My title in publishing was manager and most of my focus was on sales. After I had put together a string of double-digit quarters in sales growth, the president of the company called me.
Bill asked, “Johnny(when you are doing very well they call you Johnny),what are you doing different from my other managers?”
I said, “Bill, (cause when you are doing really well you can call the president of the company Bill) I think the numbers are better because I am in a different business than your other managers. They are in the advertising business and I am in the self-esteem business.”
There was a short silence and Bill said, “Hmm! Go on.” (He did a lot of listening, which made him the best boss I ever worked for)
“Since carved-in-stone compensation policy is that we pay a below market wages and offer opportunity, I typically have to find people who have the ability and don’t know it. So I look for work ethic and try to help people see themselves as being worthy of success. That means they have to help more customers do better. When they start to believe in themselves, they are ready to learn things and do things to get more sales and it just builds quarter after quarter.”
There was another short silence and Bill said, “Go on.” (I told you he did a lot of listening)
“Well, Bill, after a while they start believing that they don’t deserve any more than what they’ve got. They start sabotaging themselves, or looking for things to complain about or making the work more complicated than it is. Then I have to find out something that they want that they don’t have. And that is different for everyone, for some it could be security, for others service, for others personal growth, and for others money or recognition. When I figure out what it is I show them other people who don’t work as hard, don’t take care of their customers as much, or maybe don’t know the business as well. Then I help them paint a picture of them achieving more and earning more, or having more security or putting their kids in private school, or a great vacation in their mind. Pretty soon they are busting through their comfort level and selling more.”
There was a little bit longer silence and then Bill said, “Hmm? Do you think other managers could be successful using the same approach?”
Then there was a silence on my part as I ruminated before I said, “I sure think so Bill. It’s simply catching people doing things right, holding them accountable, and not over-promising in the hiring process.”
I don’t remember what Bill said word for word after that, but I am pretty sure it involved a discretionary bonus-for me. So here are my questions to you. How would you like to be in the self-esteem management business? How would you like to find people with the ability and work ethic and teach the the skills? How would you like to catch people doing things right, and hold them accountable? How would you like to help people through their comfort zones?
Sounds pretty good, doesn’t it? And if I am right, you already know, deep down inside, most of the things you need to do. And, those things you don’t know, well, just read future my future blogs and you will. Why? Because I am managing your self-esteem right now, and it’s going up! You deserve to feel good about what you do and have success. I know you do.