by _comunica2punto0

#marketing Have You Created Lemmings or Business People?

In Marketing on 30 junio, 2017 at 16:31

One of the big dangers that we are all facing in business is the loss of creativity and ingenuity that drives most advancements in business.

The reason that this has come into play more and more of late is any number of factors including uncertainty in the economy, an education system that is still focused on creating assembly line worker thinking, or whatever the symbol of the day is.

The reasons are irrelevant because what is most important is that the outcome of this build up over the years is that we have a lot of people that are pretty good at taking orders, but unwilling to take risks or make decisions.


Well, risk taking is a skill like so many others. And, if you haven’t become used to taking risks you don’t take them period.

Also, for many years, taking risks was stupid because survival was not a certainty.

Decision making also falls into that same category.

You don’t have the chance to make decisions because you have a micromanager of a boss that feels like the only person that can make the right decision is him.

You have an environment that only values consensus, so when you have a good idea, you don’t feel like you have been empowered to make a decision on your own.

On and on and on.

The thing is…these all add up.

They add up in a big way too.

Because by never giving people an opportunity to spread their wings and make decisions and take risks, we cut them down. We make them less able to be valuable members of our team, but more importantly, in an environment where competition is fierce, we don’t allow them to be more valuable partners and service providers to our clients and prospects.

Enough diagnosis though.

Let’s look to what we really need to be doing with our teams, which is creating businesspeople. Which is the opposite of too many of the people that make up a lot of companies: lemmings.

Let’s compare the two: Lemmings versus Businesspeople.


  • Take orders
  • Don’t push the envelope
  • Don’t really fight for ideas
  • Don’t really push back on bad ideas
  • Are pretty consistent in their mediocrity


  • Will take risks
  • Will fight for their ideas
  • Will be great partners to their clients
  • Are willing to call out bad ideas
  • Will push for their ideas or new ideas

Do you see the difference?

The challenge for all of us is how do we create an environment where the businesspeople can grow and thrive?

The first thing we need to do is to stop focusing on not making mistakes.

Have you ever met someone that was really successful that never made a mistake?

I can tell you the biggest mistake of my career, if you are interested.

Its pretty simple, I took a job in radio right at the middle point of 2008 right before everything started to fall apart and I was locked into an environment with crappy management and a crappy business model that would have been crap no matter what the economic environment.

The job set me back a long time.

I made the mistake because of hubris and the fact that I thought I could impose my will on anything.

In my hubris, I allowed my normal analytical thinking to get overwhelmed by emotion and passion which made me not ask the right questions, not use logic, and to get into a situation that was destined to fail…from the start.

But the thing is, from that mistake, you learn and you get up and you continue.

That’s part of being a successful businessperson, making mistakes and learning from them.

All too often, we don’t allow ourselves to make a mistake.

We just don’t.

So the first thing you need to do to build businesspeople is to give them the freedom to screw up.

Next, you need to allow your team the ability to pursue something worth pursuing.

It feels like that along with not making mistakes, we are pushed toward having roles and jobs and objectives that aren’t defined by their ability to wow us or bring incredible results, but more to just be a little better than everyone else.

If that.

The thing is, you never get the best from your team if you are just trying to be “good enough.”

The real challenge today isn’t competition, it is actually trying to be great.

We all talk about crushing it or some other asinine buzz word meant to convey that we are doing great work.

But how much of this supposedly great work is anything more than a bunch of malarkey that we have cooked up to be just another knockoff of what everyone else is doing?

I’d say a lot.

The thing is we don’t get the best from our teams and our teams don’t fill themselves with businesspeople until we pursue greatness.

Living in Washington, DC, you see this taken to its ultimate end point in the form of government contracting.

Somewhere along the line, mediocrity and sameness became the defining differentiator of government goods.

In other words, there isn’t a great thing that is offered up in most cases by government contractors.

Compare that with a recent stay I had at the Hotel Lancaster in Paris where the staff went out of their way at every point to delight and to mesmerize. The service was at a level that was possibly the best service I have ever received or seen delivered.

That’s something great.

Something memorable.

You need to inspire and encourage that kind of behavior in your teams, or you are never going to have businesspeople, only lemmings.

Finally, allow your team to be ambitious in a meaningful way.

In too many instances, ambition gets a bad name.

We think of the person angling for the corner office that is willing to cut off or destroy anyone in their path, but the kind of ambition I am talking about is the kind of ambition that means you shoot for the new, the different.

Which if you think about it is just building off of the idea of taking risks and doing something great.

You need real ambition to do all of these things.

That’s really what we need in our current economy, the ambition to do something entirely unique and different.

When I look around at the world of sports, where I do a lot of work, I see a yawning amount of sameness. Everyone is “phone crushing.” Every brand is almost interchangeable. The anodyne is the norm.

We can’t possibly have that anymore.

We need the ambitious. The gritty. The different.

If you aren’t able to be outside of the norm, you will never be a great businessperson. Which is what we need, now more than ever.

via Business Articles | Business 2 Community



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