What do these two adorable dogs have in common with many Enablement teams? They often fail to focus on what matters most.
👉 They will run around non-stop trying to make everyone happy, forgetting to eat or sleep until they are too exhausted to go further.
My Enablement friends and teammates, please consider the following:
💡 Put yourself on your priority list with mental and health breaks. You deserve it.
💡 Focus on business impact. Are you clear WHY you are doing a certain activity and HOW it will help your business? If not, don’t do it until you are clear.
💡 Celebrate every win to spotlight your team’s efforts, to reinforce how you are helping the business (but don’t be a putz about it).
You have a finite amount of time each fiscal year to help your business.
You need to split that time between strategic, tactical, and unplanned activities in the right mix to achieve your business goals.
And your leadership team and peers need to understand how what you are doing is leading to those business outcomes.
While those little puppies, Blue and Lyla, are adorable, you want to be seen as strategic and impactful. If you’re not, the business may see you as no more helpful to the bottom line than these two adorable pooches.
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JOHN, I am the collaborator, and I’m so stoked to be with you today. Hey, you can probably see my virtual background, I changed it up a little bit. Because today, I wanted to follow up on a short post that I put out on LinkedIn. And it really went back to these two very cute dogs that I just I was referring to, and tying them back to enablement. And you’re probably thinking, john, you are crazy. But let’s see, let’s see what john can do with this. All right, all right. So we are here. Okay. So listen, one of the things that I did this weekend was I spent a lot of time over this past three day weekend, I spent a lot of time with my kids, with their pets with my family and doing absolutely positively nothing at all. And it was a glorious, wonderful time.
This is something that each of us really need to do for ourselves once in a while. One of the things that always concerns me with the enablement profession, is that it is filled with amazing people, kind and wonderful people who are always looking to put other people first, it requires a service, servant type of mentality, or service oriented type of mentality. And because of that, so many of us end up finding ourselves saying yes to every single thing, we have find ourselves in a position where we are quickly burned out, because we said yes, so far too many things. And this weekend, I was really reminded, watching these two playful pups, about the fact that it’s really easy to be that fun. teammate, who always says yes, who is always there to help your team, with every little request that they bring to you. And that’s great. That’s wonderful, it feels good. And when you’re living in a world where business impact is not being measured, and economic times are great, then you can be that person that gets by on the high fives, the Pat’s on the back. And the team just being ecstatic that you’re meeting their every single need. But I’ll tell you when things get tough, and you need to start prioritizing your investment in enablement, which is the reality 99.9% of the time, you can’t afford to say yes to everything. So when you find yourself in the real world of enablement, one of the things that I wanted to bring us all back to is simply remember, first and foremost, to take care of yourself and your teams, you cannot put yourself in a position where you are saying yes to everything, you must put yourself in a position right from the very beginning of your enablement organization. And if you haven’t done it from the beginning, you must take the time to try and change that perception, where you only accept work that comes in that’s based upon strategic priorities. So I look at these two dogs running around laughing, they make me smile, they’re wonderful, but I’m not going to spend 80 100 $250,000 to pay them for that job. And neither will your bosses, your CRM and the revenue organization. To keep the teams entertained. And delighted. You need to make sure that when work comes in, you first understand why this request is coming in? what’s relevant about it? How is it expected to be used? And how will it benefit the organization? If you can’t answer all of these questions, it doesn’t mean you immediately say no, but you need to ask these questions. Ask the person making the request to come back to you with that information. Now I know if it’s a crmo, the CRL or one of the head members of the executive team, you’re probably not going to get away with this. But the majority of the time, you can tell that sales manager coming to you that sales rep coming to you that customer success rep coming to you. You can go back to them and say, Look, I want to partner with you. I want to do what’s great for the organization. Tell me why you need this, how it’s going to be used? What is it going to impact in the organization? I tell you, when we are working here in the organization where I work at every single time I want to understand is that a request that’s coming in for one deal? That’s okay. I’ve made a choice to invest in creating bespoke content to really personalize and help our customers. But as some organizations you don’t make that level of investment in some organizations, it’s about creating content that can be used multiple models. times, if that’s the case in your organization, take a look at how often the content can be used in what situations is going to be used and try to put forth to that an estimate of what revenue is going to be impacted by making that investment. I know anybody working in a team of one, anybody working in a smaller organization who’s listening to this probably thinking to themselves, I can’t possibly figure this out. You need to work with a team to figure this out. You don’t have to be a jerk about it. You don’t have to be a Putz, you don’t have to have these smiling goofy faces of the dogs behind me, either they’ll ask the team, how’s it going to be used? And if they can’t answer, use this as an opportunity to go to the sales leaders to go to the head of you know, the chief revenue officer or the appropriate person in your organization to say, look, I need to better understand how our business operates. So that I can make the right strategic decisions for the business. Here’s