Author Archives: Rose Mary Hefley

Five Reasons People Don’t Do What We Want Them To Do

In business we have learned there are basically five reasons why employers and employees don’t accomplish what they need to. Here’s how to make success a habit for yourself in your business endeavors and for your company.

First, employees must know what to do. Most people want to do a good job. Ah, but if they only understood what a good job looks like. What may be considered a good job by one person may not fit the specifications of another.

Leaders will make the vision, purpose, and values of the organization clear. It’s important to provide job descriptions that clearly identify expectations that determine success in a particular position. Leaders provide feedback and evaluations so that employees know when they’re doing a good job (and when they aren’t ).

Communicate what success is. Reinforce it. Success becomes a habit. Good leaders may know this intuitively or have learned it along the way.

Yes, leadership skills can be learned. I don’t   think anybody is a born leader. I think that people are born with certain characteristics, and, as they develop, they can improve upon those characteristics. But leadership is not something you learn overnight. I believe it’s a process.

There are leadership techniques you can learn, and if you learn them gradually and implement them as you’re learning them, and tracking and measuring your performance,  you’re going to be able to have something solid and something lasting.

A leader, is a visionary. Being the visionary and then communicating that vision to the right people, putting them in the right positions, teaching them the skills and the knowledge that they need to perform their functions – that’s leadership. Then get out of their way.

Second, employees must know how to do a good job. Let me share a story about a young woman who was supervising in a light manufacturing plant. The plant was a start-up operation, and this rooky was responsible for getting the plant operational and for insuring the success of the operation once it started running. A daunting task?  Yes.

The plant opened on time, and the operations started to smooth out. It was very important to this young supervisor for everyone in the plant to perform up to maximum capability. This meant that employees needed to be on time, to do their job correctly, and to perform in a manner that was professional and safe.

The biggest problem was that many of the workers didn’t  have a sense of urgency when it came to accomplishing tasks. When work needed to be done, people needed to be in the right place at the right time doing the right things. There was no time for chit-chat. The supervisor had work to do and expectations to meet. Those who didn’t  comply were fired.

About nine months after plant opening, our young heroine’s plant was visited by the VP of Operations. The VP expressed gratitude to the supervisor for her commitment to the project. He went on to say that, even though they appreciated her effort and hard work, perhaps they had made a mistake in hiring her.

What? She was shocked. As it turned out, her plant had the highest turnover rate of all their plants in the country. The VP informed her that when the turnover is as high as it was in her plant, it is not the fault of the employees, but lack of leadership and management skills on HER PART. Even though our heroine had the background and the technical skills for the position, she lacked the empathy and knowledge to lead people.

Our young supervisor, of course, was stunned to think that other people were criticizing her performance when they just didn’t understand how hard her job was, and that workers who did not want to cooperate had to be let go, and if they didn’t want to work under the conditions that required them to do their job right, they could leave. Her life lesson was about to begin.

The VP presented her with three options: She could resign. Together they would develop a cover story to protect her and the organization. Or, two, she could be fired. Again, they would agree on a cover story to protect her reputation and the organization’s. Or, three, she could agree to learn what she didn’t  know about what she didn’t  know and be on a six-month probation.

Our heroine moved quickly from being  unconsciously incompetent to becoming aware that she was  consciously incompetent. She had a choice to make. She could blame others, and react from fear and be angry, or she could choose the path of integrity and make choices that allowed her to improve and redeem herself. She chose to learn what she didn’t  know about what she didn’t  know.

Today she is grateful that her employer gave her an opportunity to grow as a leader and as an individual. So my challenge to you is this: Ask yourself what you could do better. The signs are all there. Are you aware of the direction they are pointing you?

Many people are over-managed, but under-led. When employees are empowered and clear about their objectives, and if they have the ability to execute, you can’t  help but be successful. In fact, I think that instead of referring to the people in the organization as employees, if you really work with providing them the information that they need, they can become partners in the success of that organization.

