How to Enchant Employees

I read the great book Enchantment by Guy Kawasaki (@guykawasaki). It’s terrific and highly recommended. But since I’ve worked for all types of bosses, and I’ve been a boss, I really enjoyed this part on how to enchant your employees.

I suggest you clip this post and hand it to your boss.

Chapter 10 – How to Enchant Employees

Here are some specific recommendations Guy makes for businesses to enchant their employees.

  1. Provide a MAP
    Mastery – Help people improve their skills
    Autonomy – Don’t tell people what to do
    Purpose – Give people meaning
  2. Empower them to do the right thing
    “Your best employees want to serve and delight your customers. “One easy way to enchant your employees is to empower them to do the right thing for customers.”(An Eastern Region VP at a large BI software company after I told him of a call from a very upset IT manager who said she was about to be fired, said “It’s not your problem. Go sell another client.”  Is that enchantment?)
    She was not fired – her boss was.Years later I tracked down the fired executive and apologized on behalf of my stupid management. This former VP was thrilled!
  3. Address your (the boss’s) shortcomings first
    Enchanted employees are inspired and not scared. Look at yourself before you look at employees. How many performance reviews have you ever had where your boss started by saying ‘I think I could have provided you with better management.‘(A UK search marketing firm owner believed in threatening the job security of employees – terrifying them – regardless of performance. Is this enchantment?)
  4. Don’t Ask Employees to do Things You Would Not Do
    Are you willing to fly across the globe in coach? Answer ALL of your email? Come in early and stay late? Empty the trash? Make photocopies? If not, you’re not enchanting.
  5. Celebrate success – the right way.
    Winning binds the team and overcomes many failures. So you should celebrate team wins. But don’t be extravagant and awesome, but fun and cool. Touring on a bus to visit customers is cool and enchanting. Having a small software company book Jimmy Buffet to perform for a company party is extravagant. (A product content software company after an IPO)
  6. Find a Devil’s Advocate
    Someone whose role is to argue against company decisions can be a powerful check and protection. It helps a company avoid mistakes and gives employees a sounding board. It’s a great way to enchant.

What do you think? Do you have other examples of enchanting bosses? Or examples of non-enchanting bosses? We love comments and people who share.

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Jeff Ogden (@fearlesscomp) is President of the B2B lead generation consultancy, Find New Customers and is determined to make his company Enchanting.

To learn about Jeff, please click Who is the Fearless Competitor?

Find New Customers helps companies (with between 150 and 5,000 employees who sell complex products to businesses) to implement world-class lead generation programs. As companies struggle to create quality sales opportunities, they turn to lead generation companies like Find New Customers.

Find New Customers can certainly help your business dramatically improve the flow of sales-ready leads to salespeople.” Paul Dunay, Buzz Marketing for Technology.

3 thoughts on “How to Enchant Employees

  1. Love this post, and this topic.
    Throughout my career I have worked for great and not-so-great managers. The biggest difference? The great managers inspired people and made them feel like they were part of something bigger than themselves. You can get a certain amount of production out of a person simply because you are in charge. You can get a lot more productivity out of a person when you have earned their loyalty by being an inspirational leader. We all want to be on the side that’s winning, and we all want to know someone’s got our back. When we have that, we will work our #$^*%$@^(‘s off!

    There’s no magic formula to produce this kind of loyalty. It’s a matter of conversing, interacting; being real and giving people what they need to be part of the community of success. Great post!

    Don F Perkins

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