Week of 10/10/22

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Morning Minute 10/10/22; Creating Accountability

(10/10/22) Morning Minute:

“I just can’t get them to do their jobs!”

That was the statement from a sales manager recently when I asked him about how his team was performing. He explained disgustedly that not only would they not do any extra tasks; they were not even making their required 25 sales calls per day. I wondered: "Was this a team member issue or a manager issue?"

Two of the components in the T.A.S.T.E. method of disciplined leadership are: Support and Accountability. Plus, leaders are required to communicate and monitor Process to ensure compliance. Let examine each of these separately. Then, we’ll combine them together to determine how best to improve this team’s performance.

In every role there are proven processes. Whether you are landing a $40 million airplane or cooking an omelet, there are methods, structure, and tools required to create the outcome of achieving team and individual goals. When combined together, these make up a PROCESS. Leaders must design processes, sometimes called “best practices”, to insure successful results. To achieve these successful results, leaders must train their team members on the why, and the how, to use these processes. Once the team members have been trained, they are required to complete their tasks by using these “best practices” to achieve both team and individual goals.

SUPPORT from leaders takes many forms. They foster success by designing effective processes to create those desired results. Those processes are taught to their team members so they understand why the process is in place, and how to use it properly. Leaders enforce the use of the process by inspecting team member performance and making the necessary adjustments. Team members support each other by completing their tasks, and support the team’s success by working together.

Leaders are ultimately accountable for the performance of their team, by teaching and insisting that these proven “best practices” are used to achieve team goals. Team members are accountable for their own performance so that the goals of the team will be achieved. ACCOUNTABILITY, then. is shared by both the leader and the team members to perform the processes that lead to the team’s success.   

Using these 3 components; process, support, and accountability; how would you address the problem of team member non-performance described at the beginning of this article? Please share your thoughts by replying to this message HERE

And, that is today’s Morning Minute.   

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Have a productive day!

Morning Minute 10/12/22; The Power of a Question

“Why did you ask me that?”

That was how the person who was asked a loaded question answered back…with another question. We will come back to that in a moment.

In beginner sales classes, most students believe that the person who says all the right things with passion and has the “gift of gab” will control the conversation. They learn quickly that they are wrong. The individual who asks the questions will always control the conversation. Here are a few examples:

1.    1. If your child has done something wrong and wants to avoid the consequences, they will ask the parent or teacher a question to change the subject, many times getting the adult off track so that there will be no consequences. This is especially true of teenagers. 

 2. In a courtroom, who has control of the conversation, the lawyer or the witness? The judge or the lawyer? It is the person who is asking the questions.

  3. When visiting your doctor or dentist, the medical person will control the conversation by asking questions.

4.      4.  After being pulled over by the police for a traffic violation, the police will ask for your license, registration, and insurance. That puts the police in complete control of the conversation.

“What do you mean?” Many times, questions like this are used for clarification. When a person asks another person for clarification, that puts the responsibility for giving a more thorough explanation, on the person who is answering the question. That question transfers control of the conversation to the person who asks the question.

“Who will get the most benefit from this product, you or your husband?” Questions like this are used by skilled salespeople to help their clients decide which product or service is best for their budget and lifestyle. By asking the correct questions, at the correct time, the salesperson may assist the client to get a different product or service that better serves their client’s needs.

Let’s return to the first question, “Why did you ask me that?” The person was being interviewed by a someone who was searching for any answer that aligned with their own belief. That was their attempt to control the narrative, the conversation. Rather than answer the interviewer’s question, the interviewee regained control by…asking a question.

Remember, in any conversation, the person asking the questions is the person who has control.

And, that is today’s Morning Minute.

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Morning Minute 10/14/22: A Word to Refocus Your Mind

(10/14/22) Morning Minute:

“What is your FIDO.”

No, that’s not my dog’s name. It’s a phrase used by a woman to refocus her thoughts and efforts to achieve her dream. But, I am getting ahead of myself.

In the early 1990’s this woman faced a decision. She had been working at clerical jobs for years. Another woman, a leader in a local woman’s club, approached her about joining her as a radio salesperson. Her decision: choose between a $1200/month salary, or a job that only guaranteed $390/month.

This woman had a family history of success in sales. Her father, brother, and husband all worked at full commission jobs. She had seen the ups and downs of full commission sales. She also saw that the reward for success far outpaced her $1200/month salary. She made the decision, grabbed the sales job, and went to work building a client base.

At first, the deck looked like it was stacked against her. The other 4 sales women told her she was too nice to succeed in sales. They were taking bets on how long before she quit. She had only 2 clients to start. The insults and challenges were monumental. She needed support.

That support came from her boss. To stop focusing on failure and problems she needed a simple phrase she could use to refocus on opportunities instead of problems. That phrase was “Forget It & Drive On” or “FIDO.” When her co-workers kept telling her she would fail, “FIDO!” When she failed to get a client sold, “FIDO!” When her commission was lower than her previous salary, “FIDO.” Using that simple phrase to focus on her goals she increased her sales every month. In her third full year of selling, she passed her co-workers in sales and became the highest paid, most productive radio sales person in her market. Her success was phenomenal!

What is your FIDO? What phrase helps you refocus on your opportunities instead of your problems. Write it down. Make it an acronym like FIDO. For example: Focus on Myself; “FOMS.” Or: I deserve more; “IDM.”  Post it everywhere, so you are constantly reminded what success will do for you. Share this with your spouse, your kids, even your Mom. They will help keep you focused.

So, I ask you: “What is your FIDO?”

And that is today’s Morning Minute.