Unleashing Leadership: Unlocking Greatness and Embracing Change

Incentives

September 12, 2023 Travis Maus Season 1 Episode 17
Unleashing Leadership: Unlocking Greatness and Embracing Change
Incentives
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Ever dreamed of a motivated, growth-driven team that thrives on achieving organizational objectives? Get ready to discover the powerful role of thoughtful incentives in building such a team. We take a deep dive into how the right incentives can fuel personal and professional growth, how they can motivate your employees to become better professionals, better individuals, and how they can shape the destiny of your organization. We also caution you on the pitfalls of poorly aligned incentives, and how they can lead to counterproductive results, derailing your organization's journey towards its goals.

Unearth the criticality of rewarding your teams and leaders aptly to create a successful business. Learn why it's vital to incentivize leading indicators over end results and how insufficient rewards can dampen your employees' motivation. We help you explore how to create a symbiotic environment where the organization's success feeds your employees' growth, and vice versa. This insightful discussion is a must-listen for forward-thinking leaders striving to build a culture of motivation and continuous improvement. Don't miss out as we unravel the secrets of effective incentivizing!

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Speaker 1:

This is Unmiching Leadership. I'm your host, travis Moss. We're on episode 17, which is all about incentives. In the book Team of Teams they talk about how, basically, if you miss a line of incentives or if you're sloppy, let's say, with creating incentives, if you're not thinking broader picture, if you're not, I like to say, seeing behind the walls you can create scenarios where people have incentives to basically adopt certain behaviors that are antithetical to the organization, they're destructive to the organization. They probably help the person get ahead or at least maintain set as quo, but they don't help the organization and in fact, the wrong incentives can kill the organization or, in the book, it can cause death. Not in business necessarily.

Speaker 1:

Business, hopefully, is a life and death situation for people, although for some people I think it is that serious. But you could be talking about livelihood, the life and death of somebody's livelihood, and so it's pretty severe. And so if you create incentives that promote silos or promote people to hoard information or promote people to not take risk or promote people to take too much risk, right, and we think about how we get into these scenarios with the incentives, nobody goes out and says let's create an incentive program is going to wreck our business. Everybody goes out and says let's create an incentive program, make our business better. We want to get people motivated to do stuff, we want more sales, we want more clients, we want people happier, all these other things right. But a lot of times it's very, very like lineal and overly focused on one pinpoint. And you know, businesses are kind of like the human body. There's a lot going on there. What's happening in your down, in your toes although it is very, you know, it's a long ways from your brain, it's still impacted from your brain, it's still impacted from your heart, still impacted from your gut like your whole body is connected and your business is the same way. So if you create an incentive just for the toes and it disregards the rest of the body, well then you know you could end up with some, some pretty severe consequences. So maybe a little bit of a bad tangent there, but you get the point.

Speaker 1:

We need to be very thoughtful about what type of incentive we're creating, because we need the whole organization to be working as if it's one body. So if I take one of my base level teams remember we're talking about the football team if I take, you know, just the offensive line and I incentivize them a certain way, and it departs them from the benefit of the group and it just focuses on them and what they get for something that they're doing. They might do what they're supposed to do very, very well then, or they might figure out how to maximize that incentive, and that, though, might not line up with the overall goal of the rest of the business. So we're going to end up with some divergence there, and we end up with friction and well, that's not what I'm paid to do, type of thing. When you see this, all the time people you have employees that say you know, that's not in my job description, that's not what I'm paid to do. So how do we combat this? You know, how do we take what is really a good intention and keep it from being turned into something bad.

Speaker 1:

There's a thing called leading and lagging indicators. A lagging indicator is literally something that happens. So I want more sales. More sales happen. I want more client experience. More client experience happens. If you have a goal and you say to a team of employees I want you to improve client experience, that's the end result. Right? That's the lagging indicator of success. Basically, if you do that, you'll be successful. But how the hell do you do that? That's the problem. So then you come up with incentives and you say well, you know, I'm gonna incentivize you to make everybody happy. Okay, still don't know how to do that. It's kind of like swing and miss type of shit. So we really wanna talk about leading indicators, the stuff you have to do to make everybody happy.

Speaker 1:

In my organization. I have one thing that I'm completely obsessed with, and the bigger our business gets, the more obsessed with this I am. I want to create an environment where I am surrounded by people who are obsessed with personal and professional development and they 100% buy into that as the overall purpose of the organization, because I believe that clients will work with us based on those virtues. Because I believe there's a lot of clients out there, a lot of business to be done out there with other people that have a desire for personal and professional development Maybe more so one than the other, but they're in that camp where they want to see growth and improvement. And in fact, somebody asks us one time what's an ideal client?

