Tools for Success: Learn to Talk Up as Well as Talk Down

Not everyone is the same in your world. If, as a boss, you can’t talk to employees with a proper tone, they won’t like you and won’t produce as well. As entrepreneurs and managers, we need to get along well with many kinds of people to achieve our goals: vendors, service providers, professionals, employees and perhaps, most importantly, your bosses.

I would argue that everyone on your team is like a boss. I love Ken Blanchard’s book, Servant Leadership. Whether you are an owner or a manager, you need to be able to set different expectations and talk to people at different levels of the enterprise in ways that make them want to work for you.

In the real world, the level of performance and the amount of accountability you should expect differs. We all wish everyone did exactly what they were supposed to and were super accountable. But you’ve likely got what I call worker ants on your team. We all need solid worker ants, but they likely aren’t as well educated or as thoughtful about how they handle you, money and other relationships as executive leaders would be.

If you hold worker ants to the same standard as you hold your sales manager, they will leave. I know it sounds bad, but you have to tolerate some mediocracy and recognize that some people can contribute but only at a certain level. As the improve the skills, give them greater opportunities.

About bosses. I always say that many business owners’ single biggest failure is that they don’t have a boss. They are autocratic and think they have all the answers. You don’t know what you don’t know. If they had a boss to question their logic or actions, their performance would be improved. We all have had bosses a boss who were their own worst enemies.

Everyone thought I would do poorly at Ford; they said I would be the first one fired. But they didn’t realize how well I could clean up and how well I knew how to talk to the board of directors and to a parts puller who needed a draw to pay his electric bill. Learn to treat people in a manner that makes them relaxed and appreciated, whether they are above or below you in the hierarchy and you will be even more successful.

Remember only you can make business great!

Ron Sturgeon, Mr. Mission Possible, has been a successful business owner for more than 35 years. As a small business consultant, he can deliver wisdom and advice gleaned from an enviable business career that started when he opened a VW repair business as a homeless 17-year-old and culminated in the sale of several businesses he built to Fortune 500 companies.

Ron has helped bankers, lawyers, insurance agents, restaurant owners, and body shop owners, as well as countless salvage yard owners to become more successful business people. He is an expert in helping small business owners set the right business strategies, implement pay-for- performance, and find new customers on the web.

As a consultant, Ron shares his expertise in strategic planning, capitalization, compensation, growing market share, and more in his signature plainspoken style, providing field-proven, and high-profit best practices well ahead of the business news curve. Ron is the author of nine books, including How to Salvage More Millions from Your Small Business.

To inquire about consulting or keynote speaking, contact Ron at 817-834-3625, ext. 232, rons@MrMissionPossible.com5940 Eden, Haltom City, TX