Rick: Transition just a little bit, you’ve long said work is a reflection of who we are. If the work’s sloppy we’re sloppy on the inside. If we’re late then we’re late on the inside. How was our work a reflection of who we are inside?
Michael: Our work, yours and mine obviously is a reflection of it. Just look at the negative words that we used, late, non-productive, lazy, or whatever. If what we do is an expression of that then that’s who we are. It’s very, very simple. We are what we do.
And that’s why I say, how do you test somebody’s sincerity as a new employee? You do that by getting them to do something that is not easy to do, or is disruptive to their point of view.
I’m not a janitor. I’m a top sales guy. What are you, out of your mind?
Rick: Yes, we are. We do it differently here.
Michael: Thank you for that.
Rick: That was not in the plan. We were later sloppy. You’re very not only dressed today, and we’re both early for the call.
Michael: There you go. Understand, the next almost impossible thing you ask them to do, that really isn’t impossible, it’s just in conflict with his own self-worth, his own identification, he’s own personal paradigm.
The next time ask them to do something that isn’t consistent with who he believes he is and how he should be treated will be the other that it resists doing. That’s how you test it. But you got to get it at the beginning, not at the end.
Rick: Would that be a red flag? Would you coach through that or would you cut ties if you saw that red flag? I love what you said about that resistance.
Michael: It depends upon how dramatically negative the experience is. Obviously I cut ties with somebody who simply says now. Goodbye. It’s that simple. Don’t hope for something you do not see right now.
Rick: I absolutely love it.
Michael: For the person to become someone who’s completely different than the one staring you in the face right now. It’s very simple.
The other part of the problem is the company itself. The company itself in many cases doesn’t want to know. It’s gone to such expense, it’s gone to such amount of time invested to bring this person the board.
The last thing it wants to happen is that the person ends up being cut. They don’t want that.
Rick: They’re in denial is what you’re saying.
Michael: They’re in denial themselves.
Michael: And their resistance is creating the problem of this person resistance.
Rick: If we have a systematized franchise model business, and we know how things should do, and we have a young coachable person who… I had this guy in my office. “We need you here. Here’s the way we do it here.” And they learn and they apply. It’s so great though to see them develop, right?
Michael: Absolutely. But you understand also, when you say “This is how we do it here” then you have to say what that means is that there are very specific requirements to learn.
It’s just like becoming a black belt in karate. There are very specific requirements to go through the process.
It’s just like becoming a master of trout fishing, you don’t just do it. You need to learn how to do it, and develop a mastery added.
There is a process for everything we do. Everybody comes in you understand, with all the stuff they’ve learned out there. And much of that stuff they’ve learned out there is in conflict with the stuff we’re going to be teaching them in here.
And if that’s not true then there’s something basically wrong with the company that’s doing it. You understand, we aren’t hiring people because of what they know. We’re hiring people because of what they are determined to learn.
Rick: And just launching on that what I see with a lot of managers is they don’t know the fundamental knowledge of the job they’re hiring for. So they don’t really know the systemization and all the expectations of that role. And so they’re [Inaudible 00:05:38], right?
Michael: That’s because they don’t think systematically. In short in those companies the system isn’t the solution, better people are. And the problem why the [Inaudible 00:05:50] better people are, that’s where the conundrum comes through. Because how do you define then better people.
Rick: Let me take a stab at that because I was going to ask you that, how about people who can update your mastery to a higher level and do it faster with a higher degree of purpose and alignment, to me that’s a better person.
Michael: Absolutely. But mostly people who are there to grow. They’ve already made a commitment I wish to grow. Let me tell you what I imagine myself becoming 5 years from now they say, 10 years from now. What kind of picture for you, is that possible here?
I understand they’re not going to say that to you. They’re going to hide because they don’t want to challenge or threaten the possibility of this new job right at the very beginning. The manager has got to deal with that.
The manager’s got to have a process, you have the new person to find the outcome, the new person herself/himself wishes to pursue. And to help that person to find that would be the very first time they’ve ever done that on a job.
Rick: And isn’t that the juncture you speak of of how exciting it is with what we know and what we don’t know, right?
Michael: Absolutely. So you see when this provocative process is engaged in something new occurs between employer and employee that never existed before. It’s the rarest of companies that actually do this, other than those companies that do something like this to manipulate the people they hire.
Rick: What would you call that where it exists and what would you call it in that manipulation phase? Could you give a couple of examples? I’m really curious what that magic sweet spot should involve?
Michael: Very simply, in most companies that are copying what apple did, copying etc. and so forth what a McDonald’s does, copying what the most successful companies do they’re not living it authentically. They’re not really walking the talk, and they’re not talking the walk. They’re essentially using tools. That’s why I hate that word so much. They’re using tools to affect a result that they have not been able to get so far.
But you can’t use tools unless you’ve mastered the tools you intend to use. And the only way you’re going to master the tools you intend to use is to use them authentically. And the only way you can use them authentically is if you truly go on the mat with your sensei, with your martial arts teacher. You truly go on the mat in earnest and begin the practice from the very beginning with as I’ve said a blank piece of paper and beginner’s mind.
That blank piece of paper and beginner’s mind has to exist in the management system of a company. In other words, the school isn’t just for them. The school is for each and every one of us. The school is the environment, the culture within which we live and work, and it affects everybody from the CEO down to the most ignominious individual in the corporation. Everybody goes to school.