21 March 2011

What’s the worst thing that could happen if…?

When I was working in Sydney in the early 1990s, I was part of a very good temp recruitment team. The temp business, Temporary Solutions, was run by Greg Savage nationally. The Sydney team was lead by Bronwyn Allen, a very experienced temp recruiter, and in the team besides me, were three other very good recruiters, Michelle, Jocellin and Andrena (who all eventually opened their own recruitment agencies).

We were doing well and the market was picking up out of the early 1990s recession. Things were looking very bright. Then Bronwyn and Greg announced that they wanted our team to lift its game to another level. Their idea was to start work at 8am and have a vacant job meeting every day at that time.

Up until that point, we had all been arriving at work between 8am and 8.30am and our vacant job meetings were more ad hoc than planned. Of course the team didn't like  this new starting time.

As I took the ferry to work every day, this meant catching a ferry about 40 minutes earlier than I had previously done. I was not happy.

I mean how much difference could this new starting time make?

In spite our incessant moaning, Bronwyn wouldn't budge and our new starting time and daily job meeting stayed in place.

Within a couple of weeks our results improved further. Within a couple of months we were smashing our targets and we were all proud of our team's work ethic and that we were clearly gaining significant ground on our competitors.

I decided to go a step further and take the 6.50am ferry so I arrived at work at 7.25am each day to enable me to have a coffee and catch up on any reading or make any early calls (these were the days before email so I had no Inbox to review and reply to).

By 9am each day I had built a lot of momentum and confidence. My results continued to improve. It was obvious to me how much difference my early start was making.

What's the worst thing that could happen if you decided to get out of your comfort zone and make, what might be, an uncomfortable decision about an aspect of your desk or your business?

What the worst thing that could happen if you ...


I mean, REALLY, what's the worst thing that can happen if you made a decision TODAY to seriously lift your game and do something different, CONSISTENTLY?

  1. Returned EVERY call that you received?
  2. Said ‘no’ every time a client asked for a discount?
  3. Wrote tomorrow’s 'To Do' list every day before you left the office?
  4. Never kept a candidate waiting for longer than 2 minutes in reception before starting your interview with them?
  5. Declined to provide any further referrals to a client if they refused to interview any of your shortlisted candidates without very specific reasons?
  6. Said ‘can we talk about this later’ whenever a colleague interrupted you to talk about something trivial or not work-related?
  7. Pro-actively called ALL your platinum (top 20%) active perm candidates every week?
  8. Pro-actively called ALL your temps or contractors every week during their assignment for you?
  9. Visited your Top 6 clients every month?
  10. Included a cancellation or withdrawal fee for perm roles?
  11. Made 10 client or prospect telephone calls before 10am each day?
  12. Stopped advertising on job boards for a month and forced yourself to use your existing database to source candidates for all your vacant jobs?
  13. Transferred all relevant details from manual candidate files onto your candidate database file and then archived the manual file so your only source of information about your candidates was the database?
  14. Reverse marketed one top candidate to five companies every week?
  15. Took one placed candidate to lunch every month?
  16. Invited, and paid for, one client and one prospect to join you at a networking lunch every month?
  17. Started your work day half an hour earlier and left for the day 15 minutes earlier?
  18. Ate lunch with a colleague from outside your direct team once a month?
  19. Called each client to thank them for paying their invoice promptly (when they do so)?
  20. Called each candidate on the last day of their temp assignment to thank them for the work they have done and furthering your (and your company’s) reputation?
  21. Took 30 minutes each week to go somewhere quiet, away from your desk, to review your past week’s activities and results and to plan your upcoming week?
I mean, REALLY, what's the worst thing that can happen if you made a decision TODAY to seriously lift your game and do something different, CONSISTENTLY?

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