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Leading a Sales Team Through Hard Times with Dawn Jackson

Leading a Sales Team Through Hard Times with Dawn Jackson

Why Dawn Jackson Is a Woman in American Manufacturing Worth Knowing

In today’s episode of The Women of American Manufacturing, we are featuring Dawn Jackson, Director of Sales, Industrial and Fire Division at Streamlight. Dawn was a woman in manufacturing when there were no associations, groups, or even dialogues dedicated to helping women navigate an industry that was 99% male. She is an ardent believer in the diversity of thought and action that women bring to their work, regardless of the industry, and insists that women in manufacturing need to help pull each other up.

Her story is an inspiring one—from a secretary to a Director of National Sales at a major manufacturer, she has established key partnerships and sales that have elevated her company and her stature in the industry, all because she refused to be intimidated. I love how delighted she is when she reflects back on her career; she’s both surprised by how far she has come, and still excited about what the future holds.

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A Surprising Thing That Came Out of the Conversation

Dawn loves negotiating! I can probably count on one hand how many people I know who would say this. Dawn seems to have overcome the obvious discomfort of tough conversations and did so through years of mentorship, coaching, and practice.

Today, she helps her team cultivate this skillset and mindset so that they can enter negotiations with more confidence, and come out of them with positive outcomes for themselves and the company. I think this is really about embracing discomfort, and something Dawn says about it really resonates with me: that you have to teach yourself to see each uncomfortable conversation as an opportunity to learn something and improve yourself.

It’s easier said than done but worth adopting and practicing.

Key Takeaway: Remaining Positive Is Key to Leading During Turmoil

When COVID shut the world down in 2020, Dawn didn’t have a magic 8-ball. Nobody could tell what the future would hold, nor how long it would take to get through the pandemic. In spite of this uncertainty, Dawn knew she had to remain positive for her team. Helping them feel secure in their jobs at Streamlight, and creating projects that would engage them in productive work, kept her team motivated and focused. Thanks to her positivity and quick thinking, they continued to contribute to the company’s growth and have come out the other end of the pandemic as a more collaborative, tight-knit, and tech-forward team.

Favorite Answer From Rapid Fire Questions

A classic: her favorite meal is pasta with vodka sauce and a glass of red wine—mostly red blends, but also cabernet sauvignon. My kind of meal!!

 

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