I conduct sales training for various organizations and always find it interesting that as we are talking about organizational development and companies are hiring people, they say, We only hire experienced salespeople, because, if they have sold before, they’ll be successful for us. And then something happens and we find out they’re not successful. Why?

It is important to provide new hires with training about your organization and about what makes your organization special. If you don’t   provide employees with the opportunity to learn the skills that you want them to know in your organization, you are short-changing that employee and you are short-changing yourself.

Training is not a luxury. It’s a necessity. You are helping employees become successful. The only thing worse than losing a trained employee is keeping an untrained one. And with that said, the question that comes to mind is this: What do you need to learn how to do to be more successful? To make this your best year yet?

Many times when I begin a new supervisory and leadership program, there is some resistance from the participants. At the beginning of the class the most often-asked question is this one: How do I get employees to do what I want them to do? At about the midway point in the class, the light bulb goes on. These same people finally realize they didn’t  know what they didn’t  know. Think about it.

Third, people may not be as effective as they could be because they are not in an environment that supports their success or perhaps they don’t have the necessary resources. They have two choices: Communicate what they need (and why) to someone who can do something about it, or leave the environment.

You’ve heard this before, but it bears repeating here: People don’t   leave companies, they leave bosses. At least 21 percent of all turnover happens because employees do not like their environment (read that: bosses). Again, choices can be made.

When we have done surveys of employees to find out what type of training they felt was necessary, the overwhelming majority of those responding felt that communication was a real issue in their workplaces. Lack of communication! And what you might find interesting is that communication is about the least taught skill. If you don’t   have effective communication from the top of your organization, the people who are expected to do the work will not be able to perform in a satisfactory manner.

So what needs to be communicated? The vision of the organization, the purpose, and the values, the code of conduct, if you will. If the leaders of the organization are not clear about their vision, mission, purpose, and core values, then the rest of the company is not going to be able to meet expectations. Every employee deserves to know where he or she fits in an organization. They deserve job descriptions and feedback on performance. They deserve to be coached and mentored and treated the way they want to be treated.

A leader must communicate effectively. A leader must also provide the training and development and to make sure that employees have a safe environment and that employees have all the resources they need to do the job. For example, are there enough people in a department to accomplish the tasks? Are the computers loaded with the right software to do the work?

Environment, of course, doesn’t  mean the temperature is too hot or too cold! I’m talking about stress and tension levels. Low morale and lowered productivity. Twenty-one percent of turnover comes from people who don’t   want to be working in a particular environment anymore. Almost a fourth of a workforce at any one time may not be happy with the environment, the boss. They will be leaving you.

I think that much of the stress in today’s workplace comes from employees not wanting to be where they are  at work. They’re not bad people, they just weren’t  trained properly. They don’t  have the resources to do their jobs, because no one communicated the company goals and expectations.  A flawed hiring process coupled with poor or no training is now showing up as low morale and high level of tension and stress.  Sound familiar?

In a recent non-managerial survey only 25 percent of employees responded they felt engaged and took pride in their work. Another 25 percent felt they could be more productive, and the rest (50 percent) said they were only putting enough time and effort and energy into their jobs to keep their jobs. For a business owner this is scary. That means there is a lot of waste in the organization.

Stress happens when people don’t  know where they’re going or what they’re doing or why they’re doing it. Some stress is good stress. Even productive and creative. But the bad stress occurs when employees are constantly putting out fires. People don’t  come to work for our reasons; they come to work for their reasons.

When employees are given the opportunity to set their own goals, when they understand where they fit in the organization, when they understand the importance of the role they play on a team, they will generate good stress versus bad stress. I believe that when people know who they are, where they are going, and how to get there, then the stress is not a big factor.

Fourth, employees may not be successful because they just don’t  have the aptitude. There are a lot of things I can’t do. I could not take a car or a computer apart and put it back together. Guess what? I don’t  want to either. I also know I don’t  have the aptitude to be in a stationary position for a long period of time. My energy level is too high. I need to move around. I am good at speaking, listening, and problem solving, but not administrative or routine tasks. So if you’re trying to put a round peg into a square hole, it isn’t going to fit.

