Posts Tagged ‘supervision’
No Wins, Not Quite
This High School football team didn’t win a single game this year. Not one.
But you’d never know it looking at the faces of the kids and everyone else I saw at the season-ending banquet on Saturday.
I didn’t get to see many Varsity games this year with the kickoff times being mostly held at 4pm on Friday nights. But I know that what had to be tough games to watch, would likely carry over into a somewhat depressed pall cast over the season ending banquet. How could there not be, having gone this year without a single win and having just one win last year.
But what I saw was a room full of cheering parents, proud young men and a half a dozen coaches who spoke of their players as if they were their very own kids.
I saw a Head Coach who talked glowingly and positively about every player from Freshman to Senior as they were introduced. It wasn’t what you think; time flew. He found something unique and great to say about each. He found affirmative things to say about their work ethic, their progress, their spirit, their unselfish willingness to help each other and refreshingly for many, their outstanding grades.
My son didn’t play a down this year having suffered a pre –season injury requiring surgery but he had his name called and was acknowledged for his commitment to supporting the team throughout the year. He wore not only a tie (that was as required for all players) but a broad smile shaking the hands of coaches and teammates as he walked onto the floor.
There was continued talk of overcoming more injuries and obstacles, of learning new positions and new offenses, of learning a new culture and of responsibility and accountability. There was talk about the honorable values and the unique contributions of team captions, assistant coaches and supporters all around.
There was talk of shunning the individual accomplishment and focusing on bonding as a team, in a concerted effort with a common focus. There was talk about reaching out to each other and encouraging each other to work together not just during football season but all year round. And finally, there was talk that in the end of all this important stuff, one of many great results, (but not nearly the only one), will be some games to be won.
It’s trite of course, but these games are not the lead story – at least for the gatherings of these young men who yearn to push a ball across a goal line just a bit more than their competitor. My guess is that if there were two seasons of winning records already under his belt, this Head Coach would have talked about the same things.
I sat there thinking how wonderful these presentations and speeches were and asked myself how different are they than what the gatherings of families, groups or even companies in good times or in bad should be hearing? These messages are the ones that we and not just our sons benefit from. These messages are at the root of what is valuable, at the root of what drives achievement across a wide swath of life.
Thanks for the pep talk Coach. Thanks for the shot in the arm of prioritization and principles. Better luck next year in that win / loss thing but regardless, there’s no doubt you’ll truly win.
Till next time,
Grow The Business.
This is the actual machine pictured in Kansas City.
It has its own cubicle The Laminator does, right outside the Site Leader Dale’s office. Really it does. It is the only thing on this desk right near the front door. And it deservedly has this space all to itself because of all the good work it does.
The Laminator’s work was plastered everywhere in the KC facility I visited. Laminated Certificates were hanging from the shelves, the monitors and the walls. For some folks, they even hung from the ceiling.
I sat with some employees for a bit that day. A few had evidently received many certificates from The Laminator and I was kind of surprised by the care in which these were displayed and hung in their cubicle spaces.
I commented to one person I was talking with who had a dozen or so in his cube and said “Wow look at all of those…” and with what I admit was more pride than I expected, he grinned and said “ Yeah, pretty cool eh?”
The other folks I sat with seemed similarly proud of them. Dale’s center had a pretty good vibe and I couldn’t help but think this emphasis on recognition had something to do with it.
Flying back home that night it got me thinking about that darn laminator and how we need more of those around these parts. But of course what I really walked away with is how important it is to recognize and be recognized.
Sure some of us, we tend brush the need off with comments mostly to ourselves like “Who cares” or “It’s no big deal” or “People know they are valuable” but if we are honest – recognition is a big deal. If we are honest, we do look twice at that email from the boss that says “good job” or “great point”. If we are honest, we do look at the comment from the blog reader or the person that liked your status update. If we are honest, we do smile a little inside when we get a little public recognition be it your name called out in a meeting or yes, on a certificate for all to see.
The Laminator knows this. The Laminator is as honest as they come. A little heat, a little plastic and Voila! - it’s a shot in the arm for someone. There are dozens of other ways to recognize people and I’m sure Dale and his team is using more than just The Laminator.
But here’s a thought – if you have an empty desk and a need for a bit more acknowledgement of good people and good work, fill that space with a laminator. It does a darn good job.
Till next time,
Grow The Business.
4 Gifts Your Sales People Need This Year
This one is for all the sales leaders and coaches out there….
Looking for that perfect little something for your salespeople this year? Look no further. And no worries, I checked this list twice.
Hands Free Gift Cards: Instead of adding more for your sales persons’ hands to do next year; take something away. Entering orders in 7 systems, 3 tracking sheets, 2 CRM’s and the partridge in the pear tree isn’t selling. That’s called data entry. Sales people need to read and think and speak and sell and then read and think and speak and sell some more. I get the efficiency and information gathering piece and you do too. But I know there are gifts out there, be they tools or support that can take some burden off the hands. More Hands Free = More Sales.
