Manager's Tips and Tools

by Manager Development Services

Standards (pt. 2 of 4) “Business Standards”



“Process equals effectivity” is the ability to cause a result, especially a desired or intended result.  The desired and intended result in this case is my “vision.”

Vision is where I see myself going, where I want to go, and the various steps needed to get me there.  Vision is where I want to go.  A “vision step” is where I should be at any particular time to keep me on the right path to reach where I want to go (the big picture).  Goals set a process which allows me to reach each step in pursuit of my vision and standards compel me to remain true to my vision and focused on my goals.

If I want to walk from here to Buenos Aires, the first thing I must do is take one step in the right direction. The second thing I must do is take another step.  Each step is an accomplishment in and of itself, leading me to where I want to go.  Each day my vision of how to get there will evolve as I grow, triumph over challenges, and discover new roadblocks.  But my “big picture,” my vision, remains the same.

Where I am is my “now,” my starting point.  Each day I will have a new “now,” a new point from where I am starting.  And each day I must work on the steps (each step will have a vision unto itself), which will get me from my “now” to my “vision.”

As manager, I must manage to the “vision.”  This means that a manager manages in the void between “now” and “vision.”  As discussed in chapter 7, I must set my vision and then back up to today (my now).  This will give me the progression of steps needed to fulfill my vision.

A mistake most people make is keeping their focus only on their vision and disregarding their “now.”  This is living in denial of my “now” and prevents me from identifying the necessary steps needed to attain my “vision.”

Unless I have a plan and am inspired to implement and persevere, my “vision” is not a vision at all, but just a dream.  Don’t get me wrong; dreams are fine; they inspire hope.  But most dreams remain just that – dreams, because people don’t set the vision, back up to today, and then persevere.  In the real world, dreams don’t just accidentally come true.  You actually have to get off the couch.

As manager, I must have a business plan for my department and each member of my staff must have a personal plan for their position.  Without a plan, a person is stuck in their “now.”  He/she may be focused on his/her vision (dreaming), but he/she is living and will remain in his/her “now.”

Success Factor:

Purpose + Vision + Goals + Standards = Success

Purpose: the inherent value of being; motivation; the intrinsic meaning of one’s existence.

Vision: the ability to perceive possibilities.

Goal: a desired state of affairs of a person or of a system.

Standard: a level of quality or excellence

Initiative: introductory series of steps taken to cause a desired result

Sales reps must have a marketing plan.  “Even” the receptionist must have a marketing plan, how they can improve the effectivity of their position and create raving fans.  Notice I said, “Even the receptionist.”  This is because most departments consider “lesser” positions as just that, “lesser.”  When Managing from the Heart, it is imperative that I make every position as important as every other position (chapter 2).

Unless I make each position important and give them “ownership” of their position, the individual will eventually settle for mediocrity.  And unless I demonstrate concern and respect for each position, the whole department will suffer.  (As noted earlier, the sales reps are traditionally viewed as the superstars of a department because they are on the “front-line” when dealing with customers.  But just see how quickly any “front-line” crumbles when they are not fed by support staff.)

Clearing Boulders and Pebbles is my main job as mentor.  After I instruct each individual on the importance of their position, I tell them how badly I want them to be successful.  I then help them understand that I realize the only way for me to be successful is for them to be successful – “I succeed only if you succeed.”

Part of helping them be successful is to clear all the boulders and even the pebbles from their path.  If they stumble, I stumble.  If they scrape their knee, I bleed too.  They must know and believe that they can count on me for assistance in fulfilling their vision.

Story # 10  Colleen

I first met Colleen when I was an outside sales rep for a pipe supply company. She was a warehouse clerk at an oil company and seemed polite and went out her way to be helpful.

I eventually opened up a branch for another company. As the business began to grow, I needed to add staff. A friend informed me that Colleen worked hard and was actually a temp. Her contract was not being renewed and he felt Colleen would make a very good employee. Based on his recommendation and my interaction with Colleen over several months I hired her.

When she arrived, I realized it would take a lot of commitment from both of us to help her reach her potential. Colleen was not use to providing the best customer service. Her phone and customer-interactive skills were very limited. However, she had desire to be the best. Always willing to go a step beyond to get the job done, she met the true definition of “always under promise and over deliver.”

Over the next year I held weekly meetings with Colleen on all aspects of sales and operations. From the beginning, she listened, learned, practiced, and performed the skills we went over.

It was amazing to watch her growth. Six months later, I named her office supervisor and she became an integral part of the branch.   Later, she joined me when I opened another branch.

Her abilities, which were once only seen as potential, blossomed and she rose to the top of the class.

Bottom Line: She got off the couch.

In clearing Boulders and Pebbles, I, as mentor, must “look for the wall” that keeps a person from growing.  What’s the difference between a two-hundred thousand dollar a year rep and a million dollar a year rep?  Simple, only himself.

Often, a sales rep will work and work and grow to a level they never before saw themselves at, and then they plateau.  They no sooner leap over one barrier before they set up another.

They accept their new height as the limit and settle.  This new limit after awhile then becomes their new mediocrity.

– excerpt from “Inspiring Passion in Your Staff”

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August 27, 2011 - Posted by | Counseling Techniques, Employee Coaching, Leadership Skills, Manager Development Tools, Mentoring, Personal Development, Self-esteem | , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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