The Coach's Corner

Archive for October, 2013

Happy associates equal delighted customers/clients, part 3

October 28th, 2013 // Tom Doescher //

The final job misery factor, according to Patrick Lencioni (see part 1 and part 2), is immeasurement. Team members need to gauge their progress and level of contribution for themselves. Question/discovery No. 1 in the book First, Break All the Rules, by Marcus Buckingham, is: Do I know what is expected of me at work? This one is somewhat counterintuitive. It seems like accountability has become a bad/evil word. But the truth is, people want to be held accountable.

Another one of our all-time favorite books is Who Says Elephants Can’t Dance?, written by Louis Gerstner. It is the story of how he and his team saved IBM in the early 1990s. In his concluding comments, Gerstner speaks about measurement. He says, “People do what you inspect, not what you expect.”

Do you measure what is important to your business success? Do all of your team members have clear goals? We can’t tell you how many times we’ve heard stories about team members who were demotivated because they did not receive any specific — or even any fuzzy — goals. They did their best, only to be criticized by their supervisor, who would say, “That’s not what I want or what we need.”

The cool thing about attacking these three traits — anonymity, irrelevance and immeasurement — is that they are not rocket science or proprietary, and they do not cost any extra money. As a well-known advertisement proclaims, “Just Do It!”

Happy associates equal delighted customers/clients, part 2

October 14th, 2013 // Tom Doescher //

The second job misery indicator, according to Patrick Lencioni, is irrelevance (see part 1 from 9/30- Happy associates equal delighted customers/clients). Lencioni would say that human beings need to be needed, and they need to be reminded of this pretty much every day. Remember the story about the janitor at Michigan State? Did Tom Izzo find a way to help make the janitor’s job more relevant?

We see similarities between relevance and purpose — which is one of three traits that motivates us, according to Daniel Pink in his book, Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us. Pink defines purpose as a desire to be involved in a cause larger than oneself. We know a lot of you are probably saying, “Yeah, right.” It may be easy to motivate the team if you’re sending a man to the moon, but what most of us do on a day-to-day basis is pretty plain vanilla. Still, Frank Moran, founder of Plante Moran, was able to create just that — the feeling of being involved in a larger cause — at an accounting firm, of all places. He would say, “Plante Moran is the Mayo Clinic for businesses. At one end of the building is a long line of successful business owners looking for help with their businesses, and at the other end of the building is a long line of well-educated, talented, resourceful professionals desiring to help businesses achieve their goals.”

How do your associates feel about the relevance of their job? When they refer to the company, do they say “we” or “they”? If you have a profitable business, you are very relevant to your customers/clients. As the leader, do you connect the dots for your team?

The Advisor’s Corner

Tom DoescherYou’ll find stories from the trenches, business lessons, and pertinent questions to help you find inspiration, professional growth, and leadership savvy.

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