Today's post is by David Mattson, CEO and president of Sandler Training, an international training and consulting organization headquartered in the United States. Since 1986, he has been a trainer and business consultant for management, sales, interpersonal communication, corporate team building, and strategic planning throughout the United States and Europe. Find him on Twitter at @Dave_Mattson.
We recently asked more than 1,200 of our clients, trainers, and employees to share their definitions of success, and I was astounded at the wide range of responses. Given that all are business people and sales and management professionals, my expectation was that their answers would be business focused – percentage revenue increases, achievement of sales and financial goals, profitability, etc.
Success: Behaviors, Attitudes, and Techniques
Some responses did reflect this perspective. However, the vast majority had a completely different vision of success that had little to do with numbers or balance sheets, and everything to do with personal, often intangible achievements.
Clearly, the definition and measurement of success are personal, and depend on the context and point of view for each individual. There needs to be an emotional component for success to be meaningful. A core concept of our training is that there must be balance of all three elements of the Success Triangle – a person’s behaviors, attitudes, and techniques – in order to achieve meaningful, lasting success.
In a nutshell, this means that behaviors and techniques alone – whether scripts, plans, or worksheets – aren’t enough to generate substantive, lasting success. If the attitude element of the Success Triangle goes unaddressed, achievements are superficial and unreliable, without the personal aspect that gives meaning and color to accomplishments.
The challenge for managers and business owners is finding that emotional switch thattriggers an individual’s passions to succeed, and translates those passions into goals and plans of action that are focused on and benefit your business. Let’s take a look at how to define success and then to apply it to our employees and customers.
Defining Success with Employees
Often we incentivize employees through money or other things that we assume motivate them – and then wonder why they don’t perform. The problem may not be performance, but that our reward doesn’t suit the employee.
We don’t always know what actually motivates a given individual. Finding out can be as simple as saying, “If we hit xyz goals, there are several ways we can reward you: Option A, Option B, or Option C. You and I can co-create a reward that is meaningful to you.” The reward options are based on whatever you and your employee agree upon as both acceptable to you and meaningful to them. For example:
- Option A could be a monetary bonus;
- Option B could be an award or some kind of company or industry recognition; or,
- Option C could be a paid getaway for two.
If you can determine what motivates an individual, and get him or her personally invested in the outcome, you have a much higher probability of achieving employee satisfaction as well as realizing your business goals.
Rule: People work harder for themselves and their families than they do for you.
Sounds easy. But the majority of sales managers couldn’t tell you what really motivates individuals on their teams.