At age 71, famed Rolling Stones drummer Charlie Watts has contracted a masseuse to help him deal with his back pain during the Stones’ upcoming live performances.
Why do you suppose he puts himself through this back pain at his age? Does he really need the money from more concerts? Of course not.
Being a Rolling Stone is part of who he is, and doing concerts is not a job, it’s what drives him. And noted Rolling Stone guitarist, Keith Richards, after more than fifty years of playing guitar says he’s still learning to play guitar. Wow…still learning after 50 years!
Lately I’ve noticed a disturbing trend is radio sales. In the last two weeks alone, I’ve heard more than a dozen sales managers confidentially referring to their salespeople as "lazy" or as one kinder gentler manager put it "they’re reluctant to do the work."
I see and hear about radio salespeople who have "jobs." They get up and "go to work" because they have to, not because they want to. If you call what we do "work" you’re in the wrong business.
Singer-songwriter Kenny Rogers once said, "Find something you love doing, that people will pay you to do, and you’ll never have to work a day in your life."
Charlie Watts is motivated to endure back pain doing what he loves, and Keith is motivated to keep on learning new licks even though he’s already renowned as one of the best guitar players in the world.
And, I don’t believe front man Mick Jagger has to employ all kinds of incentives or motivational tactics to get the team to hit the road. They do it from sheer inner motivation.
Managers who try to motivate salespeople who do not already have an inner motivation are climbing an insurmountable mountain. In fact, managers cannot motivate people to perform. Managers can only create an environment in which self-motivated people tap into their inner motivation and reach for the stars…always learning, always doing what others said couldn’t be done.
If you have people on your team who are "lazy" or "reluctant" to go the extra mile, you have to ask yourself two questions:
1.) Do you have the right people on board? Or should you be offering some of them the opportunity to seek a new career?
2.) If you do have the right people on board, what are you doing to create an environment within which they can tap into their inner motivation?
The Stones don’t tour just for the money; the money is simply a measure of appreciation and recognition. In sales, and in concerts, the big check is not the goal; it’s only the report card. The big check says how much you are appreciated and how much your customers (fans) love you.
Recognition and appreciation, in radio sales and in rock concerts, have to be part of the success formula. Without cheers and applause, there is no jumping enthusiastically into the show.
Poking and prodding the unmotivated, a.k.a. "lazy," employee simply creates resistance. Here’s the bottom line: Behaviors which get rewarded and recognized get repeated.
You know what behaviors are required to succeed in this business. When you start to recognize and appreciate small improvements in those behaviors, rather than focusing on what is not being done, you’ll be surprised how "ambitious" your team can become.
Wayne Ens is the president of ENS Media Inc. and producer of SoundADvice, the radio e-marketing system and advertiser seminar that is persuading local advertisers across North America to drop their print advertising in favor of a radio-Internet media mix. He can be reached at [email protected]