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Getting Your People to Do What Needs to Get Done

by | Effective Leadership

I’ve seen it happen a million times. Managers tell me, “But we told them what to do, showed them how to do it…and they’re still not doing it.”

Financial institutions actually have more of a challenge with this. Because every workday involves quantifiable numbers, the assumption by managers is that everything can be controlled—including people.

The typical management approach to increased sales usually involves setting some sales goals, putting together an incentive program, and then complaining about the “sales culture” not working.

What’s missed here is that sales culture is about people. It’s about making your people passionate about making a difference for your clients. It’s about falling in love with your clients and their needs, wants and desires, and how you can help them get those.

As I write this, one of my dearest friends is sitting in a hospital room with her mother who is dying of lung cancer. She recently told Jana, “If they only would have told me it could be this awful, I never would have smoked.”

Hmmm, I do believe someone or perhaps many have mentioned that. In fact, there even seems to be a little wording about it on the packs of those little cigarettes written by the Surgeon General himself. I believe it says something like, “Smoke this stuff and it will KILL YOU–Painfully!”

Not having the information is not the problem. The problem is that her heart was never engaged. She never “got it” at an emotional level—where, if we’re really honest with ourselves, all decisions are made.

Before you take sole responsibility for all the dysfunction in the world, let me say this. There are two different kinds of people in the world: Those who want to do well and are looking for help to be more effective, and those who thrive on victimhood and martyrdom.

In his book, Lessons on Winning and Profitability, Jack Welch talks of the need to have your people all share the same values. He feels that a top performer who doesn’t share the values needs to go. He’s right: you should hold values above all else.

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