147: The Sources of Motivation and Loyalty with Scott Love

By April 25, 2017Podcasts

 

High-stakes headhunter Scott Love talks about employee loyalty, human needs, and what motivates people in the workplace.

You’ll Learn:

  1. Why people stay or leave their jobs
  2. The major forces of employee motivation
  3. How to become follow-able

About Scott

Scott Love is President of the Attorney Search Group, a professional speaker on employee loyalty, a high-stakes headhunter, and an author of three books. He was also a Naval Officer for four years, and moonlights as a stand-up comedian.

Items Mentioned in this Show:

Scott Love Interview Transcript

Pete Mockaitis
Scott, thanks so much for joining us here on the How To Be Awesome At Your Job podcast.

Scott Love
Thanks, Pete. I’m glad to be your guest.

Pete Mockaitis
Oh, boy. Well, I think we’re going to have a lot of fun digging into your wisdom. But, first, I’d like to have a little fun on the side. I understand you’ve got a bit of a side gig doing some stand-up comedy here and there. Tell me, how did you start that and how does that sort of compare or contrast with your keynoting and more formal types of audiences?

Scott Love
Yeah, I like having fun and I like having a creative element to where I don’t think our minds really shut off, and I think because I’m a pretty intense guy, you’re a pretty intense guy, we want to be intense in our work, and if we have a hobby that’s 90 degrees sideways where we can be intense in that I think there’s a healing element to that in our work where we can have just as much intensity into something that’s fun and learn about what causes that to be, like, for me, I like what causes something to be funny.
So that’s one of the things I like to do is kind of dig into that and do open mic night every once in a while, and all you’ve got to do is be brave enough to stand in front of a microphone. And I’ve got to tell you, I’ve done some pretty adventurous things. But the first night you stand in front of an audience that’s halfway sober and there’s a white light shining on your face and you’ve got to make them laugh, it’s the scariest thing I’ve ever done in my whole life, Pete.

Pete Mockaitis
Oh, absolutely. And all the comedians like Seinfeld and Moore say that you don’t have a lot of leeway. They’re just sort of, well, they’ll laugh or they’ll not laugh based purely on how you’re striking them, and there’s not much sort of sympathy or pity at play.

Scott Love
No, there’s not. And it’s a brutal audience and you’ve got to get them to laugh about once every eight seconds, that’s the pace. If they’re not laughing once every eight seconds you lose them. And it’s different from the speech because there’s no point. It’s like chocolate. There’s no point to chocolate. It’s just enjoyable. There’s no point. There doesn’t have to be a message. You’re not changing lives to an audience that’s going to a stand-up comedy. You want to get them to laugh.

Pete Mockaitis
And so you have a towering expertise in the world of sort of loyalty and the drivers associated with employees and people sticking with the manager, with the leader, with an organization versus departing. And so could you sort of frame that up for us in terms of what have you discovered are kind of the critical drivers behind folks staying versus going?

Scott Love
Right. And I’ll tell you this, whenever I watch the show The Office, you’ve seen that right?

Pete Mockaitis
Oh, yes.

Scott Love
Michael Scott? I say, “Oh, that’s the guy I lead like in my real life – Michael Scott.” I think that my background professionally has been doing high-stakes headhunting. I recruit partners for international law firms. I’ve recruited in other industries. I’ve done it for over two decades, if you can believe that. “He doesn’t look that old.” Thank you, Pete. I appreciate that.
And so I was thinking the other day, I’ve had tens of thousands of conversations with professionals trying to recruit them, “I’ve got an opportunity. I want to talk to you about that. Are you open?” “Oh, no, I’m not.” “Why is that? Why are you not open?” “Oh, I love it here.” And I’d always hear the same thing. They wouldn’t say, “Hmm, I like it here.” They’d always say, “I love it here.”

Pete Mockaitis
I love it here. The magic words.

Scott Love
And so I got it in my head, “There’s a pattern here.” There’s a reason why people say yes to opportunities and there’s a reason why they say no to opportunities and why they say, “I love it here.” And so I’d always ask a little bit further, “Why is that?” because I’m just curious. I want to know what’s causing them to say, “I don’t care how good that opportunity is. I’m never leaving.” Why is that? And I found that it’s usually the relationship with the boss one level up.

Pete Mockaitis
Okay.

Scott Love
That’s what causes that employee to be loyal. So follow my logic here. So, years and years ago I used to be a leadership trainer. When I was 24, after I finished my sea duty tour on a ship, I was a Lieutenant JG in the US Navy in the world’s largest naval base. At the right time and the right place I got to be a trainer when the Navy had a new initiative called Total Quality Leadership which was a derivative of W Edwards Deming’s concepts of Total Quality Management.
And so what I did, I would go to different military commands and I trained thousands of military officers, senior enlisted and civil service workers. I didn’t even know what it was, what you would call it. I would just consult, I had to understand what the issues were and I’d give them recommendations on how to improve their process.
And what I found was that the harder a government employee works, the more efficient that they are and more effective that they are the more their pay stays the same. It has nothing to do with that. But I saw that these were people that were very good at what they did. They’re very passionate. They’re very effective and they did a good job in their work. Why was that? Well, it was going back to Abraham Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. And I’ll kind of go into this a little bit.
So that’s what kind of brought me full circle into wanting to take this message out there because I still do recruiting and I like to speak at conferences, trade association meetings, executive retreats, sales meetings, showing managers how they can be that boss that people don’t want to leave. And so it’s not that complex, I keep it simple. When people read my book, they’d day, “I read your book on a 90-minute flight and it was pretty simple.” I’m like, “Thank you. That’s what I wanted.” It has to be simple because people are busy. They don’t want to read a 300-page book filled with matrix, formulas and things like that. They want to get to the bottom line, “How can I be that kind of boss that nobody’s going to leave?”

