Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Break Your Own Records––Not Theirs

“To be what we are, to become what we are capable of becoming is the only end of life.”

Robert Louis Stevenson

A favorite author of mine, O. S. Marden said, “Adversity sometimes strips a person only to discover the person.”

There was a period of time that I had a real chance to learn more about myself as well as the sales team I managed.

It had been a tumultuous seven months since I was appointed to manage the #1 office of 36 offices. In three months we were 36th because I was trying to get them to sell like I did. It’s a common managerial mistake. My boss said, “I’m looking for your replacement.”

I went into “high gear” looking for good leadership techniques and putting them into practice. In four months we were back to #1. Over the next few months we stayed at #1 but at the same level of productivity.

We were back at our comfort levels in other words we had stopped at our individual self-imposed barriers of the past.

The system I created that worked like a charm was to bring each of my team members in for a “closed door” session with me. In this private conference I said, “I don’t want you to break anyone else’s sales record. I only want you to break your own in five different categories. What is your highest producing day, week, month, quarter and year?

If they didn’t know what their record was in each category I helped them figure it our. I also explained they didn’t have to break them in order. They might have their best week before their best day, for example.

Launching this technique worked extremely well. We broke office records, company records and industry records.

Once they saw that breaking their own personal records was a great motivation their morale went even higher.

It also got them away from that old, inefficient saying, “I’m going to go break ‘so and so’s’ record”. They were more focused on their own records.

Immediate Action: Figure out what was your best productive day. Your best productive week, etc.