For me, 2008 was the year that our values and tenacity would be truly tested at Frucor Victoria.
It was August 2008. Our State Sales Manager made a rapid and unexpected departure. We had two brand new Field Managers (Scott P and Alex R), both of which had been promoted from a rep’s role and were expected to continue to cover their territories as reps until they were able to fill the two vacant rep roles left by themselves. We also had a very fresh faced Craig O, who was a rookie to Frucor.
It’s fair to say that our SSM left under rather dubious circumstances, so a wave of anxiety and concern was festering under the surface with much of the field team. This anxiety would intensify to new heights upon learning that Frucor was up for sale! People were fearing for their future and we lost three strong reps to Red Bull, who were on a recruiting warpath and revelling in Frucor’s vulnerable situation. We were lucky enough to hang onto one of the three reps, who in hindsight made a very smart choice to stay with Frucor.
So…I take over as State Manager caretaker and Chris N, Craig O, Alex R, Scott P, Donna M and Rob B rally around to make a formidable team. Talk about one team! These guys and girl went beyond the call of duty to put up a united front and made sure we continued to drive the entire team forward in every way. Instead of feeling defeated and deciding that it was ‘tools down’ until a saviour would arrive, the attitude and work ethic of this team turned out to be the exact opposite. This fighting spirit soon rubbed off on the rest of the team and the reps were feeling quite buoyant, despite our circumstances.
As they say in the classics…“and the rest is history”! Suntory buy Frucor and our futures are once again secured. We did not lose any more staff to the opposition and because of truly living the values during this tough period, we gained respect nationally. It was nothing short of ‘People Magic’!
State Account Manager Vic/Tas