I recommend that, when companies are hiring people who are the  right fit for the organization, communicate your vision and passion for your business. Look for people who resonate with that same energy. More than 66 percent of all hires prove to be mistakes within the first year.

My fellow Omahan, Warren Buffett, has often been quoted as saying,  If you are looking for someone to hire, you want them to have integrity, intelligence and initiative. If they don’t  have the first, you really want to hire them dumb and lazy because the other two will kill you. The leadership of any organization must be quite clear about the direction they want to go and be very effective about communicating that direction to the right people.

The lesson here: Hire the right people doing the right things in the right order, and you will increase their chances (and yours) to be successful.

Fifth, employees need to want to be successful. How many people do you know who say that they should quit smoking, but continue to smoke? Until they decide they want to quit, they won’t. There are payoffs to hanging onto vices, and there are payoffs to staying stuck.

Quite frankly, you may find that employees don’t  do what you want them to do because they just don’t  want to. That’s what we would call an  attitude,  and if it’s an attitude problem, then we need to find out what went wrong. And chances are the problem can be pinpointed to one of these areas: communication, training, or environment. In that case you will need to find a way either to correct that, or to make the tough decision and let the person go. It’s the job of the leader to make the people on your team successful.

Creating a High Performance Culture

The highly successful companies we have studied all have the same common denominators.  They are guided by a compelling vision, driven by core values, and believe and develop the potential of their most important resource, their people.

Basically there are five prerequisites for business success.

1) You must have a quality product or service:   People forget the price of a service or a  product if it does not meet expectations. What they do rememeber is that they are not satisfied and will not buy from you again. Quality is remembered long after the price of the item has been forgotten.

2) Proper timing in the market place:    For all of you who remember the Y2K hype, the year 2000 would not be a good time to be starting a computer hardware company.

3) Capital and the ability to manage it effectively:  For longivity start-up business ventures  need to achieve sufficient ROI to repay stockholders and provide working capital to sustain business growth.

4) High performing  personnel: In the words of Warren Buffet, “When you are looking for to people to hire, you look for these three qualities: integrity, intelligence and initiative.  And if they don‘t have the first, the other two will kill you. If you hire somebody without the first, you really want them dumb and lazy.

5) High performing leadership and management. This one is the foundation for the other four.  As I have worked with business  owners and managers,  the most common question I hear is; why don’t people just do what I want them to do?”  The problem is because the employee can’t perform up to standards they are  not aware of, and perform from a script they have not been given.   Leadership must provide a vision, communicate purpose, and have a mission  that resonates in the marketplace through the performance of the team.

Leadership & Management:

In a recent survey of non-managerial employees only 25% of the people said they had any pride in their work.  50% said they only put enough time and energy into their job to keep the job, and 25% admitted they could be more productive if they felt there was a reason to be.

Effective Leadership must exist throughout the organization because success is in direct proportion the quality and quantity of the service we render.  Our challenge is making sure, on a daily basis we render the highest levels of quality service,  in how  we manufacture, produce and market  our  products.  We can do this when we are customer focused and everyone understands what successful customer relationships are about.  If you want to conduct an inexpensive customer survey, conduct an audit of your internal customers, the results will parallel the opinions of your external customers.

In many organizations we find people  micro managed, under lead,  and under inspired!  We don’t need to manage people. We need to manage tasks and lead people.

If your organization is experiencing high turnover and low morale, have hope, because leadership can be learned, and with practice can be perfected. The reality is you are successful as a leader only when the value of what you produce is greater than the cost of producing it. Also, you must get high levels of quality performance from other people — and that includes every member of the organization. The challenge in today’s world is not so much in training workers, but in teaching managers to lead.

The real purpose of management and leadership is to provide for the continuation of the organization.  Leaders who take the approach of innovation and growth recognize if the organization is to continue, it cannot continue as it is today.