Speaker 1:

I'm like somebody who shares the values of us. It has nothing to do with how much money you have or what kind of job you have or what kind of profession you're in. It has to do with do you match up with our values? Because if you don't match up with our values, we're gonna have a hard time communicating, we're gonna have a hard time working together. There's gonna always be clashing. If you're incentivized only by how much money you make and not by what you can do with that to better your family, we're gonna struggle, cause we're incentivized to make sure that you get the most out of the money for your family. So we don't have the same purpose then and, like clockwork, that always happens.

Speaker 1:

So I think about my team members. I want people who are obsessed with personal development and professional development. I want to unlock that kind of greatness for everybody that I come in contact with, and so I need to incentivize that. But I can't just incentivize it and say, okay, employee, you know so and so If you become a better professional or if you become a better person, I'll pay you more, cause how do you even define that Right? Number one, how do you define it? Number two how do you get there?

Speaker 1:

That's the leading or that's the lagging indicator. That's the end result, the end results. I want you to get better. And why do I want you to get better? Cause I'm supposed to be a business, right, I'm supposed to be making money. If you get better every day, personally or professionally or both you can not help but make everything you touch better. And so if I get a whole bunch of people trying to get better every day and actually helping each other get better every day, that business going to be taken care of, it doesn't matter what the business is Literally come up with an argument for me that tells me that the business will fail if you have an entire team of people that are trying to get better personally and professionally every day. That'd be a good debate. So I want to surround myself with that. But that's the lagging indicator. That's the end result. How do I get people to actually do that? How do I get them focused on the right things? That's my leading indicators. Those are the things that lead to professional and personal development. That's what I need to incentivize. That's where I need to be focused. I need to be focused on what are the things I can do to encourage people to grow? I can encourage continuing education, right Going out and learning new skills. I can encourage personal improvement plans.

Speaker 1:

What are you gonna do over the next 90 days to improve yourself? I can encourage we call it good karma at our company but taking care of others doing something nice, not because you have to, but because it lifts them up, because it shows them that they're recognized, that they're heard, that people care about them. We walk through life with our colleagues and we walk through life with our clients and our customers and everything like that. Let them know that you care about them and what's happening to them. Don't be so busy not to show that right. So show that. Let's incentivize that. Let's incentivize people showing other people that they're paying attention to them and that they do care.

Speaker 1:

We incentivize, obviously, some of the basic stuff, like every business has compliance protocols and stuff. You've gotta follow that. You gotta basically follow the rules. Basically I call that the pay to play stuff. Like if you're not doing that, you don't qualify for any of the incentives, so you gotta be committed to doing the base level of work, and then all this other stuff is extra. What if you're a mentor? Incentivize people to be mentors and then tie these together Instead of just saying, hey, you're gonna be a mentor, I'm gonna incentivize you to be a mentor for your colleagues. Put them through a program to learn how to be a better mentor and incentivize them to do that. Give them a reward for that. You start to create a reward system for personal and professional development. You know what you won't have to reward after a while? Personal and professional development, because it will become just who they are, because when you tap into it, it's like drugs. Basically it's like wow, look at how much better I am than I was yesterday. Look at how much better I feel about things. I want more of that. It's not about the money. You wanna incentivize people to get better, incentivizing the.

Speaker 1:

Put groups of colleagues together and work on a project that could advance everybody, maybe something everybody's dealing with. We call them ownership groups in our company. These actually came from a book report like this that employees were doing, new employees were doing to our leadership team and basically it's, you know, like I'm doing one on productivity hacks. So if people are struggling with prioritization, they're getting all kinds of stuff thrown at them. They're not quite sure what to work on, you know, and they always feel behind. Okay, what can we do to help you? What are skills that you can learn. Come along with me over the next 90 days. We're gonna go through about six classes. We're gonna teach you how to improve on productivity At least my methodology. You might learn some stuff. You might adapt my process, but look what I'm doing. I become better because I have to put my material together and refine my thoughts and prepare it to teach to somebody. They become better because they go through the process as well.

Speaker 1:

Teams we have teams in our company. We have teams that you can be a leader of and then teams that you participate on. What do you want with teams? You want strong teams. Reward people for being strong team members. Reward people for being strong leaders.

Speaker 1:

Create an incentive program that says if you're not a good leader and here's what a defined good leader is you know there's I don't wanna say repercussions or ramifications, but you get less for that.

Speaker 1:

So you can't just be in charge of something. It's about how you're in charge of something that matters. So my big point here is, if you're gonna have incentives and pretty much every business you know has come to the conclusion they need to have incentives. They need to have some way to say to their team I get you, you're doing the extra and here's your reward for that right and you're in a competitive market. So if you don't have incentives, somebody else has got incentives. It's gonna be challenging, but don't incentivize people just to do their damn job and don't incentivize people on the end result. Let the end result happen. You don't even have to set necessarily. I mean you gotta have goals right. But you can destroy your goals basically in a positive way If you focus on those leading indicators. What makes people do their job so much more successfully? Incentivize that stuff, not the end result.

Importance of Leading Indicators and Incentives
Incentivizing Strong Teams and Leaders

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