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Too often managers overseeing projects, goals and key initiatives make the mistake of just setting a final deadline. To ensure that both momentum and enthusiasm can be maintained throughout a project, it is necessary to establish “tollgates” to monitor progress.

In sports, we hear the term “home field advantage”. When we are visiting a customer’s home or office to measure and estimate, think of the customer as having the home field advantage.
You will often find a very different person than the one you met initially in your store. They now have their comfortable shoes on and their choice of music playing. If you are good, you will make full benefit of this.

You cannot listen to any successful coach motivating his team for long without hearing the phrase “just do your own jobs!” This is a deceptively simple statement that can have nearly universal impact and benefits. In sports, what the coach is saying is simply that when everyone on the team does what is expected of them, the play called will likely work as designed. However, it only takes one player missing his assignment to create failure for all concerned.

I am a big believer in reducing costs and quotations to the lowest common denominator possible. I read a great example recently. Please allow me to share.

Post recession, Hard Rock Café had a corporate goal of adding $150 million to its bottom line. Most would agree that this is a number beyond our comprehension. The average worker would surely have the thought “I’m just a waiter here…what does that have to do with me?” The answer is obviously…everything! You control the sale. How else can the company grow?

One thing that I’ve learned over time is that it’s important to take a minute and celebrate a win before you move on to the next item on your to-do list.

I was reminded of this point recently when reading an article on NASCAR’s Hendricks Racing Team. For those who may not know, this is a four team operation with over 400 employees. They have a regularly scheduled meeting each Tuesday with all involved present.

We have all heard that we need to make a connection with those who we have just met and to whom we would eventually like to sell something. My experience is that only a small minority of sales people have learned this important technique. I don’t think that it is a coincidence that these few also cash the biggest paychecks at the end of the month!

“When you get tied up with any big company, it has the tendency to change your perspective. Getting involved with Ford was kind of’ like asking a big gorilla to dance. You start off leading, but before very long you’re being swung all over the floor, and pretty soon you lose sight of the fact that all you wanted to do in the first place was dance.”
Carroll Shelby, automotive icon

This week’s reminder is for all the managers in our member firms. Whether your title includes the terms: general, sales, service, installation or office; please hear me out.
If you are not growing as a person and a leader, how can you expect those who report to you to do otherwise? It’s very likely those under your charge are following your lead.

You may ask staff members to use online training, participate in webinars or attend seminars. Do you participate as well? Or are you too busy for that? What message is this sending to your troops?

I’d like to suggest a challenge for each of our members this week. It is to identify one thing about your company that makes it distinctly different from others in your marketplace.

This exercise can be done individually or as a group. Or it may possibly be the topic of a contest within your staff members. Most of all, it should be fun!

As I write this, I am currently representing the WFCA at the CFI Annual Convention in Nashville, Tennessee. My question of flooring dealers and installers everywhere is: why don’t I see you here? You don’t know what you are missing!