Today McNair runs a consulting firm in Winston-Salem, N.C. He’s the author of It’s OK to Ask ’Em to Work (Amacom, 2000).
WS: You started out in market research at R.J. Reynolds. You eventually became a top salesman at Douglas Battery and then moved into management. Did you shift from marketing to sales to advance your career?
McNair: Career planning is a matter of knowing what you’re good at. I’m a pure salesman. But beyond selling, I also wanted to manage other people to greatness.
WS: How did your sales skills make you a good manager?
McNair: You learn in sales to set goals. When you’re a manager, you need to be clear not only about your goals, but about what you expect from your em...(register to read more)