We Just Don’t Want to Do That!
post # 441 — October 1, 2007 — a Managing, Strategy and the Fat Smoker post
As everyone who reads this blog regularly knows by now, the theme off my new book STRATEGY AND THE FAT SMOKER is that if you donâ€™t want to get on the diet, you canâ€™t achieve your goals.
Stated that way, itâ€™s a pretty tough message, and I sometimes struggle to find a way to soften it while maintaining the point.
For example, in my seminars, itâ€™s almost always the case that people ask how to make their practice groups more effective.
As a starting point, I feel itâ€™s necessary to go through the (simple, familiar) points that (a) the key is the group managerâ€™s time and skills and (b) that it is economic and effective to allow — even require – group leaders to take the time to manage the people in their groups, and not just expect them to carry a full personal â€œsell and deliverâ€ load, and then manage their group on top of that.
Yes, I know these are old points, but thatâ€™s the message — â€œeat less, exercise moreâ€ is the answer to losing weight, and everything else is commentary.
But that frequently doesnâ€™t satisfy my audiences and clients.
â€œBut what do we do if our culture and systems donâ€™t reward people for managing, and pays them on their personal production?â€
OR â€œWhat do we do if none of our partners wants to take on the role of being a manager, each preferring to build his or her own book of business rather than taking the time to helping other people succeed?â€
In essence, I say (with as supportive and comforting tone as I am capable of) â€œWell, if you donâ€™t want to do what works, then just donâ€™t expect to get the benefits. Your choice!â€
Not surprisingly, people are often frustrated with this â€œtough loveâ€ answer. All of us want the â€œmagic pill.â€
So, hereâ€™s the challenge: What do you do if the problem posed by your client is presented with excessively binding constraints?
It is remarkably common to hear clients ask â€œWe donâ€™t want to change how we do things, thatâ€™s our culture, but tell us how we can get more of what we want!â€
Can anyone shed some light on the best way to help when people pose things this way?