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26 April 2020

Your Culture Determines WHO Will Thrive In Your Organization and Who Will BUY From Your Organization

We’ve seen some amazing examples of leadership, kindness, and compassion from individuals AND from business organizations during the Coronavirus Pandemic. We’ve also seen shady, opportunistic behavior, and businesses price gouging, gobbling up resources, et cetera.

Our business behavior matters. Future customers AND future employees will want to know how a business treated its customers, employees, and community during this epic health and economic crisis.

I wrote this body of this post when I first started working with businesses building sales teams and perched upon the edge of “scaling up” – some seven years ago. Advising organizations that were building sales and performance organizations, I see where people skip to the “experience” and “skills” that they desire but very little thought is given to the “personality” and “values” of employees that join the company. Over these past years, I’ve seen that missing step blow-up in wasted time, energy, and money, on miss-hires. Often there’s personality conflict and chaos that goes hand in hand with terminating a non-performing team member and that produces drama and takes many other team members off their focus as well. It’s disruptive and very expensive to hire a bad culture fit.

With technology becoming the great equalizer, there are fewer differences between products and service offerings. The People in a business organization are more often the difference-makers now in how buyers choose their vendors or business partners.

WHAT you sell is secondary to HOW you sell and WHO is selling to your customers.

The foundation of everything you build, EVERYTHING . . . rests on who you hire … the kind of company you decide to keep. The company you decide to be.

I’m a plant person. Both indoor and outdoor. Watching them grow and tending to them is extremely fulfilling. I have about 15 gorgeous plants that are doing very well in a beautiful morning sunroom. For these 15, I’ve also killed a half a dozen or so. The key to plants “thriving under your care” is choosing plants that are right for a particular environment. Knowing your environment before you choose a plant is critical.

Cactus grows in dry, sandy soil and can tolerate heat and lots of sunshine. Mushrooms grow in dark, moist manure. Bromeliads grow on trees and need specific water delivery methods. The environment in which you grow your business and your people matters. All output depends on the input. And you decide.

What kind of company do you keep?

  • Are you hiring the right people for your culture?
  • Are your values clear, upfront, and tangible in your business?
  • Are your values felt in your hiring and sales process?
  • Are you a company that manifests its own destiny?
  • Are you a company that encourages free-thinking and experimental thought practices?
  • Are you the kind of company that supports structured growth and learning?
  • Are you the kind of company that flexes and expands with the times?

Until you decide what kind of environment you provide to nurture your “plants” (or, yes, people), it’s difficult to pick the right kind of plants that will thrive in it. Make that decision and make sure the soil supports the plants that you carefully choose.

As you’re looking at “what’s next” for your business (or for your employment) once we begin to move through the Covid quarantine, take a step back and look at how you’re fostering and nurturing the “culture” of your business and hiring employees that will thrive in your “soil.”

Until next time, stop hoping and start SELLING!

– sks

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