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Profit Center Manager Profile:
Compare High Performers to Low Producers

Position Overview: Requires an orientation towards business growth, change and innovation while maintaining an emphasis on profitability; this growth is driven by strong initiative and self-direction; taking personal responsibility for actual results and outcomes is paramount as is the ability to quickly learn the business, analysis issues and opportunities, and delegate to smart subordinates.

Predictive Skills: Nine characteristics will predict sales rep success in this manager position. Review below how top sales performers will differ from lower performers.


Focuses on innovative or creative solutions to continuing business needs; sees improvement goals as a project or series of projects, each with distinctive beginning and ending points; demonstrates interest in growth or a turnaround situation over ongoing maintenance or process refinement; concentrates on the planning and design of an idea or project, leaving the execution, refinement, and details to others while moving on to new challenges; works to secure agreement and buy-in from colleagues impacted by an immediate or impending project so that the near-term implementation is accepted and effective; committed to minimizing others' discomfort or allaying concerns created by an evolving design plan


  • Performs best in a start-up environment or true project capacity where there exist discrete beginnings and endings
  • Chooses involvement in the design or invention of a new technology, or a new application of an existing technology, over the routinization or fine-tuning of an established system
  • Embraces innovation and creativity in exploring new business functions or capacities within the general parameters of a specified goal
  • Creates by instinct or insight, preferring to test new solutions by trial and error
  • Seeks input and tactical buy-in from colleagues in an effort to minimize potential stress or conflict created by the implementation of an unknown design or new technology
  • Sensitive to others’ apprehension or uncertainty regarding a start-up project or cutting edge technology and takes steps to reassure them or increase their comfort level


  • Can resist change when the organization refocuses and needs to readdress major change or expansion
  • Prefers to update existing systems with incremental adjustments to enhance their value and leverage their development costs
  • Is more dedicated to preventing negative outcomes or controlling risk than to the exploration or innovation of a unique and untested solution or system
  • Plays up the need to pay attention to routine details, stable management methods, and sustained systems
  • Solicits minimal or no input from others in a trial and error approach to testing solutions or enhancing creative capacity
  • May fail to take into consideration how someone else will be affected by a new design or invention


Manages the allocated resources to produce optimum bottom-line results; works to understand and control the key factors that influence profit production; balances the priorities and skills of self and others to generate profitable results; won’t become distracted by issues that don’t influence the bottom-line; protects the interests of investors, employees, customers, and others who depend upon the success and survival of the company as a result of its ability to generate profits


  • Sees primary role as generating profit for the business
  • Entrepreneurial with a bottom-line versus administrative orientation
  • Has a realistic grasp of the financial aspects of the organization, shows responsiveness to the need for economies and cost control, and is able to draw meaningful implications from financial data
  • Places other business concerns as secondary to profit generation
  • Focuses on approaches and techniques designed to increase production or decrease costs, enhancing overall organizational profitability
  • Has little time or patience for ideas or programs that do not impact the bottom line
  • Does not become distracted by or waste time on trivial problems, unnecessary paperwork, or personality issues that don't affect profitable results
  • Sees the big picture beyond departmental or single function concerns that on their own will not positively impact overall profitability


  • Does not see the production of profit as the organization’s primary objective
  • Focuses on accomplishing process steps and administrative tasks to tie up loose ends and deal with immediate demands regardless of their overall impact on the bottom-line
  • Cannot find the time or justify the effort to establish and review financial controls
  • Bases evaluations of an outcome on the effort extended or the elegance of the result rather than the profitability of the result
  • Has a strong concern for personality issues and having people feel good about their results as the true measure of success
  • Does not consistently implement steps to monitor key financial or customer data that can potentially impact bottom-line profitability
  • Becomes distracted from the primary goal of corporate profitability by ‘squeaky wheel’ situations or single function demands that offer a short-term appearance of increased efficiency or reduced costs


Demonstrates a willingness to take action on problems or opportunities without prompting; possesses the intrinsic desire and willingness to push toward achieving a desired goal or end-state without suggestion from others; prepares alternatives so the outcome is not jeopardized by unexpected barriers; exhibits the desire to blaze new trails as a means to an end


