A Trick to Getting the Most out of People

“You wouldn’t understand, motivating people in a church organization isn’t as hard as in my business!”

     I had finally walked downstairs to his office to inform him I was quitting his company and these were his words to me.
     At the time, I was balancing moving from full-time work in business to full-time work in the church. My resignation from the company I had worked in for 11 years came as a complete shock to the owner. He knew I was moving on in four or five months anyways, but couldn’t get his head around why I was going now? I was the last employee to leave in a three-week period where 60% of his workers had quit.
     The funny thing is, I didn’t want to leave, I loved my work. But staying in an organization that sent me home to my family frustrated and angry nearly every day wasn’t working for me anymore and I wanted to leave my trades world feeling like I had “won”. I was great in that world and had made a lot of money for him, but I was simply not motivated to work for him anymore.
     My response to him was this: “You can’t seem to motivate people you’re paying wages to, the people in my organization (church) are all volunteers. In fact, they believe in what we’re doing so much that they’re not only working for free in their spare time, they’re supporting it with their finances as well!”
     Every organization has problems and as I was building the church community while working in business, I’d noticed a few things that I wanted to pass on to you.
     In a business that has trouble getting the best out of its people, you may find this to be true (sorry if this is your business right now:)…
     Your performance IS your value.
     Look, I’m all about the bottom line. The bottom line in business is making money. No money, no business. Money doesn’t make itself though, people make it for you. No people, no money, no business.
     Anyone over people in any company must consider that their real bottom line is their people. Happy people make the most money for you.
     The complaint is often “They don’t care about the company, they only care about themselves!”
      If you find that to be true there are only two possibilities: 1. They are, in fact, selfish or 2. The Company only cares about itself. Meaning… the people at the top are selfish or self-absorbed.
     “Your job here is to make ME money!” Well, of course it is, but what a terrible thing to say to an employee! You might as well be saying “Who cares about you and your family, care about me and my family! That’s your job here!”
     Newsflash! They’re not working for you to make you money, they’re working for you to feed their families. If you don’t love them, why on earth would they love you? When was the last time you asked employee X if his kid was still sick with the flu? Did you even know? Oh, but they’re supposed to know all about your business?
     Here is the trick…
     Separate their value from their performance. More accurately their inherent value as a person from what they do for you.
     I tell people all the time “Your value will never be more to me or this organization than the first time you walked through the door. You are valuable.” It shocks every person I say that to, and I’m always surprised by that. Growing up in the Kope family, we thought that this was just normal. People are valuable.
     This will help you do one of the most important thing in any organization….
     It will help you move people. Change their roles. Shift them from one area to another. Move the incumbent. Move someone who need to go out and move someone else in. Increase people’s capacity and thereby increase production.
     How many times in the past has someone left your company when you gave them a poor performance review or had to shift their role to something they considered to be a demotion?
     Value is not usefulness. Frankly, you need to attract the best people and turn mediocre employees into high performers. You also need to remove unhealthy people who don’t want to be healthy. But you absolutely need the freedom to shift people around on the inside. The only way to do that is to slam them with value every day. When you move them then, they don’t feel like failures in their inner core. Nothing should touch that core of value in a person.
     Then they will work for you because they love you and your family. Why? You loved them and their family first. You don’t have to be all mushy about it (I worked with rough people my entire career), but they should know.
     Maybe your organization doesn’t look like this at all? I guess I want to say that it COULD if you want it to. Don’t worry about the money, you’ll make more of that. Your bottom line is your people. Never forget that!
     Let’s roll up our sleeves and try it out?
     Let me know how it goes:)

2 thoughts on “A Trick to Getting the Most out of People

  1. This is terrific information! Reminds me of the goose and golden egg fable that Stephen Covey used in his “7 Habits of Highly Effective People”.


    1. Great book! Should read it again actually, but I’m into Brene Brown’s stuff for the next series Shame THISISGOINGTOHURT and can’t leave it yet. Also, maybe you’re suggesting Stephen Covey ripped me off? Probably, but I think we’ll give him the credit for the info though… This time:)


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