Monday, Oct. 18, 2010

John H. Patterson

He's considered a pioneer in sales management, an ever striving executive that wanted nothing less than to develop measurable ways to bring in customers for his National Cash Register company, now known as NCR. John H. Patterson trained his salesmen, gave them highly tuned scripts to follow, carved out clearly defined sales territories and instituted regular quotas that had to be met. But he was also known as a control freak who tried to impose his obsession with cleanliness and healthiness on his employees, mandating that they take showers on company time and restricting certain types of food from being served in some company dining rooms. Also, as wrote, Patterson "liked to fire and then rehire executives to break their self-esteem." In one famous tale, Patterson fired sales exec Thomas Watson, later the head of IBM, by leaving his desk on the lawn for Watson to discover upon his return to the office.