November 4; Managers Know The Important Behaviors And How They Get Done
MANAGEMENT BY THE BOOK:
365 Daily Bible Verse &
One-Minute Management Lessons For The Busy Faithful

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Chapter Eleven: Failure; 4 November

Anyone whose name

was not found written in the book of life

was thrown into the lake of fire.

Revelation 20:15

Managers Know The Important Behaviors And How They Get Done

Super

Your Business Professor uses rather direct language in sales presentations. I was encouraged in this ‘method acting’ by a beloved sales manager. “If you are not getting thrown out of an account twice a month,” my boss would command, “then you’re not selling hard enough.”

Oddly, that manager was excruciatingly polite. But our job was to create a customer.

And in advancing organizational goals, I would be abrupt. I would fail at being pleasant but the numbers came through.

This is the failure of many managers: selecting the hi-performing Super Stars from the nice Turkeys.

***

When talent counts, when talent determines life and death, who should get hired? Professor Kingsley Browne tells us in The Ace and the Turkeys,

Given the cognitive and temperamental patterns required, it is not surprising to find that the ability to fly aircraft successfully in combat is an ability that not many have. Indeed, it is not an ability that even all combat pilots have.

Aviation analysts recognize that the majority of combat kills are scored by a small minority of pilots.

Air-warfare historian Mike Spick has observed: “The gulf between the average fighter pilot and the successful one is very wide. In fact it is arguable that there are almost no average fighter pilots; just aces and turkeys; killers and victims.

Fighter pilots, like sales guys in a role-playing exercise, can practice and give a passable presentation. As one Air Force pilot stated,

Most guys can master the mechanics of the systems, but it’s instinctive to be able to assimilate all the data, get a big picture, and react offensively. Not a lot of guys can do that.

But the Air Force has a challenge, as do sales managers: Separating the Aces from the Turkeys,

Ideally, one would have only “aces” or “killers,” leaving the “turkeys” and “victims” to another career path. The difficulty lies, however, in the fact that there is no known way to separate the aces and the turkeys prior to combat.

Unfortunately, many of those who will end up being turkeys often do not know what they are getting into.

These pilots may have the ability, intelligence, and know-how to fly the plane well, but they ultimately lack the “fighting spirit” that they will need in combat. (Buffalo Law Review, Winter, 2001, 49 Buffalo L. Rev. 51,Women at War: An Evolutionary Perspective By Kingsley R. Browne)

The hiring manager has an advantage over an Air Force Wing Commander; the civilian Ace has a track record of Kills.

The best indication of future performance is past performance. Our armed forces are hampered by looking only to recent combat or aerial engagements — and there aren’t that many of those dogfights.

The hiring manager has different metrics of combat measures for top business talent: Eat what you kill. Who had produced the best numbers?

Super Stars and Aces can only be managed by Super Star managers who know what to evaluate. Entrepreneur and writer Richard Koch says,

A few things are always much more important than most things.

This is invariably true, yet difficult at first to credit. Unless we have numbers or 80/20 Thinking to guide us, most things always appear more important than the few things that are actually more important.

Even if we accept the point in our minds, it is difficult to make the next hop to focused action. Keep the “vital few” in the forefront of your brain. And keep reviewing whether you are spending more time and effort on the vital few rather than the trivial many.(Italics in original) (Koch 1998, 2008) pp. 127f

With my sales teams, Pareto’s 80/20 Principle always played out. But the top guy was usually a deviant was always a standard deviation above the norm. My #1 sales guy was sometimes double the sales of #2, the rest of the sales team on the long tail. That #1 guy drove me nuts. But I loved his numbers.

***

My sales style seemed counter-intuitive: confrontational bordering on arrogance created customers who had a need for my product. Years later, my customers would continue to buy from me. “You didn’t waste my time,” one said. She was fast tracked into senior management.

My customer was a Super Star.

Anyone whose name was not found written in the book of life was thrown into the lake of fire. Revelation 20:15

###

Much of the original thought was written in Small Business Super Star Hiring Hassle for Small Business Trends http://smallbiztrends.com/2006/09/small-business-super-star-hiring-hassle.html accessed 22 November 2014.

 

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