The other day as I’m walking out of a meeting with my top salesman another business owner inquires “So is this your partner?” The salesman responds “No, I’m just the salesman. I just work for him.” Keep in mind, this guy is twice my age and has been in this business for 18 years. I’ve been there for less than 18 weeks. As quickly as I could think of the words I interjected, “Of course he’s my partner. We work together every day.” Immediately his demeanor changed and he added, “Yeah, that’s true we work real closely together. We are partners in what we do.” I finished the thought with, “Without this guy I’d be in a lot of trouble.” – and I sincerely meant it and more importantly the salesman knew I meant it.
The other business owner who asked the question seemed to be a bit shocked. My guess is that he’d never seen a small business owner react that way. However what I said was completely true. The salesman is an extremely valuable part of our team and as such is certainly my partner in making the business grow. My goal was to take a rather uncomfortable situation for that important team member and turn it around to make it a positive thing. Based on his second response I like to think I did that.
So you see, no one works for me, they all work with me. Its my responsibility to ensure I’m leading the whole team to a common goal and vision. Generally that goal can only be achieved by working together.
What are you doing in your business to emphasize that everyone is working together with you and not for you?
To your success, Bryan