Just as we need to meet the people needs and solve the people problems of our external customer base, we must be in a position to do the same thing for our internal customers. If we are to get voluntary cooperation and effort from other people, we must create a culture where everyone feels like a winner.

Organizational Success: Your organization can reach goals with a clear plan of action and a well-communicated vision. So the question is: What are you doing today to lay a foundation that will bring out the leadership qualities within your organization?

The need or for high quality leadership is no less required or less prevalent than any time in the past.

With the population changes  world wide we are going to have to be proactive to beat the coming shortage of skills and talent.

For information on developing leaders in your organization call:  Achievement Unlimited, Inc.


Thoughts about Leadership

Thoughts about Leadership

An employer recently asked me, If people have not learned how to be responsible employees, before I hire them, is it really my responsibility to provide them with life skills training? He then answered his own question.  He said, If I want to have a successful company, not only do I have to make sure the employees learn what they need to know, but I must be more effective in getting everybody on the same page.

What is the difference between high performing organizations and organizations that struggle along with the same problems, day after day, year after year, until they finally hang it all up?

As we study organizations to identify what makes the difference between a great place to work, and a place that is not so great, we find there are definite differences in the characteristics of the environments.

The difference is in the quality of leadership.

The good news is, leadership can be learned, and with practice, can be perfected.

Let us begin by defining some words that are often overused, but not always properly understood.

Integrity: The quality of being honest and trustworthy, a condition of being whole, and not separated into parts.

An effective leader is honest, not only when convenient, but also because it is the right way to be. Children justify cheating in school because their parents teach them it is okay to cheat. When adults brag about cheating on taxes they are teaching that it is okay to lie to keep from being inconvenienced. It really is not okay. Are we modeling the behavior we want in our place of business, and in our homes? Do we practice Integrity in all of our actions?

Productivity: is always the result of a commitment to excellence, intelligent planning, and focused effort. You are effective as a leader when the value of what you produce is greater than the cost of producing it. High-level productivity, innovation and growth, never exist where slavery is present. Far too many managers think their employees come to work to meet the manager’s needs. Employees come to work for their reasons, not to please management. We get voluntary cooperation only when people can get their own needs met. Just as we need to meet the human needs and solve the problems of our customer’s externally, we must be in a position to do the same thing internally.

Leadership: The art of moving individuals and groups toward a common vision “ each individual and the organization will achieve mutually fulfilling goals.

  • What are ineffective leadership skills doing to your bottom line?
  • Do you have a clearly communicated vision and mission for your organization?
  • How can people follow if you don’t let them know where you are going?
  • What do people say about your organization when they are not at work?

Leader: is every one of us who has accepted a role where someone can watch us. Effective leaders have a vision, and are optimistic.

  • What would it take to become the type of leader that people want to follow?
  • What behavior traits do you want to improve that will increase your leadership skills?
  • A well-balanced leader has goals in all areas of life, family, educational, social, career, financial, spiritual, physical and mental health. What Goals do you need to set today to be, to have and to live your best life?

Responsibility: means the ability to choose your response to a given situation. The results we experience in our lives are the results of the choices we make.

Success depends on your ability to take personal responsibility for the choices you make at work, at school, at home and in relationships. Daily you are faced with changes, challenges, and choices. A successful leader will not leave their future to chance. You choose success when you take action to live your life by practicing personal leadership habits.

Success is a Choice — Success is a habit!

Sales Prospecting Letters – A 3-part Formula

It’s not about you

A common mistake made in sales prospecting letters is the overuse of the “I” word.

Recently I received a letter from a company introducing their offerings and was struck by how many times the word “I” was used. In three paragraphs the author used the word 19 times.

The letter was about the person’s passion, her practice, her credentials, and her accomplishments. The author of this letter was more concerned about herself than about the benefits she was offering. She didn’t offer me any solutions. She didn’t identify any problems I might have that she could help with. She just told me how great she was.   “So What?” I thought; what does this have to do with the issues I need to solve?

The 3-part formula

When sending out sales prospecting letters or proposals, think in terms of the other person’s interests.

