Stop Whining and Start Working

Throughout my career I have tried to learn something from just about everyone I have interacted with.  I believe that every single person we interact with has the ability to teach us something that we didn’t already know. You just never know where little life lessons and nuggets of wisdom will come from.  So you have to be open-minded and on the lookout for these learning opportunities.

I was working with a colleague of mine a few years ago and they taught me this little saying, they were applying it in the context of sales.

SW-5: Some will, Some won’t, So What, Stop Whining, Some are Waiting.  In the context of sales, they were saying some will buy, some wont buy, so what (control what you can control), stop whining about the losses, and find the ones that are waiting to buy from you.

I really liked that quick and easy to comprehend process.  In leadership, I like to use the SW-5 method in this way:

Some Will:  You have some team members that are bought in.  They come in early, they stay late.  They are committed to the companies cause.  They are engaged.

Some Won’t:  Some team members won’t do all of the things I described above.  I personally don’t believe you should keep them on your team.  I get some people’s position on this matter: all great teams have role players that come in, get their job done in the traditional hours and may not show it the same way as others.  But, if you have a team member that is not engaged, you have to fix it.

So What:  Now if you are in leadership you can’t have a so what attitude towards your team members.  However, in the context of hiring decisions if you have made a bad hiring decisions, SO WHAT, fix it and move on.  Don’t let bad decisions stick around.  They are not like wine and get better with time, they are the opposite, they get worse.

Stop Whining:  My hope is that you have created a culture where your team members aren’t whining.  But if they are whining about a decision you made or something else that you know is pushing the organization forward, then let them whine (if it becomes too much, you have to fix this).  That is why you are the leader.  Your job is to continue to challenge the status quo and push the organization or your department forward. Oh and you can’t be a whiner if you are the leader, its hard to lead if you are whining.

Start Working:  Everyone should just focus on the work that needs to be done.  When everyone is doing that, the company wins, the customer wins, and in the end everyone wins. With more revenue, the company has more resources to serve the current customers better and bring new customers on board, and more resources for the team members in raises and other benefits.

I like both of the SW-5’s.  You can use them in any context you want.  I would be curious how you apply them. Please share with me your thoughts.

To your success and your future.

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