  • Champions new initiatives and identifies opportunities or issues requiring change without prompting
  • When barriers to goal accomplishment are encountered, is willing to introduce and implement a solution throughout his sphere of influence
  • Is willing to take the lead, even if others don’t initially understand or approve
  • Focuses effort and resources on initiatives or solutions that will positively contribute to the desired result; does not simply try to ‘build a better mousetrap’
  • Changes the present status in order to improve the position of the group or organization in meeting its objectives
  • Installs targeted, selective changes that provide real added value to the organization
  • More than simply overcoming a negative or preventing a loss, the solutions or changes he initiates leave the job (task, project) with something gained


  • Is uncomfortable developing a solution to a problem or trying a different approach without positive directives from a higher authority
  • Hesitates to push own ideas or drive new goals
  • May be too willing to leave well enough alone and conforms to established rules and principles
  • Uncomfortable pushing beyond easy or traditional responses to creative or original thinking
  • Tends to wait patiently for situations to settle over time or to correct themselves in a more natural fashion


Seeks to stay abreast of new developments in his core competencies and to learn enough about related fields to apply knowledge effectively in the business; enjoys learning and is intellectually curious; has a strong desire to continuously improve knowledge, skills, and abilities; sees learning and knowledge as the keys to building the skills and abilities essential to job and career success


  • Stays abreast of technical developments in his field in order to effectively apply his knowledge
  • Reviews professional publications, newsletters, and other current information in his own and related fields
  • Routinely collects and reviews key data and information to track progress on all important functions
  • Applies technical principles effectively to goals, plans and new situations
  • Uses technology to enhance productivity
  • Incorporates professional expertise into projects and new initiatives


  • Tends to rely on others' expertise in areas in which he doesn't understand the technology or basic principles
  • Applies an existing body of technical principles to objectives and problems without taking the steps to expand and update it
  • Interest in exploring new technical developments may be cursory and driven by business demands rather than by personal curiosity
  • May spend insufficient time tracking all key business information sources


Commits to taking personal responsibility for results, even when those results are achieved indirectly through others; is vigilant in soliciting feedback on progress and detecting possible problems before they can derail the process; maintains control and ultimate accountability but does not step in to take over ownership of others’ tasks and responsibilities; typically has some expertise in subordinates’ tasks, and provides assistance to ensure the outcome rather than allow them to struggle and miss the mark on the end result; stays focused on the result and when shortfalls occur, admits to the problem and takes action to rectify the situation without becoming defensive or shifting the blame to associates


  • Focuses on the results, not the effort; measures success by what is accomplished, not by how hard people tried
  • Does not give or accept excuses for failure, or participate in finger pointing when results fall short of expectations
  • Makes optimal use of resources and personnel available to him
  • Recognizes the personal strengths, weaknesses, and biases of direct or indirect reports, and controls for, or compensates for, significant vulnerabilities
  • Patiently develops others’ potential for effective performance and future growth
  • Is capable of and willing to help out when necessary to salvage the result, but resists the temptation to just step in and take over to avoid association with a potentially negative outcome
  • Is disciplined in collecting and analyzing key performance measures and responds quickly with action steps when needed
  • Establishes appropriate procedures to be kept informed of others’ work progress


  • May not be as personally committed to end results as he is to established administrative or bureaucratic procedures
  • Makes excuses for a lack of performance or publicly blames others for a lack of performance
  • Lacks trust in others’ commitment or talent and keeps control by stepping in to take over their tasks or responsibilities
  • Is uncomfortable giving responsibility to others and allowing them to grow
  • Lacks planning to support subordinate weaknesses with additional development or outside resources
  • Fails to track key areas or concerns about subordinates’ responsibilities and may not follow up on status or actions taken
  • Relies on others’ input without being vigilant in his own effort to solicit feedback on progress and possible obstacles


