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My Experience in The Leadership Role in Proakatemia Sales Days 2023 for the TRAME Team

Kirjoittanut: Terēze Teibe - tiimistä Crevio.

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I want to start by saying that I have had many experiences in demanding leadership roles, but this one – truly was the hardest. Even though “it is only 2.5 days” for me these were 4 weeks of constant planning, analyzing, creating strategies, working with the people in my team, and always keeping sales days in mind until the end. I would constantly repeat a phrase for my team that I had heard one day from a very Brave Proakatemia student, which was “if you fail to plan, you are planning to fail”. And this was very important at least for us – a pingster team which hasn’t yet maybe developed a clear understanding of its assets and liabilities in human power, and hasn’t really faced such a challenge before as a team.For TRAME, which is a pingster team that was formed only in December of 2022, and now already had to compete with all of the teams in Proakatemia’s community, there were many issues that needed to be tackled. We knew that we wanted to face this challenge as a team. To grow, and to give our best. That was our win.

Previously we had figured out that one of my greatest strengths is my observation skills, and the ability to put people in a team together as a puzzle. This was also the reason why I volunteered to take the leadership position in my team for this year’s competition. I would make drawings during my flight to my home country a day before the ski slump break with schemes by placing people together based on their skills, characteristics and the effect on their dynamic in order to make the most powerful subgroups that would later feel empowered to hold a healthy completion within the TRAME team. It was clear to me that for the first year, we would really need each other during sales days, which is why making smaller groups that would later work closely together made sense.

It was very equal – I wanted each smaller team to feel that they can make the most sales among the other smaller teams within TRAME. Even though the results after sales days did not show the same outcome, I still believe that if it wasn’t for the factor (consumer choice) that I couldn’t control, and if it was just a game, every subteam would be equally strong. For me, it was important to create a system which stimulates proactivity and determination, and this is what led to another special award to be created in our team – “The Best Salesperson of TRAME 2023”. To motivate everyone to be ready to go the extra mile.

However, there were still so many issues that needed to be handled well. How can I give the same opportunities to the 2 people who are online in Bangladesh who still haven’t managed to arrive in Finland due to their visas? How can we help those who are not so confident in their abilities to learn and to be proactive while under pressure? How to create a positive balance in which both people with experience and without would do their best and would not give up when facing difficult situations? And then again… How to make sure that we take out the best of our internationality?

And IT WAS NOT EASY… it wasn’t easy at all. Because even with the best strategies and constantly going the extra mile, I needed to be ready to always be pushed back. My beautiful team, I can be so grateful for how much we came together and were always ready to innovate on the spot. I saw people coming out of their comfort zones, facing their fears and OVERCOMING THOSE. And that, for a leader, is the greatest reward. I was constantly saying to myself: “Leaders are not responsible for the results – leaders are responsible for people who create the results,” (S. Sinek), and that meant that also during preparation week my team knew that they could call me even after working hours. I would receive so many calls.There were meltdowns… I think almost everyone from my team, especially during the sales days got to their breaking point, and then I would always be there for them (at least I tried)… I received multiple calls, and I was constantly biting my nails. I was thinking about encouragement but also not pushing people too much.

I think the best thing was that I actually lived the experience together with them because that meant a lot to my team. I could actually relate to them and understand how to react to what they were saying. Because me myself… it is very possible that I had the most meltdowns during the sales days in my team… Moreover, one time during the sales days I was even pushed back to face my own fears – and I would reach out to one of the strongest sales persons in our team for support. And I thought about how silly I am (I should be the one that people seek for support). But then again, I got to appreciate how tight our team was, and how much of a team challenge this was in TRAME.It was always important that we had clarity and we were all on the same wave…

With experiences like this, it is very difficult to deliver the rollercoaster of the Adventure to the reader. The feelings are too strong, and sometimes when they are read out loud (they seem twisted?)… there are no words that would fit even close to the things that we experienced.

To paint the day, we would start with a huddle up at 8.00 online from our positions. Wish each other good luck and call those who might be lost or overslept. Then we would start our day. I was mainly in Proakatemia together with 2 people from my subteam. One would do calls and emails in Finnish, the other one would be on a call with our teammates in Bangladesh. Those who were in Bangladesh would constantly try to improve their templates, search for companies to call and email, and the one that was on the call from Proakatemia would do the calling and emailing. I would be working with sales, receiving calls and constantly innovating new strategies, and making changes on the spot when something would not be working out as it was thought.Some would work remotely. Most teammates from Puhdistustiimi would go door2door in the designated area and some of them would do the stand selling. Our teammates from Meliina had reserved their own spot in Tullintori for the stand selling during the sales days. Some would do the stand selling, some would do the calling and emailing, while some would visit companies. Then around 17.00, my subteam would have a call for a reflection of the day as the time in Bangladesh was already 20.00, around the same time wet, Laughing and exhausted would arrive our teammates from Puhdistustiimi. After the call, I would think about the strategy for the next day for my subteam, and then Meliina’s subteam Sellers would arrive.This all would happen as a quick check in with the teammates, Laughing together, and then everyone would go home to have dinner and relax. At 20.00 we would have our team call where we would reflect on our day altogether. Everybody would share their thoughts and feelings, and then we would do our Motorola of the day. The meeting would set the tone for the next day. Around 21.00 we would finish our call, I would post our meeting summary and, if there was something that concerned me in the reflection meeting, I would do some changes again to our strategy, which I would inform in the morning call. It was always about team learning and staying in touch, and I think this was what always kept our team going with determination.

Overall, our sales days reflection included some serious lessons as well as a lot of laughter. All of us agree that sales days have a significant impact on our learning and even though they are challenging, they also bring us the most rewards in a very short period of time. And for that, we are grateful to have this opportunity during our studies.


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