25- $5 Expired Scratch Tickets . Ah…. the joy of wishing and praying and of hoping the luck comes in will be dashed (Holiday pun intended) when you hand over these 25 expired loser tickets. It’s one of the better gifts for sales people because even though it is downright mean, it’s a great message that that kind of good luck don’t work no more in sales. Every scratched ticket does not get you closer to a winner, that’s for sure. Same for unconscious dials & smiles! Sales is not about spraying (or scratching) and praying!
A Coaching Promise. No -, a real one! Not the same old coaching you do all the time – you know that kind right? The kind where you talk about the numbers and say cool stuff like “What are you going to do to hit those numbers?” or” “I’ve noticed a decline in your performance lately, What’s up?” conversations. Heck, Siri can coach like that. I mean a coaching promise on the “How” to hit those numbers. I mean a coaching promise that has you show, preach, teach and demonstrate how it’s done. Real Specific, Real World and Real Time means Real Sales.
A Stronger Point of View: I don’t mean yours, I mean your company’s. Selling today is less and less about discovery and digging and probing and uncovering the darn needs of a prospect. It’s more and more about being attractive. Sales people need the powerful story; the powerful differentiators and the powerful point of views that attract prospects to the sales rep and into the conversations – not push them away. Boiler Room & Glengarry Glen Ross are so 90’s – it’s 2011 and the world’s a lot smarter, a lot less trusting and just plain different now.
Till next time,
Grow The Business.
Internal Blog: http://blogs.deluxe.com/Mark/
External Blog: www.markmccarthy.me
Twitter at: http://twitter.com/GrowTheBusiness
It’s their employees mostly.
I just spent three miserable days at Disney World.
I was at a Learning conference and that was great but the employees at Disney were something else.
Enough with the eye contact! I don’t know you and you don’t know me so quit looking me in the eyes all the time. Let me avert my gaze at the ground or the menu or my beloved smartphone or anywhere else I’m comfortable with. My mother used to look me in the eyes all the time – usually when I was in trouble. I spent 3 days walking around Disney wondering what the heck I did wrong.
They wouldn’t let me open my own doors (though I know exactly how to do it and have never injured myself ) and even more rudely – after I struggled to dig out cash, uncrumbling it from my pocket to hand it out as a tip, they refused to take it. How insulting and ungrateful.
Obviously there is lot of potential trouble brewing around the place too. I’ve never seen more well dressed managers and supervisors walking around always checking on things. Always ambling up, smiling and chit-chatting with the staff. Made me nervous. Must be a history of random guest chaos or something. They should just go back into their offices and only get involved when someone has a complaint, like normal bosses do.
I’m not old and hardly selfless but given the number of “Mr. McCarthy’s” and “Thank You’s” I got from the staff, I thought I was both. I am darn proud not to be a Baby Boomer ( having missed that designation by a whole year thank you very much) and frankly I gave at the office, so I’m not sure why I remind you of your dad or what you are so gushingly thankful for.
Finally, I was appalled that I never saw a Disney employee sitting down or wearing anything but a smile. Nobody had a chair whether they were behind a desk, a booth, a counter or actually anywhere. And smiling all the time? That’s just creepy. Heck, I spend most of my day sitting down and hardly ever smiling from what I’m told.
Anyway, I heard Disney was conducting some kind of session at the conference about how they train their employees (ahem.. “cast members”). It was supposed to be a “best in class” kind of session. Yeah right. Got it already. Glad I didn’t waste my time going to that one.
Till next time,
Grow The Business.
I think I’m done with S.M.A.R.T. Goals.
It’s the time of year now when so many of us are in a frenzy over setting and writing annual goals for ourselves or our staffs.
You remember those SMART goals don’t you? Goals that you set, according to the formula, should be;
Yeah OK; got it.
It’s not that there is something terribly wrong with SMART goals; the tenets are solid. It’s more that I’m not sure SMART goals go far enough in reflecting what drives real people and real business anymore. It’s more that SMART goals may not be so..um…smart anymore.
For 30 years (yep, in 1981 this formula first appeared) SMART Goals have served us well. But it’s time for a needed upgrade. The world is in a different place. And people are in a different place.
So before you put those final touches on the SMART goal setting sheets you have proliferating your desks and email boxes, have a look at what I think is a better way.
Strength Focused: No one person will ever be perfect. And no one person typically has as many weaknesses as strengths, yet much of our goal setting is often focused on goals that “fix” a problem or weak area. But what if all of your annual goals were focused on taking your greatest strengths and either applying them more or making them stronger? Where would we be? Let’s say you are great at networking. Set a SMILE goal to build a seminar on that topic where you are required to teach others. What if you are great at floor coaching? Set a Smart goal that has you delegate many of your other tasks to staff or colleagues so you can do significantly more floor coaching. Strength Focused goals get you to do more of what you do well. That’s smart.
