It has been now for some time that I have been playing with the thought of starting my own blog. There were many people who inspired me to do so. I have to admit that I prefer much more the spoken word and on the track of expressing likes in a face-to-face conversation.
I have called this blog “It is always personal and not only business” since this is my true belief. Success is always bound to putting really all the best of oneself, and if you are lucky enough to have a team, the team into an objective.
A good friend of mine John Appleby from Bluefinsolutions has just posted a blog in which he talks about extreme performance that can be given by a team in consultancy. The phrase that most struck me was “unreasonable boundary conditions as a mechanism to get the best out of employees”. I have a strong belief that this is a key to creativity and to be able to achieve new goals. On the other side this needs to be in conjunction with a series of factors and cannot stand there alone. I have seen many examples on which the bar was set too high in an environment in which motivation by itself was already low and the result was / is the exact opposite.
But there is much more to it that it might seem like.
Critics & Challengers are needed
The book “Life of Galileo” by Bertolt Brecht fascinated me when I had to read it a long time ago in school. At time I was reading it was probably not aware of the mere importance it would be having to me. In the essence it showed that due to the fact that somebody, Galileo, had the courage to stand up to a very powerful organization and say “sorry you are wrong the world is not flat but round and even more the sun does not turn around the earth but the earth around the sun”.
Of course this is not an invitation to anarchy but to encourage everybody to think! What could be done better and voice their thoughts. “We cannot teach people anything; we can only help them discover it within themselves” Galileo Galilei
Not all are driven by the same
People have a lot of individual motivations, which do not have to be the same for the members of a group. For successful management it is important to know the drivers of each one of your team members. Please do not commit the mistake to think that all consultants want to be managers and all sales are only driven by money. The human being is much more complex.
Sales is not just about facts
In many schools there is still the belief that Sales is all about a process and taking the right steps at the right time. In fact one of my managers told me once “In the past we thought that that sellers need to talented and if they were disciplined much better. Today I am convinced of the opposite”. I guess it is needless to say that I do not agree at all. Just like I am not going to be Ballet Dancer for the simple 2 reasons that I am already of a certain age and I simply do not feel the music enough to make it beautiful and not just a technique.
I had to give a presentation about a month ago in front of a large conference audience on a subject that is not really mine. I have seen the presentation only about 60 minutes before I had to talk and was briefed by a good colleague of mine. On the deck of approx. 30 slides there was one that was just mine. I felt identified. During the presentation I tried to focus it all on the one subject with which I identified. The speech was a huge success for my company but more even for my self. The team has requested me to come back and speak again. What made this speech successful? I made this personal! I showed the audience the entire time, 45 minutes, that I was truly believing in what I said (and actually I do!), I was real, I was honest and made them part of my story. This is not technique! I have never been to a sales school besides what we call “the street”.
Tools and techniques are necessary but you will not necessarily win only with facts and techniques and having the better product.
Equal does attract Equal
Even thought the sentence is known by most of us in the opposite way let’s just give it a thought. Imagine you work on a project and are super motivated and you have people on your team that you just have to drag along. They do not really care about the success and are just sideboard riders. Does it sound familiar??? I fear yes! Does it motivate? In my case at least, not! I love to work with people who share my same values and like to work on something they truly belief in. I am 100% sure that this is the only way that you can achieve something great. I have had the best performance when I worked with people who inspired me and I was able to inspire. Where we just shared the objective to win and not to put a green checkmark on an excel sheet which stated that we have done something.
You can see it is really personal!