Let’s reinvent Integrity!
Is there any one left out there with integrity?”You mean that soppy old fashioned idea that it might be a good thing to be honest?” Yes, why not!
Somebody, (I forget who), once said “If honesty does not exist someone should invent it and market it as the best way to earn a living.” Maybe it is about time to re-introduce the concept to the world?
As an exceptional performance consultant I am often asked to address interesting groups of people all over the world.
A while back, while working in England, I was asked to address a group of ex-corporate professionals (Lawyers, Accountants, etc.) They had recently been retrenched. On average, they received a retrenchment package of about one hundred and fifty thousand pounds. (Shame!) The general feeling amongst them was that they had to spend it as quickly as possible, (on a world cruise on the Q.E.2 or a skiing trip to Aspen). It did not matter much what they did so long as it was expensive – they just had to get rid of the money as quickly as possible so they could get on the dole. After all they were professionals and as the British economy could not support them, the British taxpayer owed them a living until the economy improved enough for them to be re-employed (or so they thought). The idea that they could be gainfully employed by using their brains to help other people was completely unacceptable to them. They had not spent years studying for nothing. They had all been promised the wonderful academic dream, “when you have qualifications the world owes you a living.” Unfortunately this is not an isolated case of misguided values. It has become the fashionable international trend of the western world. Ever heard anybody say “they owe me, I have rights”.
DO WE HAVE RIGHTS?
A while back I received a phone call from one of South Africa’s prominent sculptors. He had heard that I had been admiring one of his works and thought that I might like to buy a numbered replica for R15, 000.00 (sharp salesman). When I just laughed, the price suddenly dropped to R10.000.00 (opportunist). When I just kept laughing he offered to let me have it for ten days with no obligation and undertook to deliver on a specific date (Good puppy-dog sale). The date came and went and there was no delivery. I was actually disappointed. I had even planned were I would stand it. Weeks later I received another call, apologising for the unavoidable delay and offering to send it round with an art dealer who would also pick up the cheque (bad move). He had unilaterally changed the agreement and just assumed that I would not notice, or maybe he thought he could just bulldoze me into a sale. Anyway, he lost the sale — his sales trainer, if he had one, forgot to tell him that a salesman without manners and integrity does not make sales. What a pity! I probably would have bought it. I was looking forward to showing off my new work of art.
Then there was the story of the salesman who really wanted the job, was very happy to have the opportunity to work on straight commission, but he needed help to make the move from a salary to commission. His new employer offered him a guaranteed basic for three months against an agreed minimum performance. The salesman did the minimum required to get his basic for the three months and then disappeared without even a good-bye.
—and of course we must not forget the company that cuts the commission when the sales person looks as if they just might start taking home more money than the Boss. Now that’s shortsighted stupidity coming down from the top!
WHAT HAS HAPPENED TO INTEGRITY?
The fashionable philosophy of something for nothing is very much alive and well, all over the world. It is even entrenched in the United Nations Bill of Rights and South Africa’s new constitution. Because an idea is fashionable and generally accepted it’s not necessarily right.
The problem is that this something for nothing attitude is killing the basic fundamentals of wealth creation, and that is not doing our economy any good. – – – and of course there are the labour laws telling us that even if people cannot do their job, and even if they compromise the integrity of their employers, (the company that is feeding them and their families) they are entitled to a job.
In order to compete in the global economy, we cannot afford to copy the trends; we have to be better than the rest!
SO WHAT IS THE SOLUTION?
“Radical problems are going to need radical solutions.”
We need a radical change of attitude and values in the workplace. These changes are necessary at every level. AT THE TOP: – The employers had better make up their minds; are they going to be politically inspired charity pay points for the lazy and the useless or are they going to be world leaders in their field?
AS M.D.s AND C.E.O.s WE HAVE TO MAKE SOME CHOICES:
1 To be fashionably and politically correct gutless wonders, who always complain and threaten, while using our intelligence to justify our team’s miserable lack of performance; or,
2 To be great business leaders prepared to ruthlessly insist that every member of our team do what ever it takes to become the best. (The customer deserves it.) If we want to be politically correct we can always find some other place (like our internationally infamous gravy train) to practice our lack of integrity while shouting such profound slogans as” Blessed are the useless; we have rights; we demand…, shame they don’t know any better!”
