Good ideas come as the result of many people throughout the company trying hard to see and solve problems. Motivating managers is the single most important element to growing earnings. The good news is that it is also the easiest to get right.
Create an Idea-Based Budget. Create an idea-based budget, which starts with today’s run rate and gives every specific idea that will be implemented — not in big broad strokes but in specific solutions to specific problems. The result is a budget that can be trusted.
Five Surprising Words. The five surprising words that stop good executives from being great leaders are,“I want everyone on board.” If the team has compelling facts, those facts should be used to make the decision. What leaders should not do is allow opinions without facts to substitute for their own good judgment. When you hear these non fact-based opinions, it is time to make the decision, even if some of your team members are not on board!
If You Want the Money, Spend the Time. According to research, for every additional 1 percent of time a CEO spends with employees, productivity goes up 2.12 percent. When you walk the walk, you are doing so on a two-way street. In one direction, you motivate managers through inspiration, passion and expertise. In the other direction, your teams will teach you about what is really going on in the company.
Execute Motivators That Demotivate Everyone Else. Do not hold a fancy off-site management retreat where managers fly off to some resort, while you’re preaching the importance of getting more from how the company spends its time and money!
The Corporate Imposter Syndrome. Fear and pride ruin earnings. The company asks you to unveil all the ways in which your area could perform better. Do you welcome this opportunity to show how much more you can do? Or does your pride in what you have done in the past make you defensive? Acknowledge this fear before you ask everyone to find new problems to solve.
Improving the Company Should Be Everyone’s “Job One.” Give your managers new job titles and job descriptions in addition to the ones they have now. The second title job description clarifies the specific role for which that person has authority and accountability. Give your direct reports responsibility for leading problem resolutions in their areas.
Sweat the Small Stuff. Details are both extremely important and very hard to get right. You need to really pay attention to detail. Start a new habit of asking people about a detail of your processes or products. Then ask for ideas on how to improve that detail.
Rally the Troops. A powerful call to arms must paint a clear picture of why you want everyone to join in your fight. Motivate your employees by telling them what you will buy with the money they find to make the company bigger, stronger, more important and, yes, more profitable.
Catch the Vision or Catch the Bus. Grade all your direct reports on their commitment to your goals. To get an A, they need to support all the goals publicly and proactively take actions to achieve the goals. Do not tolerate team members who are not committed. Even a strong head of sales who consistently undermines your goals to improve the company cannot be tolerated.
Eliminate Corporate Whac-A-Mole. Go to the corporate cafeteria and sit with a few of your managers. Ask them to tell you what hurdles they face trying to get good ideas approved. You want a flavor of what analysis they must do, with whom they must meet, who must sign off , how long it takes and so on.
Beat the Competition by First Beating Your Teammates. A very powerful way to motivate your peers and subordinates is to set up a friendly competition, all in the service of acting as one cohesive and focused group. Let everyone know that they are competing against each other to show who has the best problem solvers.
“Blame the Other Guy” Syndrome. “Blame the other guy” syndrome is a silent killer of motivation. It is important to have everyone acknowledge that they believe someone else is the problem. Then give everyone a high target to hit.
Why Paying Attention Pays Staggering Dividends. When someone new starts paying attention to our work, we work harder and better. When it is someone in power, the effect can be truly dramatic. Create a steering committee to pay attention to all of the teams working on ideas to improve productivity and profits.
Firings Can Boost Motivation. The bottom 5 to 10 percent of most organizations is filled with people who are just not very good at their jobs. Others begin to say, “Why should I bother? The boss doesn’t seem to care how well we perform.”Work with your team to determine how to eliminate and streamline your work so that you no longer need the positions filled by low performers