It is quite clear that we usually know the right thing to do. It becomes more about the choice we make when we ignore that which we know. Recently, I was whining to my family physician that my only problem was my inability to shed the pounds. Her response was to ask if I would like to speak to the nutritionist on staff. My response? “I know what I am supposed to do; I just don’t do it.”
I got me thinking about why it is difficult to do what we know is the right thing to do. Often, it is not a question of right or wrong. Rather, if we make a choice to do something we know works, it will provide us with success. Yet, for some unknown reason, we still continue to knowingly practice the less successful action.
We know that if we eat Chicken, Fish and Vegetables, we will manage our weight. Why is it that Macaroni and Cheese, Bar-B-Q Ribs and Hot Fudge Sundaes end up on our plate?
We know that if we spend time in the field riding with and coaching our sales people, they will succeed. Why, then do we find ourselves creating power points, excel spread sheets and handling coaching over the phone?
We know that if we follow a linked sequential sales process that we will close the sales almost twice as often. Why then do we show up ill-prepared, talk too much and close too early?
A few years ago, I learned this lesson first hand. As the AVP of sales, I was charged with creating an innovative sales training. I hired a firm to create training tapes using their sales staff in the videos. During the day of taping, it became clear that the sales people selling the sales program were not comfortable using the system. Had they been using the sales system they were promoting, it should have been second nature.
There are of course many reasons for this but the most obvious is it is hard, very hard to make the right decision. It is easier to stay in the office, to eat what we like or to slide back to our old sales systems. It requires dedication, discipline and focus to do those things that everyone else will not do!