July 21; A Score Board Has Performance Publicly Displayed
MANAGEMENT BY THE BOOK:
365 Daily Bible Verse &
One-Minute Management Lessons For The Busy Faithful

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Chapter Seven: Power; 21 July

…the work of their hands brings them reward.

Proverbs 12:14b

A Score Board Has Performance Publicly Displayed

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There it was. My income from last year was plastered on a board in the office for everyone to see. The number was in a giant type-size and the amount was so small. I was not surprised; all the sales guys’ numbers were up in a public display.

I worked in sales at a medical device manufacturer in the early 80’s where the W-2’s were published and were public knowledge. We knew this when we were hired and it was a small price to pay where the compensation was double the industry. The top sales performer earned more than the president of the company.

There was no hiding. Our performance, shown in sales dollars, was easy to measure, evaluate and compare.

We were paid a small base salary for account maintenance but the real money was made in performance; in placing new units.

We knew the game going in and how the competition was scored. Just like a rules-bound game in an athletic event we knew what the boundaries were going on the field of battle. We were paid to put numbers on the scoreboard; we were paid for growth. Effort and good intentions were hard to quantify. A purchase order was not.

Actually, we wanted the numbers publicized. The publically listed results were like a game to us. In golf it would be called a Leader Board. Sometimes it felt like a ‘Loser Board’ depending on where your numbers were. Everyone wanted good numbers and this would take sarcrifice.

Jack Welch, the former CEO of GE once said,

It’s not that bosses want you to give up your family or your hobbies. They’re just driven by the desire to capture all of your energy and harness it for the company.

Welch was being a managing diplomat. Our managers did push us but they knew that they did not drive us harder than we drove ourselves. Our managers perceived that we were internally motivated and money motivated and they were right.

Douglas McGregor at MIT in the 1960s fashioned Theory X and Y now popular in management literature. The Theories attempt to explain a manager’s perception of employee motivation. Theory X says that managers think workers are lazy and need to be micro-managed.

(Yes, you might be a  Theory X Manager if you want to hammer me about that hyphen in ‘micromanage’…)

Theory Y says that managers think workers want to do the work well.

If a Theory X salesman or saleswoman was hired they did not last long. In that Darwinian world of ‘rank and yank’ (Jack Welch hated that term) the bottom twenty-percent were in the probation bracket. They had less than 90 days—they moved up or were eased out.

Proverbs 12:14b says, …the work of their hands brings them reward. And we were pleased to show the results.

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