Trust yourself and nerve!
Virgil once wrote: When in doubt, do not give priority to the wiser, but to the persistent. He will win in the long run. ”And it is said of Cato the Elder:“ Ceterum censeo, Carthaginem esse delendam. ”What does that mean to us?
Quite simply: What do you do if you have not yet achieved the success you would like to have in a certain matter? Give it a try: dare to persevere. Do not let up! Be a nuisance!
This supermen and women’s recipe for success is so simple that many managers fail to understand it. I often ask them: "If you have two employees who are absolutely comparable in terms of their performance - who still gets a higher salary?" The answer is simple. Do you know her? It reads: The one who negotiates more often and harder with you about his salary.
Why women earn less than men
This is well documented logically and empirically. And by the way, one of the reasons why women in comparable positions still earn less than their male colleagues: On average, women conduct less and less intensive salary discussions than men and are more likely to be satisfied with less. Short and bad:
You are not persistent enough. Women of all countries: don't give up! Be annoying and get on your nerves - if you have to! If you know a recipe for success that is even easier, I'll be happy to invite you over for coffee. You won't find any. This advice is so ridiculously and absurdly simple that it is seldom heeded in business. Shouldn't we change that? Let's look at such an incredible story as an example:
Incredibly weak? Or just very communicative?
We had been going around in circles for a whole morning in a marathon meeting: our project was stuck. At most the development manager could have helped. But he was bound by other obligations all day. Sometime around noon, a young manager from our team disappeared from the meeting. We thought he had roped off. Then he reappeared shortly before 16 p.m. - with the development manager in tow.
We were amazed: “How did you manage that?” The youngster shrugged his shoulders: “I've been camping in front of his office for the last four hours. Every time he went out or in again, I got on his nerves. "The development manager grinned and said:" I don't really have a spare minute today! But if someone is as persistent as your colleague ... So what can I do for you? ”I was speechless.
Most managers don't dare to be persistent
Because what the newbie had achieved was not just a surprising appointment. It was actually an impossibility a priori. The development manager is known for the fact that as a meticulous engineer he has never promised a single spontaneous appointment in 27 years. "He doesn't even go to the bathroom if it's not in Outlook," joke its developers. Unless someone is so annoying to him. Why didn't anyone else on our team dare to do that? Why the young colleague of all people? The answer to this is as banal as it is surprising:
Most managers don't dare to be persistent. This is a surprise indeed. Managers are believed to be tough, to walk over dead bodies. This may apply to some things, but very few risk becoming a nuisance to others - even if it serves the cause. As always, I lead by a bad example.
I wasn't annoying enough
At some point I toyed with the idea of writing a book. As soon as I had expressed this wish out loud, there was a fair around me! Everyone was suddenly an expert in the field and poured me well-intentioned advice. I was grateful for everyone and I obeyed them all. I studied books on book-writing by the kilo, filled out the exercise sheets at a writing school - and after two years I hadn't published two lines. To do this, I followed around 200 expert advice. I suffered. I puzzled. I didn't get the funnel. Which is typical. Not just for me:
We prefer to follow expert tips that will get us nowhere than show perseverance and piss off the people who matter. Why do we trust so-called experts and don't just dare to be a nuisance to important decision-makers? Difficult question, simple answer: Because we don't dare! We don't dare to do what our common sense tells us to do. When I finally listened to my common sense (as the Austrian likes to say), it revealed to me that even 100 outlines would not lead to a single published book page. If I wanted to publish a book, I had to be a nuisance to someone. Obviously someone who publishes books.
Be annoying - but purposeful!
This conclusion leads to the first dare! Crucial to specify: Dare to be a nuisance especially to those who can do the most for you. And in my case, they weren't experts or coaches for authors, but editors and publishing managers. If you were to tap your forehead now and ask how the cobbler could be so stupid not to think of it sooner, I would advise you to keep your finger in your pocket. Because this mix-up of addressees is a universal management problem:
The fact that managers are so busy and still constantly have the feeling that they are not achieving enough is also because they get on the nerves of the wrong people. It is the same for all operational departments. But this mix-up has a particularly catastrophic effect on sales. Let's look at an example: Get on the nerves of the right person! When sales went down in the last economic crisis, some did Companywho still had the money, loose advertising budgets. For example also Max, sales manager of a service provider. He said to his key accounts: “Each of you gets 50.000 euros! Place advertisements in the print media of your business customers! «How do you rate this measure?
