I’m sitting in a Monday morning sales meeting and my peers and I sheepishly report our single-digit meetings from last week as our manager writes them on her whiteboard. Then Justin boasts of his nearly twenty meetings.
That’s bullsh*t, we all agree afterwards. I’m out there busting my ass and had six meetings. How did he have nineteen? Is it even possible to have nineteen quality meetings in a week? Who were they with? Did he really do that? Maybe it’s possible if they were really bad appointments, like cold calls. But nineteen?! In one week?!
This is strikingly similar to the conversation I overheard at the gym the other day when some recent WOD results were called into question. There’s no way he did that many reps in that amount of time! There’s no way they can do that many quality reps in that amount of time! I only did this many, but I know my reps were full range.
Later, as I’m driving to a meeting I calm myself down and remind myself that Justin’s pipeline never really produces. He’s always putting up big Monday morning sales activity numbers, and boasting of all of these deals in his pipeline… but few of them ever close. At this point he’s not fooling anyone with his inflated activity numbers. He’s only fooling himself. And then I hear one of my MBA Professor’s voice echo in my head… “What’s the game? What are the rules? And who’s keeping score?”
At work it’s straight forward. The game is sales. And the score keepers, my boss and her boss, only care about closed business. That’s how I’m evaluated and paid. Frankly, they could care less about the activity. It’s all about the results.
At our gym the game is fitness…that is, getting oneself healthier. And the scorekeeper is one’s body. The score is NOT on the whiteboard. The score is; better blood pressure, greater bone density, better blood work, more stamina, more strength, greater flexibility, etc. And the number on the board… that silly number on the board… means NOTHING unless those other things improve. It’s all about the results.
So if it’s all about results why do we care so much about what lies upon the white board? Why do we care about the integrity of that data even if it’s not the score? Because the data, when accurate, correlates to the results. And then we can set the best goals and benchmarks for our own improvement. Call it competition or self preservation
And if the data’s inaccurate, as it often is, we naturally select the data we trust and throw out the outlying data (call it excuse making or another self preservation skill). I start comparing myself to certain colleagues at work- colleagues I respect and I know are or will be successful- and I benchmark myself accordingly. The discussion at the gym fell along the same lines. The individuals that were questioning the integrity of the data admitted to throwing that outlier out and honing in on others’ scores as an appropriate benchmark.
In the end, is what lies upon the whiteboard really important?
It depends. It depends on how you correlate that to the real score-
your personal health… your personal best.