If we are going to create something that will endure, build the economy, create jobs and generate dignity and self-respect in the work place we have to do the correct thing. Not the politically correct thing! It starts with us.
THE FISH ROTS FROM
THE HEAD DOWN!
AS FOR THE TEAM: -
Everyone on the team must have the integrity to willingly accept full responsibility for the role they play in servicing the customer who incidentally pays all our salaries, commissions, bonuses and increases. No member of the team must tolerate inferior performance from the rest of the team. Nobody in their right senses, would keep a team member on an international sports team if they decided that they did not feel like working to-day; or, wanted to be paid overtime to go to an extra training session; or, thought that they were so smart that they did not have to listen to the coach or team manager. (Except maybe in the new South Africa.) Why is it tolerated in the workplace? (Maybe for the same stupid politically motivated reason!) If management does not have the guts to run their businesses, why don’t they go and play somewhere else. Our economy cannot afford the luxury of fashionably correct gutless wonders.
How do we create the Miracle we need in the market place?
Somebody once said, “In-order for evil to flourish it is sufficient that good people do nothing.”
So once again it is time to choose. Are we going to stand on the side of CREATION or are we going to do the fashionably correct thing and help destroy the very thing that is feeding us and our families, while demanding that we and the people around us have rights?
All we have is an opportunity to trade!
We trade what we have made of ourselves, as a service with a willing customer. THERE ARE NO RIGHTS!
SO WHAT’S THE ANSWER?
1The intelligent thing to do is for all the winners on the team to stand together and set such high standards of excellence, that the useless fire themselves. (It is not in the customer’s best interest to have a useless member on the team that is supporting them, so why should we be.
2We must make it more difficult for new people to join the team. People are our most important asset. Only a moron would hire someone who is not going to be an asset to the team. Recruiting, training and developing the team are the most important functions in our business and should always be done by the leader. There are many very effective ways of ensuring that only the best people are employed. Remember we have to be ruthless or everyone will suffer in the end.
3 Keep the complement of staff as small as possible. (Good businesses are not measured by the number of people they employ, but on cost effectiveness). Most business could easily halve the staff complement while doubling production and increasing profitability.
4 Never hire politically! Only the best performers must be on the team. It is better to subcontract to experts and appoint commissioned agents, than to be stuck with useless staff who think they are smart if they can get away with doing as little as possible in exchange for the biggest possible pay cheque.
5 It is our responsibility, whether we are the employer or the employed, to make sure that we have the correct tools; are sufficiently educated; and are actually capable of excelling at whatever we are accepting payment for doing. We should allocate a percentage of our total income to the ongoing improvement of our ability, ensuring that we always remain competitive in the world market.
After more than twenty-four years of getting exceptional results in the field of developing human potential, I know that all humans have incredible latent potential. Many have however developed fashionably bad attitudes and choose to waste their potential in order to make a political statement. I am also of the opinion that people who are not prepared to accept responsibility for their own education, are usually not worth educating and are generally not employable on a team that demands exceptional performance.
“THE CUSTOMER DESERVES THE BEST HIS MONEY CAN BUY”
The customer has the right to demand the best at all times. It is our obligation to accept the personal responsibility of supplying world class performance with absolute integrity!
Our country has the potential to become the greatest country on the planet. We have all the resources, we have people with amazing resourcefulness, and we only need some attitude changes and a shift away from rights to pride in our ability to serve better than any one else in the world. It’s easily achievable!
In the next issue, I will share some simple workable ideas that will, if you implement them, help to make you an exceptional performer. If you need my help or just want to share some good ideas, contact me at +27-11-7013660 or fax +27-11-7013661 or on the E-Mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. In the meanwhile may good business sense prevail over expedience.
“ALL HUMANS HAVE
By: David Pickard Wyllie