Archive for October, 2009

Get OUT of your Industry

Everyone sitting in the room is your competitor. You want to get ahead in your industry: look outside of the norm; outside of past experience; outside of the industry to get ahead. Your best way to get ahead is get out and away from everyone else. History has shown they will follow your lead.

4th Interview on Indisputable Truths

See Jim’s fourth interview on the Indisputable Truths for Business in 2010:

The economy isn’t down; it’s different!

Building Community at Work

Do you want to build community and profits simultaneously? Then start rewarding achievement in every way possible. I have attended many achievement awards presentations and you can’t beat the smiles and group support you see as each individual strides to the platform to receive the public (yes, public) recognition. What gets rewarded gets done. It’s as simple as that. These are not contests, pitting team member against team member; they are performance achievement awards for a job done well. Awards are not given, they are earned. Hard work is rewarded on the stage, photos are on the big screen in front of everyone, plaques and certificates are presented. Jeffrey Gitomer says, “Make sure it’s on your blog, in your e-zine and posted on your website.” Reward in public, reprimand in private.

Achievement awards and incentives are stimulus packages at their best. In challenging economic times your sales and service will carry the company. Bailouts don’t stimulate anyone. When someone wins an award there is pride of accomplishment and the incentive to do the same if not better next time. Superstars love the awards and recognition, which only makes them better. People in the audience are inspired to win an award the next year. And by the way, have as many awards as your achievers earn. Don’t limit them to one per year.

General Motors received a hefty bailout from the United States Government, but Ford held out to succeed on their own. In 2009, it was Ford and Toyota who excelled in sales. How many of the GM bailout billions were teaching their dealers and sales people to excel in their endeavors? None. Bail someone out and they will learn that they don’t have to work to get rewarded and that you will do it again. Challenge them to excel and reward excellence and they will learn to do it better each time. You disrespect your people and your sales will lag far behind the competition and your goals. Respect your people and they will respect your company. Reward your people and they will reward you with sales and excellent service. By the way, Toyota learned how to build cars successfully by studying…the United States in the 1930s. Wonder what we changed?

Management would do well to invest in the people who do the work. “Are you giving your lowest-level employees the power to make crucial customer-relations decisions without supervision? If not, you’re making a huge mistake,” Mike Figliuolo, founder of Thought leaders, LLC writes. “When leaders trust their workers to do the right thing, employees are more likely to go the extra mile for a customer, because they’re not worried about upsetting their boss,” he notes. Here’s another thought: rather than reduce compensation plans and kill morale, you should boost performance and productivity through rewarding achievement. I’ve heard it said many times that you can’t “cut” your way to success or survival. I spoke to countless leaders in the winter of 2009 who decided to cut back on sales training and recognition to tighten their belts in the recession. Each was outperformed by their competitors.

How can you win the top achievement award? Have a positive attitude with every prospect or customer you come in contact with. Meet the challenge of each day with a “can-do” spirit. Do what you can to serve others well. Treat everyone like they are the most important person in the world and it will reward your efforts and your business. You should endeavor to work harder and smarter than you did on the last contact. Don’t compete with others. It will lead feelings of superiority or inadequacy. Compete with yourself. Decide to be the best YOU that you can be and go a little farther with each contact with the public.

Read more about Community at Work.

Why Don’t People Work Together?

Sad But True
My daughter brought home a failing grade from a Chemistry project last week. When I asked her why she got an F, she said, “My lab partner won’t do any work and I was graded on her performance, too.” She isn’t responsible for her partner so she suffers the consequences of a bad match-up. This is a great lesson for life. The school system is actually teaching her that this concept of pairing with someone who won’t work isn’t functional.  Why would someone who does outstanding work want to work with a bunch of people who don’t care?

There was a television advertisement out several years ago featuring a superstar professional football receiver. He was surrounded by the press and one said the old sick saying, “There’s no I in TEAM.” His answer was, “There’s no WE either.” The high achievers resent the lack of productivity and the pay disparity they get for working with the low performers who won’t work.

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October 2009


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