Demonstrates knowledge of current and possible future policies, practices, trends, and information that is critical to his business or organization; understands the financial impact of developments on the industry and company; knows the competition; identifies issues, secures relevant information, and identifies relationships to develop sound conclusions for adding value/business results; becomes relatively expert in critical areas when the luxury of multiple players with multiple areas of expertise is not afforded; sets up controls and monitors to provide feedback in these areas for effective, ongoing management


  • Achieves and maintains business and professional proficiency related to his industry and organization to be able to clearly identify the critical success factors that require attention
  • Applies knowledge of company strategy, customer trends, and competitor strengths/weaknesses to create or implement value-added solutions
  • Remains attentive to, and tracks, all critical success factors of the organization, not just to areas of familiarity or personal interest and expertise
  • Learns whatever is necessary in unrelated areas to maximize effectiveness


  • May focus on superfluous aspects of the business
  • Tends to adopt a role of specialist rather than generalist, focusing on select business elements and excluding what he does not understand or appreciate
  • Too willing to rely on others for a superficial understanding of the aspects of the business with which he has limited familiarity which could prevent him from setting up formal tracking mechanisms
  • May stay too focused on his primary area of expertise and not acquire knowledge in critical, but unrelated, disciplines


Possesses a span of control that allows direct access to all of the key staff people in the group or organization; practices a hands-on, face-to-face coaching style and seeks personal involvement in day-to-day tasks; utilizes a walk-around style to follow up and ensure that delegated tasks are effectively completed


  • Provides full and complete information in making assignments, including timelines and results expectations
  • Ensures that subordinates understand the measurements that monitor progress toward goals and results
  • Consistently follows up to track results and understands the need for occasional repetition or reinforcement of guidelines
  • Does not abdicate in delegation, but stays personally involved, using first-hand knowledge of the steps for achieving the goal to coach less experienced individuals
  • Broadens his control by giving subordinates a chance to develop their skills and contribute to the organization, but remains a presence so that deviations from the goal can be quickly identified


  • Gives insufficient information or explanation when assigning tasks
  • Does not expect to repeat himself or find it necessary to restate objectives or performance criteria
  • Assumes subordinates can do what he can do without intervention, and experiences frustration when results do not meet expectations
  • Prefers to direct others through more formal processes and expects them to perform as agreed without reminding or coaching
  • Resists personal involvement in monitoring or assisting with subordinate efforts and results, expecting them to be self-motivated and self-directed
  • Assigns tasks but abdicates responsibility


Absorbs new information quickly and is comfortable dealing with abstract concepts and relationships; relates new information to previously acquired knowledge to expand and refine his frame of reference; enjoys learning and expanding the breadth and depth of his understanding on a variety of subjects


  • Enjoys learning and broadening his depth of learning and insight in a wide array of topics
  • Absorbs, stores and recalls new information quickly
  • Deals comfortably with abstract concepts and relationships
  • Pursues academic, theoretical or research-based information


  • Needs repetition to process new information and requires additional time to integrate it into his repertoire
  • Prefers concrete tasks
  • Learns best through one-on-one instruction and improves his base skill level through experience and hard work
  • Uses practice opportunities or trial runs to become completely knowledgeable of and comfortable with methods or techniques he needs to use


Systematically applies a combination of inductive and deductive reasoning to arrive at a well-founded, logical conclusion; remains objective in analyzing information and data so as not to make false assumptions or reach judgments without full knowledge and information; recognizes and neutralizes personal biases that can influence his thought process; effectively weighs the accuracy of different types of information in order to define a problem and reach a valid conclusion


  • Possesses strong deductive reasoning skills and is capable of thinking through problems in a systematic and logical manner
  • Draws sound conclusions from the information presented
  • Effectively weighs the accuracy of different types of information, including inferences, abstractions, or generalizations
  • Maintains a detached/objective demeanor in the gathering and analysis of information


  • Allows biases to prevent him from seeing all sides of an issue and influence his perception
  • Quickly draws conclusions or makes assumptions without full knowledge and information
  • Makes decisions according to clearly defined rules and depends upon an existing frame of reference in unfamiliar situations
  • A penchant for action versus analysis leads him to move forward with minimal review of critical input or weighing of alternatives
  • Relies on previously acquired information and like-minded people for input into decisions

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