarding people skills or of a systematic way of working. It became very clear that each one who had one very good developed area had also gaps, for example in working with numbers or analytical skills. After the first wrap-up of the interviews I realized that some of the candidates often thought that one good skill’s area was enough to succeed in the job. Some other people realized during the interview what they still need to achieve and they went on in the process of finding the most appropriate training course and guidance. It happened to me in some other countries too.
This is why I was tempted to compare the result of my interview campaigns with the Global Account Managers I met and to the profile of our consultancy customers. And I realized that most of the Global Account Managers are… well rounded, skilled in many areas, working by using all their skills and constantly fighting to improve the weaknesses.
Recently, while I was at a conference in Paris, I talked with an International Account Manager, a very successful one. The topic was continuous learning and achievement. He shared to me that the account he’s in charge for was going well and he was relaxed. But he mentioned his need to attend training in financial acumen and was looking forward to it. „I am strong, but I still need some skills.” Now I’m thinking that he could adopt the so called safe position: „As a matter of fact I am OK, I don’t really need it now since I am successful”. But I think that he was successful because he always knew where and what he needs to improve and he reached for it.
This is just a personal view, and it is not important if we talk regarding Romanians, French and Chinese or Americans. As my business customers are in generally organizations centered on the activity of Key Accounts and Account Managers, I am ready to draw a conclusion starting from this point of view: all the successful Account Managers I know acknowledged the necessity of constant improving of their skills, and understood their strengths and weaknesses. By working on constant skills improvement, you can achieve more. Only then you can fully develop yourself and your business. And this is true for any work or life field, not only for Account Management.