all my competing priorities, I need help in understanding which have the biggest bang for the buck, and get them to understand that you’re thinking strategically about how you can influence the organization’s outcomes, whether that’s new revenue, whether that’s getting content out to prospects, whether that’s helping reduce churn, whether that’s cross sell upsell, whatever it is, ask those questions. Now, I started the conversation as well talking about the fact that we need to not simply say yes to everything, and part of it is because we need to understand the priorities. The other part of it is, and it’s something we’re not talking about nearly enough. But I’m so excited to see more and more people embracing this and talking about this very real challenge, we all get burnt out, I am 55 years old, I have spent the majority of my career working 6070 hours a week, we can week out with, with few exceptions where I literally break down or literally cannot open my eyes anymore. And it’s never been a healthy approach. And I’ll tell you that over the last few years, as I’ve gotten older, I recognize the need to take the appropriate breaks for myself for my teams. And I encourage it and you whether you’re an enablement leader of a team of one yourself or a team of 40, or 80, you need to build in programs, you need to build in thinking that supports the mental well being and the physical health of your enablement teams and the teams you’re supporting. So if you’re not yet thinking about this, and I know, thankfully, many of you now are talk to your HR teams and talk about how do you build in employee well being into the content and to the training and to the services your team is providing to help your team succeed? If you’re asking me right now, why this matters from a business bottom line, let me spell it out. It’s really clear the average seller, the average SDR is going to stay 1415 months at your organization, the average outside seller is going to say 24 or 27 months depends on the research that you read. They don’t stay longer because they get burnt out in some cases. In some cases, the SDR role is set up so that people literally come in and they move out. That’s an unfortunate setup. It shouldn’t be a career entry way for your business. But that’s a whole nother conversation. Make sure you’re thinking about how to build them, education and content to support employees thinking about how to manage their time. Because that’s one of the key problems people over get overwhelmed again, partner goes back to saying yes to everything. Some of it goes back to simply not understanding how to prioritize their activities, and manage their time on their calendars. Great advice that I received in a podcast many, many months ago, reminded me of the fact simply color code the activities on your calendar, so you can easily see where you’re investing your time. are you investing your time in activities that have low impact, low reward? doing that, take a look at that, be honest with yourself and find ways to do less of that? A shift your activities towards a higher impact. And look, if you’re working late at night, every single night. Ask yourself this as well? Are you truly working on activities that are going to move the revenue needle, we all get into situations where we need to work longer hours, because it’s actually going to positively impact of business. If you’re simply doing that to catch up because you’re running behind and you’re not delivering on value to the business. Wait until tomorrow. And frankly, if you’re going to wait till tomorrow, because it’s not necessarily business impact. Also go back to those stakeholders that are asking for it and find a way either to solve the problem in a way that has a greater impact. Or simply put it on the backburner of your project list because you’re investing your time which is a valuable resource. In the wrong areas. Anyway, you’ve heard me rant enough. The only other thing that I’ll say to you is, as a reminder, we all have a certain number of hours, we are able to work every week, as enablement, professionals, as business professionals Overall, we split our time roughly across three types of work, strategic work, tactical work, and unplanned interrupts that come along. The reality in small organizations with small teams, you’re often going to invest a lot of your time in this unplanned interrupt driven work. Some percentage of your time should be focused there. There are accounts, there are operators, I should say there are sales meetings that come up that are highly strategic, they you have to be interrupt driven for and accept that. That shouldn’t be 100% of your work. There are tactical activities that you must execute on every day, every week, every month that are built and align that are aligned with strategic activities. Make sure whether you think you can do it or not make sure that you take a look at every quarter and write down a strategic activity you are going to invest in as an enablement organization, make sure that strategic activity is aligned to your boss, or your boss’s boss’s goals and mtos. make it public, make it loud. get them on board with the fact that you’re doing something to help them succeed. That should be your strategic focus. And as you start to do that, other people higher up in the organization will recognize the impact of NAB. And they will appreciate and respect that and they will come to you for more and more strategic activities. Anyway, I’m ranting a little bit. So let me stop there. But I encourage you take a look at these smiling puppies. Have a great and wonderful day think long and hard about how you investing your time by process strategic tactical and interrupt driven, unplanned activities that come back to you each and every day each and every month. And also build time in as I already said, to build take time for your own mental and, and wellness, you know health and wellness everyday and make sure you’re building time for your teams too. And for the teams you support, be an active collaborator across the organization, lead from a service oriented mindset. And let’s get out there and help each other out each and every day. Anyway, john, the collaborator, I’m out see you again.
Living Enablement as a practitioner and as a leader. I’ve seen the confusion and frustration that many practitioners live. From working in other areas of the business, I’ve also seen the genuine need for the capabilities that enablement provides.