1. Fall in Love With Your Work
Great managers love their jobs. They are proud of the companies they work for. They are hard working and loyal. They take 100% responsibility for their actions and decisions. They teach by able example. Great managers smile a lot. They seem to genuinely love what they do and wouldn’t dream of doing anything else. Their attitude is contagious. If you do what you love, you’ll never work another day in your life.
2. Become A Lifelong Student
Great managers read books and trade magazines. The books you don’t read won’t help. They attend every seminar they can. They are sponges for any information that will help them reach their goals. They find mentors. They keep a journal to capture lessons and ideas, and they borrow boldly from the best.
They practice the “Hour of Power”: 20 minutes Reading, 20 minutes Planning, and 20 minutes Thinking and Affirming their goals every morning (or evening) without fail.
3. Get Great At Sales (and Marketing)
Everyone is in sales. The only question is, “How good are you at it?” Selling is both a science and an art. The science is in the math. What is your close ratio? Out of ten prospective deals, how many do you close? You need to know. That is how you track your progress and skill. You are either green and growing or ripe and rotting.
There is no neutral in business. The art is the people side of the equation. We make buying decisions based on emotion and justify them with logic. We are all in sales. How good are you at it?
4. Know Thyself (and Others)
What is the best and highest use of your time and talent? One secret of successful managers is they know and understand their gifts and strengths. At the same time, they are brutally honest about their shortcomings and weaknesses. They invest most of their time in the things they are good at and delegate those tasks that are their weaknesses.
5. Set Big, Hairy, Audacious Goals (and lots of little ones, too!)
Great managers set BIG Goals like “Increase sales by 30% this year while maintaining a gross profit of 40%!” They have crystal clear expectations of each job and employee.
They create clear job descriptions and walk through each bullet point with each associate. “What do you get paid to do?” is a vital question! “What is your contribution to the organization?”
6. Track and Measure Everything
As a sales manager, your goals need to be made clear by publicly posting both the goals and activity, month by month, in a public place. How many service agreements were sold? What about projects? Where performance is measured, performance improves. What are you measuring and why?
7. Reward Behavior You Want Repeated
Whatever gets rewarded gets repeated. Whatever gets punished stops. That’s the greatest management principle in the world. What do you want to see more of? What do you want to see less of? Praise pays.
High- fives in the hallway, ringing of the bell, awards, trophies, plaques, and cold hard cash given in public settings, like monthly meetings, matter to the people you manage. What gets rewarded gets repeated.
8. Hire Hard, Train Easy
This discipline is easier said than done. What is your ratio of interviews to hires? Is it 2:1, 5:1, 10:1? The larger the first number, the lower the turnover and the higher the productivity.
Great managers understand and accept this; poor managers are lazy with this commandment. Who do you allow on the bus? Are they in the right seat on the bus?
9. Become a Good Finder
Are you a Good Finder or a Fault Finder? What if you got in the habit of praising people in public? The very best managers I have seen are great at acknowledgement and recognition. “
Treat people as they are, they remain. Treat them as they can be, they become.”
Catch people in the act of doing things right. This is simple, but not easy. It’s a habit. Each of us moves toward pleasure and away from pain. Praise pays.
10. You Have a Team Of People
In a bacon-and-egg breakfast, the chicken was INVOLVED, but the pig was COMMITTED! Do you want compliance or commitment? Get your team involved in the ideation process. Break them into groups to brainstorm and ask the right questions: “How can we generate more leads from the field?” and, “What will inspire you to action (time off, cash, movie tickets)?” Keep searching for new ideas.
Which manager are you, horrible or great? It’s a choice. Life is short. The best is yet to come.