Modifiable: This tenet is the acknowledgement of the age old “elephant in the room” in that many goals written at the beginning of the year are often by the end of the year, ridiculously irrelevant. Every December from my staff, I usually get two lists; one list that is all the evidence and data to support the SMART goals we set on paper a year before and the other list is called “Accomplishments”. Rarely do the two match. Sad. You could say that that reflects on poor goal setting on my part but often you would be very wrong. Stuff happens. Stuff changes. Business happens. Business changes. In the space of a week or a month, your initiatives and priorities could be yesterday’s news. Often your SMART goals set in February are meaningless by June because you are working on things completely different, more needed or more important. Modifiable allows you to edit, amplify or delete. That’s smart.
Inspectable: There’s a difference between measurable and inspect-able. Measurable is measurable. Inspect-able is measurable but transparent. You have stakeholders be they your customers, your boss, your team or your shareholders and inspect-able brings a higher level of trust when it comes to measuring. Trust I contend, is far more important today in business, than it was in 1981. Post your goal metrics on the shop wall, in your cubicle or at your desk. SMILE goals should be ones that don’t require 4 hours of data collection each quarter and a 1 our meeting with your boss to see how you are progressing “so far”. Inspectable makes it easy to see how you are doing. Inspectable goals show you have nothing to hide. That’s smart.
Learning Focused: If you are not learning you are dying. Goals to achieve are fine. Goals to achieve that don’t reflect learning or growth are not. You can do both. You must do both. More than ever, landscapes in business change at speeds that make even the hardest working the brightest folks cringe. It’s hard to keep up, but we must. In fact, keeping up is just table stakes now and keeping ahead is what is truly needed. Achieve those numbers yes, but SMILE goals must have an aspect that force you to continuously and consciously learn from that achievement and position you for more success in an ever more complex business world. Learning focused gives goal setting a leading edge. That’s smart.
Enduring: If I had a dollar for every time I forgot what my SMART goals were for the year I’d be rich. If I had a dollar for every time I and my staff forgot what their individual SMART goals were I’d be filthy rich. You know it’s true. Goals are often either “the same every year” (hit forecasted quota plan of….), or “breathtakingly boring” (manage expenses within a budget of….). Take the expected stuff out of the goal setting and do it the SMILE way. Create goals that endure, that people remember and that will stick: “Land face to face meetings with 2 fortune 500 companies by the end of Q2…”, “Create a video campaign that generates viral buzz with 5 digit visits and link backs from 2 of these 15 influential bloggers..” or “Make the pain of the customers from brand ABC as they transition to brand XYZ go away by the end of Q1…”. You get the idea. Enduring makes it easier to remember, easier to focus and easier to succeed. That’s smart.
S.M.I.L.E goals reflect a truer reality of the human and business condition; i.e. what drives people and what really happens (and is needed) in the business world. SMART goals aren’t something I’d necessarily throw away. They are a decent formula but my advice is you should use them only if you start with a SMILE.
Till next time,
Grow The Business.
Treat your boss well. It’s always the other way around, isn’t it?
Kevin Spacey had it rough as the sales boss in Glengarry Glen Ross. Lots of bosses have it rough.
And I’ve yet to see a book on the shelves, or in a training class, or a webinar, or darn near even a memo with topics like “How to Treat Your Boss Better” or “Strategies to Engage Your Manager” or “Connecting With Supervision: Unleash The Power”
Nope. It’s all about what the bosses should do for their employees. How to be a better manager, coach, teacher, helper or leader of people.
I got it already.
We have to turn the tables. We’re missing chances to make this third of our lives that is work, just a little bit better.
- Treat your boss as if you know they once “carried the bag” and like you, had some rough sales quotas to hit, impossible project deadlines to meet or tough service issues to handle. They had those then and unless I’m missing something, still have them today.
- Treat your boss as if you know they have a hard time sleeping some nights worried about you or your colleagues, or the business, or even the systems. Truth is, the lack of sleep isn’t always because they were out too late the night before.
- Treat your boss as if you know that being a leader or a coach of people (and some bosses in this sales business have 20 + direct reports) is one of the toughest jobs anyone could ever do. Never doubt for a moment it isn’t, because it is.
- Treat your boss as if just like you, they have a family at home, maybe a sick child, or an ailing parent or a bill they are worried about having to pay because without a doubt, they do.
- Treat your boss as if you appreciate they are often anxious and worried about what they are saying to you or the team or even what they will say or will do. They know they are never ever not on stage and that everyone is always watching.
- Treat your boss as if you know they took their leader job because maybe they get real joy out of helping someone turn “just a job” into a career or to take a team or a business from “just good” to “darn great”. Leaders yearn for that job satisfaction too.
Till next time,
Grow The Business.