The “J’s” article was full of reflection, cogitation, and facing the prospect of making potentially difficult decisions. So I thought I would lighten the mood here with the blog supplement, as a reminder we are human and that we should be enjoying our work.

So we have: Jambalaya & John Lee Hooker

Inspired by a recent invitation to speak at the CircusTrix Annual Summit for our client Rockin’ Jump in New Orleans, I thought I’d pay a tribute here to the birthplace of Jambalaya and one of the founding homes of blues and jazz.  The two things I have always appreciated about the south is the food and the music. And as I think about why the appeal is so strong for me, it boils down to two things: the celebration of differences and the love that goes into both types of work.

I know, I know – c’mon Mike…what are we really talking about here?

Let me start by asking a question. If you did an honest assessment of your sales team, of your quarterly goals, and the results that you measure at each benchmark, could you honestly use terms like “celebrating differences” or “love”?

My guess, is the answer to one or both might very well be no. And if that is indeed the case, I believe that as a sales leader or business owner, you are truly missing out on opportunity costs. Here’s why.

Celebrating differences can sometimes seem difficult, maybe it’s overlooked so often for that reason. But, I would argue that it is those differences that strengthen your team. To truly get away from your normal way of thinking, especially if results are sub-par, you have to surround yourself with people who are NOT like you, and NOT necessarily much like each other. The differences will stimulate conversation, innovation, creativity, passion and a host of other good things that can fuel your team, help them bond, and allow them to leverage each other’s differences to take your numbers to the next level.

And what about this little thing called love? A way to think of it in your culture is “meaning”. “Every line in the blues has meaning” says John Lee Hooker. If you polled your sales team, would love or meaning in what they do, in the common cause, and for each other, be among the top things they talk about that keeps them producing, that keeps them committed to the cause? Hmmm…maybe not?

Then what should you change? What could you be doing to foster that kind of sincere energy and effort even when the boss isn’t around? My gut says ask your team and make some thoughtful adjustments that get the “love” flowing. It will make all the difference, to your team and to your numbers.

#PutPeopleFirst                #RaiseAllShips                   #EagleONECares

P.S. Be sure to join us next week when we talk about the 3 K’s – Kindness, Keywords & Kudos