Identify what you do, what is the result of what you do (aka the feature), what is the benefit, and what is the real value to the customer. So think:

  • Feature
  • Benefit
  • Value

Example: After a massage from XYZ Massage you will feel like a new person [result] because XYZ Massage has developed a technique that reduces stress [feature]. The advantage to you is that you will feel better [benefit], but the real value to you is that you will be able have more patience and be less reactive [value].

So remember, all your credentials don’t mean a thing to your prospect unless they understand what benefit they will gain from working with you. In the end, it’s all about the prospect’s needs, not your own achievements.

Employee theft takes on a new form

Gift cards are not just for giving.  An article in the New York Times this week suggests that the ubiquitous cards are becoming a favorite way for dishonest employees to steal from their employers.   The story notes that the plastic wallet stuffers are especially difficult to trace.  ID is not generally required when the cards are redeemed and they can be easily sold on internet auction sites, usually for close to face value.

It’s yet another case of new technology being used by the unscrupulous to steal from their bosses.  Many employers probably feel that they are fighting a losing battle as each new anti-theft system is met with ever increasing ingenuity by sticky fingered employees.  This battle is not inevitable.  The way to stop the ever escalating cycle is to not let it start.  How?  Businesses must identify job applicants with improper attitudes regarding theft. If these applicants are not hired, they won’t have the opportunity to construct new systems for the stealthy removal of merchandise.

Unfortunately, most hiring processes aren’t able to identify any but the most obvious thieves among us.  However, there are tools available.  The Step One Survey II is a hiring profile that identifies a job applicant’s attitude towards theft, as well as other values that are important to employers.  These surveys are affordable and indispensable to any company with employees handling merchandise or money, or who work unsupervised around valuables.  These tools not only score the applicants, but also provide interview questions to help explore any red flags they raise.  Think of the Step One Survey II as a gift for the hiring process.

Your Achievement Unlimited, Inc. representative has sample survey reports and additional information available.  Call today to protect your company from dishonest employees.

Press Release: Rose Mary Hefley joins best-selling authors Stephen R. Covey, Ken Blanchard and Jack Canfield in a new book on success! ‘Speaking of Success’

Rose Mary Hefley joins best-selling authors Stephen R. Covey, Ken Blanchard

and Jack Canfield in a new book on success!

SEVIERVILLE, TENNESSEE – Rose Mary Hefley, keynote speaker and author, has been selected from a nationwide search to be featured in Speaking of Success, a highly successful book series from

Tennessee based Insight Publishing. The book features best-selling authors Stephen R. Covey (Seven Habits of Highly Effective People), Ken Blanchard (One Minute Manager) and Jack Canfield (Co -creator of Chicken Soup for the Soul). Hefley, Blanchard, Covey and Canfield, are joined by other well known authors and speakers, each offering time-tested strategies for success in frank and intimate interviews. Rose Mary Hefley believes that success is habit. After more than 20 years in the corporate business world, she began her own consulting firm, Achievement Unlimited, Inc. in 1994. Since that time, she has helped hundreds of organizations improve productivity and profitability. Her experience as an entrepreneur, business executive, sales man-ager, and plant supervisor has given her a wealth of experience to share with her audience. Rose Mary held leadership positions for Mutual of Omaha, Browning -Ferris Industries, Meredith Publishing Co. Montgomery Ward and Stanley Home Products.

For more information on Rose Mary Hefley and to order your copy of Speaking of Success,

contact: Rose Mary Hefley





I love ‘The Speed of Trust’ by Steven M.R. Covey!!!

The Steven M.R. Covey book the ‘Speed of Trust’ is a MUST read for every manager & business owner.

It is also a must read for everyone who wants to have relationships that work.

The book is well written, practical and timely. I just wanted to cheer and say ‘right on’. It is so good to see what I have been preaching put down in print! I am recommending this to everyone one of my clients.

Fatal error: Call to undefined function smlsubform() in /homepages/18/d220661681/htdocs/wordpress/wp-content/themes/retina/index.php on line 35