“One of the most important lessons of my life forced itself on me at about the time I was graduating from grammar school. It was a lesson that turned into a major principle: You are subject to your environment. Therefore, select the environment that will best develop you toward your desired objective.”
The Success System That Never Fails by William Clement Stone
We all know the value of environment. For example, we don’t want our children running with the ‘wrong crowd’ do we? But our ability to control our work environment can be limited by the position we hold within the company.
When we were employed, we sometimes changed jobs if we didn’t like the environment. I know I did, and it’s a lesson that I’ve taught my children: if you are not happy where you are, move on and find work that fulfils you, makes you happy.
In those days, or environment was largely out of our hands. If we didn’t like our work environment and weren’t in a position of leadership we had two options, stay or go.
Now that we are leaders, however, the environment that exists within our businesses is of our design. One way or another you either create a Success Environment or a Mediocrity Environment. And you’d better believe that the creation of the environment within your business falls within your job description!
Does your company ‘feel’ like a dynamic place to work?
Or is it riddled with office politics, blame, excuse-making, with the feel of a 1930s shipping office? By the way, office politics actually means talking about people behind their backs, so if you ever hear these words, my advice is to jump on it immediately.
Dynamic places to work begin with a focused, dynamic leader who wants to build a great company and is prepared to do what is necessary to develop his or her people to a level where this happens.
Success Environments are ‘Results Factories’. A successful real estate office has a leader who has goals, and who has goal-setting salespeople. Goals are backed up with training, so that everybody reaches a minimum acceptable level of competence. Once that’s achieved, everybody gets to work on achieving their targets.
Such offices are too busy for negativity and back-biting. The secretaries are busy ensuring that the leaflet and direct mail campaigns are running smoothly. Salespeople aren’t sitting around waiting for business to walk in the door; they are out door knocking, or on the telephone prospecting for new business, or working with their sellers to help them understand the market and price their properties appropriately, or they are working with good qualified buyers.
The leader is busy too. Success-oriented leaders constantly work with their teams. If a salesperson walks into the office after three hours without a result, the leader debriefs the salesperson to find out what went wrong. This turns into a lesson with a view of making sure this does not happen again.
Another activity of successful leaders is that they pay regular attention to hiring. Put pressure on people to learn, grow, prospect and perform and you will lose people. If you don’t have replacements in the wings, you WILL NOT put pressure on the people you have. The result: a mediocre team. Guaranteed.
Successful leaders also do what Tom Peters called MBWA: Management By Walking Around. If you want to create a Success Environment, you won’t spend much time personally chasing listings and sales, instead you will be overseeing your people, advising and counselling when necessary, eliminating distractions and excuses, and taking disciplinary or corrective measures when needed. You won’t be so concerned with being liked as with being seen as fair, but FIRM.
Your office is not called “Work”; work is a verb, not a noun. Your place of business is an “Office” and at your office, EVERYBODY WORKS. Just because your people are in the office, this does not mean that work is being done. You see that it is.
I am not suggesting that a Success Environment should not be fun.
But fun should come after results.
Try having fun when you’re going broke. Too many offices put fun first and pay hugely in lost profit.
When the results are flowing consistently, it’s amazing how much fun there is. A true Success Environment is fun, but…
Fun, with Focus.
Most leaders will have to study leadership a lot more than they have been if they want to create a Success Environment: successful leaders know that if they want their people to study, the best way to achieve this is by example. If your people know that you study, they will be more likely to follow your lead.
Do nothing, and almost certainly a Mediocrity Environment will be yours. And you don’t want that.
Your business is your creation. Make that creation a Success Environment.