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Personal Effectiveness Training - How to Out Perform Others

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Posted 21 December 2009 by Chris FarmerChris Farmer

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Personal effectiveness training: How to outperform the others by a factor of three

Everyone has the same amount of time per day. We each have 24 hours. No more. No less. And yet when you look at the variation in the amount of productivity produced by different people, in the same amount of time, it is obvious that there is a wide discrepancy in the results.

In a team of people operating in the same context, with the same conditions and with the same class of clients, some members of the team, (a small minority) will consistently outperform the others. A minority will get more useful work done, more effectively, in the same amount of time.

For example, I used to work with a company in Canterbury: a sales office with 50 sales people. One chap, called Roger, outsold the other members of the team every month, for years, by a factor of 3.

Same products, same customer base, same constraints, same amount of time, but different output.

The others in the office said: "Roger keeps earning more bonus than the rest of us. It's not fair!"

The question I was interested in was, how Roger did it?

I made some investigations and here are the differences between Roger and the rest.

  1. Roger was serious about making sales. Roger had personal goals to invest in property and in order to do that, he needed money to invest. He saw himself as a self-employed person who was using the facilities and products and customer base of the company he worked for, as a means of achieving his own goals. Meaning Roger was highly self-motivated.

  2. Roger was motivated and therefore he took his sales, seriously. Many of the others, were a little late to their phones. They were a little late back from tea break; they were first out the door at 5pm.
    Roger was a little early in the mornings, making calls before 0900. Roger was a little late leaving, making calls at 5.15. These calls especially the early calls, made a significant difference to his sales, over the month.

  3. Roger chatted to his customers a lot more than he did chat with his office colleagues. Roger spent his time chatting and making friends with his buyers, on the phones, and spent a lot less time chatting and making friends with other salespeople inside the office. This even caused the manager to say to me, "Roger is not a team player".

    I said, "I disagree. Roger is the best team player. He does more for the team than any other member. Team player does not denote a willingness to chat about the football. Team player denotes helping the team to achieve its targets. Please do not ever tell Roger that he is not a "team player". That would be untrue and unfair.

    The manager said, "I had never looked at it in that way."

  4. Roger is very organised and systematic. Roger is extremely systematic and organised in relation to all things work related. He keeps detailed files on his customers, their histories. He always follows through on call backs. He is always sure to record everything that was said in conversations so that he knew the "state of play" for any customer. Simply put, Roger was a professional who was good with managing information.

Summary: what can we learn from Roger?


Here are the key differences between roger and the rest. Make a note and learn a lesson.

  1. Roger had a long range goal, and used that long range ambitious goal to motivate himself to do more than the average person
    Question: Do you have a long range ambitious goal that is motivating you to do more than the average person.
  2. Roger worked a little harder than the average person
    Question: do you work harder than the average person? Or not?
  3. Roger did not waste time chatting endlessly with colleagues about non-work related issuers, or about issues that are work related but of no value. Roger did not spend any time complaining about the management, the customers, the latest changes and cuts in funding. Instead of that roger focused on results.
    Question: how much time do you spend complaining about the management, the customers, and the latest changes?
  4. Roger was very organised and systematic. He was tidy. He knew where to find any piece of information instantly. Everything was tabulated, classified and in the right place. He kept a tidy desk.

Question:
Are you organised and systematic, or are you disorganised and unsystematic.
Do you keep a tidy desk, or is your workstation a mess?

We recommend:
You motivate yourself by setting a long range ambitious goal.
You work harder than the average person.
You don't spend much time complaining about the management, the customers, or the recent changes.
You try to become much more systematic and organised in the way you deal with work related issues.

In that way you will be able to get more done in the same amount of time.

Outperform your colleagues by a factor of 3.

Thank you.

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