Those who dare will be rewarded
Would you have done that too? Verena, one of the key accounts, did not follow the request. She dared something. Firstly, she dared to question her boss's offer (out of earshot, of course): "What are the ads supposed to bring?" And secondly, she dared to offend some people. And the right people: their customers. She called a handful of them and asked why they had such weak demand for services that would save them money in the crisis. The customers replied: “We would like to respond to these offers. But by the time we have negotiated the order with you, the market situation has changed again. Your offer is simply not flexible enough. «So Verena made some service offers more flexible and, in the middle of the crisis, made 5 percent more sales within three months.
Her ad colleagues didn't even get a black zero because they pestered the wrong people. Verena's colleagues pissed off a lot of people: the ad managers they haggled with for discounts that drove them away from hearing and seeing. They pissed off Max by lamenting the "far too high sales targets". They became a nuisance to each other with their whining. And they pissed Verena with their questions when her sales went up inexorably: "How do you do that? Do you sleep with the customers? ”The amateur is a nuisance to all kinds of people. Superman only annoys those who pave the direct path to success for him.
If the customer is not asked
The sales department has turned the disregard for this principle into a religion: Everything is taken care of there. About multi-million dollar advertising campaigns, about sales partners and dealers, about sales strategy and new products - just not about customers. The product developers also think so: Just think about how long it took for the apple spritzer to hit the market. People have been mixing apple juice with mineral water for 30 years, until the ingenious product developers of the sleepy beverage manufacturers finally came up with the glorious idea of filling this mixture in bottles right away. Why did it take so long? Because everyone has a say in product development: the manager, the engineer, the chemist, the salesperson? Only one not: the customer!
Daniel Goeudevert once said that in his early days at a French car dealer, the sales situation was just as precarious as it is today. What did Goeudevert and his colleagues do? They moved from house to house in their town and asked the owners of old cars if they were interested in a new model. In short, they knocked on their customers' door and possibly pissed them off. And what are car salesmen doing today? They send out beautiful brochures and advertise. They don't attract any attention because they don't get on anyone's nerves.
Scared of the rejection: You don't deserve the success
Why not? Because they're scared. Scared of the customer, afraid of rejection. Afraid of being a nuisance to the right people. Which is understandable. And human. But what doesn't change that: If you want to be successful, you have to be persistent. Many people cannot do that, so they should take it to heart: To be persistent, even when you get annoying, is contrary to popular opinion not a bothersome vice, but a useful skill. If you don't persevere, you won't be taken seriously either.
If you can't be a nuisance, you don't deserve success. That is actually logical. Nevertheless, quite a few board members do not dare to do it themselves. What you have to imagine: the parents invest a huge amount of money in their offspring so that they graduate from high school, then go to a good business school and then do the MBA - and then the boy or the girl can't even really get on their nerves afterwards when it counts. Why is that?
Nerve yourself to success
If something is not moving fast enough on any matter, ask yourself: is there a lack of persistence? Who should I really worry about with this thing? The incredible thing about this recipe for success is not that it is extremely trivial. What is incredible is how much its validity is ignored in business and in life in general.
When I tell this story, most of them reply: "But that can't be done!" Why not? “Because I can't get on the boss's nerves like that!” I didn't understand the objection for a long time - until I realized: Most people confuse “being annoying” with “being cheeky”.
Annoying, not cheeky!
Have you got your extra pay raise this year? I know a lot of people who get one every year. Even and especially in times of economic crises. When I heard this for the first time many years ago, I asked one of those lucky guys, “What? Do you have a salary interview every year? "He laughed and said:" Only one? As many as necessary until the boss says yes! "
And suddenly you realize that things are not as simple, simple and banal as you might have suspected above. Rather, it is a skill that makes high demands. For example, you have to be able to differentiate: Those who want to show perseverance should know and master the difference between "annoying" and "disrespectful".
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