Love, Serve, Care to Achieve
Love, Serve, Care in business? Come on... isn’t business about metrics, drive and results?
Let’s look at what really drives long-term business success and employee engagement. The concepts of business performance and fostering a love, serve, care culture are not mutually exclusive they depend on each other. Could this be a wholistic approach to business development that includes an integration of values and business principles? I say Yes. Let’s explore...
Let me first start by saying I enjoy the grind of sales, sales leadership, metrics, numbers, results and the general science of business. With a technical Engineering background/MBA and over 20 years of management experience I have developed metrics, driven for a robust pipeline and managed by the numbers.
I have also learned that results are not driven by science, they are driven by people. In our increasingly technical, fast paced world we tend to lose sight of how to positively influence others to drive positive results.
This should not surprise us, as students and professionals we focus on management, accounting, finance, sales and staffing pipeline, various metrics and performance indicators. As human beings we are driven to understand and quantify our environment based on fact. These concepts are important to understanding business performance, however, I would note that each of these (or most quantifiable metrics) are lag indicators. If pipeline and other metrics are lag measurements, then what is the best leading indicator for business success?
To answer this question lets step anyway from the science and hard facts of business to explore the most effective leading indicator for performance.
Short answer: It starts with leadership
Long answer: It starts with the “right leadership” (service, humility, inspiration, empathy, simplifying the complex)
Consider the following definitions:
Love: warm attachment, enthusiasm, or devotion.
Serve: perform duties or services for another person or an organization.
Care: look after and provide for the needs of others.
Achieve: successfully bring about or reach (a desired objective, level, or result) by effort, skill, or courage
If we combine the definitions, one possible phrase for Love, Serve, Care to Achieve can be summarized as follows:
Enthusiastically devote yourself in service to others within the organization by looking after their needs and successfully reaching your collective goals by applying effort, skill and courage in the marketplace on a daily basis.
Translation: I care about you individually, your goals, family, well-being and want to help you reach your goals because when you win, we all win. Let’s communicate on your goals for next year.
Now consider the following definitions related to business science.
Sales Pipeline: a visual representation of sales prospects and where they are in the purchasing process. Pipelines also provide an overview of a sales rep's account forecast and how close they are to making quota, as well as how close a sales team as a whole is to reaching quota.
EBITDA: is a measure of a company's operating performance. Essentially, it's a way to evaluate a company's performance without having to factor in financing decisions, accounting decisions or tax environments.
Margin: difference between a product or service's selling price and its cost of production or to the ratio between a company's revenues and expenses.
Now let’s combine words from these definitions.
Provide a visually pleasing pipeline such that management can forecast performance, budget, plan, strategize and gauge the companies financial performance.
Nothing wrong with this, but, which definition feels more motivating to you?
Translation: make a bunch of sales calls, enter them into the CRM, track progress and close to increase EBITDA and margin. Then we all win. BTW, based on your current pipeline quota is going up 10% next year.
When we look at Sales Pipeline, ROI, EBITDA, Margin or any other measurements aren’t we really talking about “goals.”
So let’s substitute the word “goals” with our scientific business words into our new Love, Serve, Care to Achieve definition.
“Enthusiastically devote yourself in service to others within the organization by looking after their needs and successfully reaching our collective “sales pipeline, ROI, EBITDA & Margin goals” by applying effort, skill and courage in the marketplace on a daily basis”. When we do this together we all win!
Growth is an organizational challenge that starts with influencing others to achieve great results. With that said, it is also up to the employee’s to Love, Serve, Care to Achieve for each other and the company. The questions is: Are you effectively articulating your vision or why?
Good leaders are able to simplify the complex to help influence positive momentum and results.
Articulate your Why.
Foster a Love, Serve, Care to Achieve environment.
Influence your team to engage in fulfilling the Why
Achieve measurable results.
Results are achieved through trust and mutual respect in an environment of shared success and fun. If we focus solely on the science of business we are potentially motivating through fear. This may be unintentional, but, consider an environment where you work in fear of not hitting your goal versus working for or with each other to achieve a common goal. The only possible cure for focusing solely on metrics is to focus on service to those that depend on us.
Passion and engagement comes from work that has meaning and purpose. We must influence our teams by showing them the meaning and purpose of their work and the impact that it has on their team and the entire organization.
The art of leadership is not a mechanical process, rather, it is a balance between science and relationships. Combined with the right structure, process and accountability Love, Serve, Care to Achieve is the best option for sustained success and is truly the strongest performance indicator.