Full Engagement!

Inspire, Motivate, and Bring Out the Best in Your People

 Full Engagement!

Author: Brian Tracy
Pub Date: May 2011
Print Edition: $14.95
Print ISBN: 9780814436776
Page Count: 240
Format: Paper or Softback
e-Book ISBN: 9780814416907

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‘‘If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do

more, and become more, then you are a leader.’’


Welcome to the new world of business! We have gone

through a watershed in business activities and operations

since 2008, and things will never be the same again. What you

are dealing with today is the ‘‘new normal.’’ The good old

days are gone forever.

Because of shrinking markets, increased competition, demanding

customers, and a never-ending shortage of highly

qualified, productive people, you will have to do more with

less, and get better results from limited resources, more than

ever before.

One of the interesting outcomes of these challenging economic

times is that companies are producing more with

fewer resources. They have laid off millions of people and

downsized in almost every area. But the level of productivity,

performance, and output per person has actually gone up.

Companies are maintaining or increasing their levels of productivity

and quality with fewer people, but with people who

are better selected, better organized, and better managed.

This must be your goal as well.

As a manager at any level, you are essentially the operator

of your own personal business unit. You have revenues and

expenses, inputs and outputs, production requirements and

measures of performance. Your profit-and-loss statement reflects

your ability to combine people and resources to get

results—especially financial results—that are in excess, and,

ideally, greatly in excess, of their total costs.

Increasing Your ROE

The measure of business success is largely determined by how

well the managers of the business achieve a high and consistent

return on equity (ROE). The purpose of strategy, planning,

tactics, and operations is to organize and reorganize the

people and assets of the business in such a way that this return

on equity, which is the return on the actual capital that

the owners have invested in the business, is the very highest

possible in any market, and especially in comparison with

competitors in the same business or industry.

As a manager, your job is to achieve the highest ROE as

well. Only ROE refers to the ‘‘return on energy’’ of the people

who report to you. Your central focus should be to achieve

the highest possible return on human capital—the physical,

emotional, and mental effort—that your people invest, or are

capable of investing, in achieving the results for which you

are responsible.

According to Robert Half International, the average person

works at about 50 percent of capacity. Because of unclear

job assignments, lack of priorities, poor management and direction,

and lack of feedback, the average employee wastes

50 percent or more of his time in activities that have nothing

to do with the job.

This wasted time is consumed in idle chitchat with coworkers,

extended lunches and coffee breaks, employees

coming in late and leaving early, surfing the Internet, and engaging

in personal business and other time-filling activities

that represent virtually no return to the company on the

amount of money invested in paying people’s salaries, wages,

and benefits.

But, as Napoleon said, ‘‘There are no bad soldiers under

a good general.’’ A good manager with a clear vision can

quickly organize a group of average performers into a peak

performance team that is capable of achieving tremendous

results for the company. You just need to learn how to do it.

The good news is that all the answers have already been

found and are readily available. As the result of decades of

research and millions of hours invested in personal and organizational

performance, we now know exactly what you need

to do, and to stop doing, to get the very best out of your people.

Since 65 to 85 percent of the cost of operating a business

(aside from cost of goods sold) is consumed in salaries and

wages, your ability to tap into the unused 50 percent of this

investment, owing to employees working at half speed, and

channel the human energies of your staff into higher levels

of productivity and performance, enables you to make a real

difference in your position, whatever it is.

Learning What You Need to Learn

Another thing we know is that every excellent manager today

was once a poor manager. Everyone starts at the bottom with

no managerial skills at all, no matter what a person’s title. My

personal experience is a good example. I remember when I

was first promoted from a top salesman to a sales management

position with more than thirty salespeople under me. I

was convinced that this was a great opportunity for me to

demonstrate my leadership abilities.

Having no management experience, I immediately began

giving orders, telling people to do certain things and to stop

doing other things. I lectured to both individuals and groups

to demonstrate my superior knowledge and competence in

our business. I criticized people for mistakes or lack of productivity

and threatened to fire people who didn’t smarten

up and fly right.

I ignored the sullen looks and brooding faces, dismissed

the silence that greeted me whenever I walked into the room.

I was oblivious to the small groups of salespeople who were

joining together and complaining among themselves about

my behavior and the way I was treating them.

A week after I was promoted into this management position,

I arrived at the office one morning to find it empty.

Everyone was gone. They had cleared out as if there had been

a bomb scare. The only person left was the secretary, who

told me that the top salesman in the company, a man who

was very popular and influential among the other salespeople,

had quietly organized the group and then made an

offer to a competitor to bring the entire sales team over, along

with their customers, to sell a similar product for the rival

firm. Because of the way I had been treating them, and some

peer pressure thrown in, the whole group walked out.

Taking Stock

My reaction was shock and disbelief. I knew that when my

boss heard about it, I would be fired and put back out on the

street, exactly where I had started some years before.

Not knowing what to do, I called on a wiser, older businessman,

told him what had happened, and asked for his advice.

Because he had been through a similar situation early in

his career, he told me exactly what had happened, the mistakes

I had made, and what I needed to do immediately to

turn the situation around.

First, I had to be willing to accept that I had personally

made a major mistake, and that I was responsible for rectifying

it. The next key to solving this problem was the top salesman

who had spearheaded the massive defection. If I could

get him to come back, before the group had settled into the

rival company, I could turn the situation around.

Making Up

His name was Phillip. I called him right away and arranged a

meeting. He showed up with three other top salespeople, like

a mafia sit-down, and asked me what I wanted. I immediately

apologized for my behavior, promised never to treat the

salespeople poorly again, and asked him what it would take

to get him to come back. After some private conversation

with his consiglieres, he told me what I would have to do.

His demands were simple. I would appoint him assistant

sales manager and work through him as a liaison to the entire

sales force. I would henceforth treat each person with respect,

and if I had problems, talk with him before criticizing

or complaining in public. I agreed, and the next day the entire

sales team reappeared at the office, ready to work.

From that learning experience, I went on to build sales

forces in six countries, recruiting, training, staffing, then

appointing managers and helping them to manage their operations

successfully. Each of the sales teams was soon producing

excellent results for the company. I had learned a

valuable lesson and I never forgot it.

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