What do you want from your people? What do your people want from you?

“Train your people well enough so they can leave.
Treat them well enough so they don’t want to.”

Personal Development

Those words by Richard Branson; founder of Virgin Group, should speak to every manager. At Sales Concepts, we work with nearly fifty managers per day. Every one of them has a wish list. They wish their people would do this; they wish their people wouldn’t do that. What’s on your wish list? Chances are good you sometimes struggle with convincing your people to do what you expect. If so, I have a quick two-question quiz for you. Ready?

First, write the name of a person who reports to you. Think about your interactions with this person over the past year. Write the number of hours (rough estimate here, don’t get too literal) you spent talking with this person in the past 12 months about their production. This would include conversations about their customers, prospects, meetings, quota, forecasting, selling, saving business, renewals, expenses, trips, etc.

Second, write the number of hours you spent speaking with this person about their career. This would include their dreams, their aspirations, their successes, their failures, what they want to accomplish, whether they feel they have a job or a career, their life in general. You get the idea.

Take a look at the two numbers. I’m willing to bet the first number is at least ten times larger than the second. As managers, we tend to focus on our people’s production and forget this may not be what drives them. So, consider the following maxim. It’s just about 100% spot-on every time.

“The more you speak with people about their career, the less you have to speak with them about their production.”