Remember how we talked about Olympic athletes and competition earlier this week? We’re about to do a complete 180 on the subject and talk about how Olympic athletes compete against themselves.
You won’t want to see how fast your business can do the 40 yard dash—that’s asking for an ambulance—but you will want to constantly measure your performance against your past performance. Is your revenue stream growing? Are you seeing more happier customers and less dissatisfied ones? Is your operation running better than ever before?
Think of yourself as an athlete competing with your own bests. It’s the simplest way to motivate your team to do better than they ever have before.
As always, we have a few quick suggestions for implementing this practice.
- Keep track of your best months, best years and best salespeople and products. If you think there’s room for growth or you just want to get your team revved up, challenge your entire company to beat one or more of those.
- Create incentives, even if it’s something as simple as a pizza party for your workers. Pride is a powerful motivator, but the promise of a reward at the end is just as important.
- On the flip side, keep it positive. It’s only motivating if it’s not a “we get to this level or you’re all fired” kind of deal. I’m sure you’ve been on the receiving end of that kind of “motivation” before, and you know it’s not fun.
One small note of caution: You need to be a little realistic about this. No company grows exponentionally, and very few even grow at a linear rate. It’s an excellent motivating tactic and something to strive for, but you don’t want to set unreachable goals or stubbornly stick to a goal in the face of insurmountable odds. Be better, but be realistic, is all I’m saying.
How often do you attempt to better your best? And as a bonus question for fun, what’s your favorite summer Olympics event?
Photo credit to iStock