MBA Programs - Continuing Education in Florida
Professors talk about their approaches to teaching leadership skills.
Assistant Professor of Marketing - Nova Southeastern University,
H. Wayne Huizenga School of Business and Entrepreneurship
Courses: Sales Management; Professional Selling
Having spent 20 years in the pharmaceutical industry, John Riggs knows how to get his products into the hands of customers and how to manage a sales team spread across continents.
But Riggs says he only recently found his true passion: Teaching graduate business students how to become sales force managers and leaders. He covers all aspects of building and managing sales teams, from assessing who is most productive to figuring out the optimal size of the sales team. “It’s very case-study driven,” he says.
One particular area of focus: Human resources. Students, Riggs says, “need to know how to recruit the best salespeople, how to train a sales force and the impact of hiring decisions.” The HR focus extends to performance reviews. Riggs says he wants his students to learn how to write and deliver performance appraisals that will keep them out of court. Students role-play a performance appraisal while being videotaped. He provides them with individual coaching, even down to the tone of voice they use. “We get very interactive.”
Students also learn how to develop a commission plan or bonus plan to motivate employees while staying within a budget and keep them performing at a high level.
MBA student Kyle Lozito, an IT recruiting manager, found Riggs’ coaching helpful in motivating an underperforming team member. “He’s not just a professor teaching out of a book. He has spent time in industry and brings real-world advice we can put to use in our own daily activities.”