Hi there my name is Craig Hallenberger and everyday I teach leaders how to implement one basic principle that consistently makes their life a hundred times easier. That simple principle is: People follow what you do, not what you say.
I have not spoken with one leader who does not struggle with how to get their team to take the desired action. I constantly hear, “I have told them a hundred times exactly what they need to do and they just won’t do it.” My response typically is to ask them, how often do they demonstrate it for them.
In a sales environment this is relatively easy. If you are a sales manager take the time to sit down and perform sales next to your team. You may be saying, “hey, why am I doing their job.” You’re not, you are teaching them. Our minds work in pictures, so if they never see it done properly, they will not know what to emulate. This is how we learn, by doing and watching others do. You did not learn to ride a bike by someone telling you or sitting in a classroom and watching a powerpoint. You just started riding. You fell, crashed and everything in between. It was in doing it and even watching others do it, that helped you ride a bike. This last part is extremely important. If you never saw someone ride a bike. First, you would not know it possible and second you would not know what it looked like. Thus, you would never do it. Sound familiar?
If you manage a more professional team or a more intangible job then you need to focus on how you manage your time and how you react to difficult situations. Your team is looking for you to demonstrate the proper way to perform their jobs. In professional positions, the skills you are asking them to emulate revolve around prioritizing activities and managing time.
This concept is not about what is right or wrong. This is about the pure fact human beings repeat what they see and hear most often. If you are not doing what you are telling them to do. Then they are just going to follow what you do, not what you say.
Another follow up question I typically get is “how often should I demonstrate their job for them?” The answer is not necessary about how often but the consistency in which it happens. The more you consistently take the time to jump in and show them how, the more these proper actions will be reinforced. This could be once a week, every other week or once a month. What ever frequency you commit to, make sure you can follow through. They will emulate your ability to follow through also.
An additional benefit is the boost in moral. I remember watching a news report with Dave Thomas the founder of Wendy’s. He was flipping burgers, the Wendy’s way, in a local franchise. The smiles on the team members faces were from ear to ear and they were so surprised he knew exactly how to do it. Do you think they listened to the message he brought to them that day? They absolutely did. Your team will become more engaged as a result of you making this one simple change.
As a leader, you will find immense value in taking the time on a regular basis to perform jobs in the organization you are leading. The most important being the fact your team will see you as a leader and perform the actions you are asking them to perform.
Thank you for your time. I hope you found this information valuable and I hope you have a great day.