While at Dunkin’ Donuts reading a book on Starbucks (gotta’ love those kinds of things) 🙂 I came across a very wise saying.
The book, It’s Not About The Coffee by retired company President, Howard Behar with Janet Goldstein, quoted from Dr. Ken Blanchard and Spencer Johnson’s classic, The One Minute Manager – one of my favorites from many years ago – which said:
“People who feel good about themselves produce good results.”
Unfortunately, there will be those who interpret this to mean that leadership needs to apply some touchy-feely psycho-babble when dealing with their employees.
I don’t interpret it that way, at all. In my opinion, the most effective leaders do their best to understand their team members’ personal goals and motivations. They ask themselves, “How does what I’m asking them to do align with their goals, needs, wants and desires? How does it align with their values?”
Obviously, the leader of a huge organization cannot possibly know the answer to these questions for more than a relatively small number of people. However, since leadership begins at the top and flows down throughout the organization, the top leader can create the environment where his or her leaders throughout the organization do their best in this regard.
Is it easy to do? Of course not. That’s why some companies, like Starbucks, Southwest Airlines and others reach huge levels of success and others don’t.
Now, if those on your team generally don’t feel good about themselves, the work they are doing, and the company they are part of, will they still do their work? Sure, as long as they want the paycheck. Will they do their best work possible? Probably not.
To the degree they feel good about themselves, a valuable (and valued) member of the team, and part of something bigger than themselves, that is the degree they will most likely be productive and of greater value to your company.
Makes sense, doesn’t it? It really isn’t rocket science. Then again, to paraphrase Behar and Goldstein from their book, rocket science isn’t nearly as difficult as social science… understanding the human condition. 🙂
Have you ever worked with a leader who had a knack for creating an atmosphere where his or her team members felt good about themselves? Did it show up in commitment, production and profitability?
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Thank you for sharing this! Great post!
I recently visited a COO of a mid-sized company (8K employees) and noticed an interesting thing, when we walked down the hall, the executives of this company saw him coming and darted into their office. When I asked him about their obvious fear, his response was amazing to me. “My #1 job is to make this company money, not to be liked!” However, he continued to point out that it was 5:30 and they were still there, not because they were expected to be, but they were passionate about their work. He also pointed out that they were all dressed comfortably because they wasn’t a need to be dressed in “corporate attire” that day. He said, “I think they really love working with me, but they also understand that if they don’t excel, they won’t be here.” (This was in response to the “touchy-feely psycho-babble” comment).
Good morning Bob, this is something I give attention to daily in our organization. I may not be able to with everyone every day, however looking for the opportunity to “check in” or “shoulder tap” with my team mates can mean $100s of dollars in closed business or $1000 of dollars in closed business; which in our situation means not only profit for the company it means additional pay for the team member. Granted money is not always the biggest motivator for high production the “check in” or giving a little attention to team member to see how they are doing and what I can do to help them along with there effort will in most cases create a slight adjustment. Thank you for your insight on this BIG subject that at times can be overlooked or minimized.
Thank you, Steve. Yes, I think there are different ways that different leaders express themselves – and different values that they – and their employees – hold. And, they can be very effective. While I hate to bring up Steve Jobs because his example is not very duplicatable, here’s a guy who could be a tyrant (not just demanding, but a rather sadistic tyrant), yet those on his team loved what they did, what they were a part of, what they accomplished, etc. Their work tied so strongly into their personal mission, they felt great about themselves and loved what they did. Thank you for sharing another viewpoint.
John, thank you. I appreciate your comments. Yes, that’s exactly what I believe the authors were referring to. Congratulations to you for being a terrific example. And, yes, while the prime motivator of your actions might not be the increased financial value it causes…it is certainly a result of such action. Terrific! Thank you for sharing with us!
Love this post Bob!
This s something that truly resonates with me philosophically, and which I’m always working to bring more consciousness of to myself – which can easily get swept aside or forgtten about in the heat of daily battle, when you’ve got your eye on all the work you need to get accomplished, and goals you’re trying to knock down.
This post is a great reminder of what’s possible when leaders and organizations aspire to build people as much as they do profits.
Thanks for always reminding me!
Remember ? Checking in from time to time but always reading your blogs, amazing stuff! Anyway I was thinking that the best example I can identify to what your talking about is like what Orrin Woodward founder of the Life business is doing and has done , how he always goes back to the dream and vision for his leaders that he helped and they to their leaders and so on, like he always says “never go 2 steps away from your and their dream”, I believe that is the key point of a leader of leaders who want’s to succeed, thanks again Bob for all that you are doing for us and for everyone out there (domino effect).
Thank you Shloimy. Yes, that’s one reason why Orrin is such a terrific leader and builds amazing teams of leaders. Thank you for sharing with us!
Thanks, Sean. Appreciate your sharing with us. Regarding your third paragraph re: people and profits, I think that what these companies -and countless others – prove is that by focusing on your people, it will build profits.
Bob, absolutely. And thanks for saying more clearly what I was trying to say! Lol.
Just ordered the Lead With Luv book. Really excited to dig into it!
I thought you said it very well, Sean. Hey, glad you ordered Colleen’s book. It’s superb. Let us know your thoughts on it. Can’t wait to see her speak at The Go-Giver Retreat. Yeah!
Ditto every word Christie said so eloquently. It’s true.
Great post Bob! To be honest I think of you this way and our coaching family. You are always praising us for our work and you lead by example. You consistently show all of us coaches what being an effective leader looks like. With leadership like this behind me, I feel very confident about fulfilling many visions I have for my business, ones I never thought I would actually do.
Awww, thank you, Christie. Hmm, what is that somewhat watery substance just beginning to form in my eyes. Oh, it’s gone, good. Hmm, back again. Did your very kind words actually just cause me to oh-so-slightly tear up? Seriously, I think that did happen. Please know how greatly I appreciate you! And what you wrote means a LOT to me!
It is the truth! I greatly admire the way you lead the way you speak. Your actions and your words are in sync and when you encourage me to do things I know you truly mean what you say. Thank YOU!
So very true. I am a firm believer in defining both your company values and a clear mission, vision and goals. It doesn’t end there though. You have to show existing employees how company and personal values and goals align with their own. When hiring, make sure they align first.
This comes down to reward systems as well. Not everyone is motivated by the same things. If you can personalize the rewards to support personal goals and dreams you will be much further ahead than throwing cash or trophies around without any thought.
P.S. You always pick such great topics.
Doug, thank you. I think everything you said was right on the mark. Thank you for sharing that!
Linda, thank you. Are you trying to get me all verklempt again?
Hi Bob !
I’m from Senegal and i really appreciated your approach about sales and leadership . I worked at call centers , banks many companies but the top management ‘s speech was “if you don’t make results you ‘ll be fired” . The management was based on fear and oppression .The consequenses were up down results .We were considered like machines and not human being .
When i start reading ”GO Giver sell more” I told to myself :” i found someone who got my vision” .That’ s why i want to thank you and i’ll do my best to your message .
Hello Ibrahima, thank you for your nice note and very kind words. I’m sorry you had to work at a call center under that type of “leadership.” Unfortunately, far too common. Thank you for sharing with us, and I wish you the very best of success!
My first boss had a way of always making me feel fabulous and that made me want to produce more “gooder” for him. My first 7 years of employment, were under his genuine direction. As I look back now, I’m certain he knew that “valued” people produce far more and above the average quality, than devalued person.
That really says it all, Amy, doesn’t it? Thanks for sharing that!!