I sat down with my friend, Matt, and he and I talked about how work was going. At his company, his sales office was the top producing sales office compared to all the other offices peppered throughout the nation. They were always recognized for their excellence.
Up until Covid they had a great sales team and a business consultant that coached the team. During Covid the leadership of the company sent everyone to work from home and they fired the sales coach.
Now, two years later, they are starting to see the effects of those decisions as sales begin to slip and the group synergy dissipates.
What struck me most about our conversation was one thought. He said, “They fired the sales coach that helped make us what we were and I think it was a mistake. But they don’t listen to me, so I’m just going to keep my head down and work until I retire in a few years.”
“They don’t listen to me.” That’s what stuck out to me.
Here’s a loyal and dedicated worker that is one of their top notch, top rated sales guys and he said they don’t listen to him. Covid brought about a lot of chaos in the workplace, I know that. I’m not sitting int their seats, but it sounds like the sales coach was an intergalactic part of their team. Excellence would have demanded that they keep the one guy that really made the team gel. Especially during the upheaval of sending everyone home. But they didn’t.
Leaders who are pursuing excellence listen to their sales team, especially during tough times. They have a keen sense and awareness of the dynamics within their organization and they always do what’s best.
A leader always pursues excellence. In good times. In bad times. All the time. The half-hearted approach to leadership just doesn’t cut it.
When I’m eating chicken for a meal, if the chicken is only cooked half-way through, I’m likely to get sick. Really sick.
When a leader only gives half of his or her heart, things in the organization may hum along for a while, but eventually it will give birth to turmoil.
Employees look to leaders for guidance and inspiration. They want to know that they are as committed to the cause as they are. If they don’t see that, they get discouraged and move on. Or worse, they destroy things on the way out.
Here’s a few ways to pursue excellence:
- Set benchmarks for yourself personally and for your business.
- Always be learning from those around you and from those outside of your organization.
- Make needed changes (even hard ones) when they are for the better. Don’t make excuses for poor performance.
- Admit your mistakes and build trust with authenticity.
- Stay focused on your goals and purpose despite changing circumstances.
- Be all in and cook your chicken thoroughly.