What really matters to your people?

What really matters to your people?

I was going through the book store today and came upon a book that I had always been interested in getting.  The book “The New New Thing”, by Michael Lewis, is a book about the rise of Silicon Valley.  This isn’t a blog about the book per se, although I’m sure one will come up in the next few weeks.  No, I wanted to write about the inside cover of the book, something someone wrote as a gift (the book was purchased used).

This person wrote:


This book is meant to inspire people!  I hope you enjoy it.

I am so sorry about the year you’ve had and feel very bad that I’ve not been to visit.

Let’s hope we both have a better 200 than the year past!!

With much love always….


This made me sit back and ponder a few things both personal and professional.  First, on a personal level, it seemed to me that this person hadn’t visited his father in a year, knowing that he was having a hard time.  Second, his father didn’t think too much of the gift, as it is clear he didn’t open the book past the first page.  This bothered me because as a father myself, I would be deeply hurt if I had a child that I hadn’t seen in a year, also, I would never sell something they had specifically written to me.

On a professional level it got me to thinking.  What makes people tick, why do we do the things we do or don’t in this case.  How do we motivate people to show certain behaviors, whether they are intentional or not, beneficial or not.  Clearly in this case both of these people were not motivated to see each other, and there is a chance that was mutually beneficial.

But when we want people in our business to sell, to make the extra call, to try just a little harder, how do we get them to do this?  I can tell you for certain as we see here, it isn’t give them a present after a year and say “good luck next year”.  It also isn’t lamenting the problems you are having onto someone else.  It seems to me that the correct formula might be something that is more constant, personalized and tangible.

Coaching or feedback needs to be in place, maybe even weekly to get the results you are looking for.  As I have written before there are coin operated and training operated sales people.  Personalizing someone’s feedback and commission and pay towards that will get you better results.  So, even before I read this book, I can’t help to think these two would have done better with something that was consistent and personalized, that would have allowed them to communicate and change process when necessary.

These are just a few considerations for this new year. Think about what you could personally be doing and how to motivate the people you manage, and stay clear from “we didn’t hit our numbers last year, next year let’s hope for better”.

  • Posted by Lanshore
  • On January 6, 2016

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