Pete Mockaitis
Well, I’m hooked. How does one be that kind of boss?

Scott Love
Well, good question. Let’s kind of go down that path, shall we?

Pete Mockaitis
Let’s do it.

Scott Love
So this is something. I used to say, “Well, I used to be a motivational speaker but I’ve got a lousy attitude.” And the way people think, and I don’t want to sound cynical about this, but when people come to work every day they come to work for themselves not the boss. And you probably heard the phrase, Pete, I mean, you’ve been around the block, that people join companies but they leave bosses. You’ve heard that phrase, right?

Pete Mockaitis
Certainly.

Scott Love
It’s absolutely true. And when they come to work every day they’re coming to work for themselves and there is this self-interest that they all have. And when they leave companies they leave because of self-interest. When they stay they stay because of self-interest. And the one common theme that I’ve seen with every person I’ve talked to that says, “I’m never going to leave. I love it here,” it’s always because of an emotional context. There’s always an emotional context to why people leave and why they stay.
So, logically, if you want people to stay you’ve got to get them to have positive feelings, not necessarily about the company, but about the boss. And this is the thing, you read all these books about CEO-level leadership. That doesn’t mean anything when it comes to the decision of an employee deciding to stay or leave. They’re never going to leave or stay because of the CEO’s leadership skills. It’s because that boss one level up.

Pete Mockaitis
All right.

Scott Love
So we can kind of go down some action steps if you want.

Pete Mockaitis
Certainly. Well, I guess I’m intrigued. When you say self-interest and emotional context, could you perhaps segment that a little bit? Because, I guess, I could think of maybe, I don’t know, a dozen ingredients for self-interest, anything from compensation to location, to “It’s interesting,” to “It’s sexy and prestigious.”

Scott Love
That’s right.

Pete Mockaitis
So how are you thinking of self-interest and emotional context?

Scott Love
My answer to that question is yes.

Pete Mockaitis
All right.

Scott Love
All those things matter. It depends on what each individual is motivated by. And I think it’s up to the boss to understand. Look at your team, the people that you manage, each person is motivated by something different. I’ve got a boy that’s 16 years old and he’s an international fashion model. He rose straight to the top in a short period of time. And he will wake up at 5:00 a.m. to be on a 6:00 a.m. photo shoot on time but I can’t get him out of bed to do anything else. He’s worthless. I’m just kidding. He’s 16 and he’s my little boy who’s six foot one and he’s my boy. I’m so proud of him. I love him so much.
But he’s motivated. He knows exactly what he wants and what motivates him. So I think, looking at personal interests, it’s different for everybody. Let me give you a couple of structural formula that we can look at to kind of help you understand what motivates your people.

Pete Mockaitis
Certainly.

Scott Love
And I always look at Abraham Maslow who’s an American industrial psychologist, a management consultant who, in the 1960’s, created what’s the most widely-adopted model of human need. And he says there’s five of them. At the bottom, there’s a need for food, clothing, water and shelter. And there are some people, Pete, that will leave a company because another opportunity is going to pay $2 more an hour and there’s nothing you can do about that. People are going to do what’s in their own best interest. So that’s the bottom level.
Above that, people have a need to feel safe. They want to know that they’re in a safe, secure environment. Above that, people have a need to be around other people. It’s affiliation. They want to become part of a team. Now we’re kind of getting somewhere. If you know this, and you know this, that the social environment of work is a big part of it.
That’s why some companies if they go to an all-virtual environment I don’t know if that works too well. Eventually, they’re going to circle back to, “Okay, we’ve got to get office space. We’ve got to get people around each other. We’ve got to, at least, build some sort of connection. Even if they’re virtual, we’ve got to, at least, bring people together.” Because we’re just human beings and that’s what trips our trigger.
Above that is a need for recognition. We need to be recognized. So this is something I saw at a sales meeting I was at about two months ago.
So I was speaking at 11:00. I got there that morning and I watched this whole group do about an hour and a half of awards and it was an emotional time for everybody. Everybody wants to be recognized. And then, finally, it’s self-actualization. And this is what I saw what I believe motivated a lot of people that I referred to earlier that worked in civil service. They knew that they had a hard calling.
So if a manager notes, “This is what our company is all about. This is who we are in terms of our values, our vision, our mission, and this is the noble goal. These are the people that benefit from us,” and they can articulate that, “This is what our mission is,” and show them, “Your work matters because of this.” Now, you’ve got people that are really following at a high level. So, bottom line, it depends on the people that you’re leading, and it’s up to the manager to really understand which one of those things is your employee motivated by.

Pete Mockaitis
I hear you. And now, so when you say safe and secure, sort of one layer above survival, I’d say how does that show up in an employment context? Is that just like your job security, you’re not going to get fired? Or what do you think is the sort of analog or fulfilment of that in the workplace?

Scott Love
I think, first and foremost, the physical security of an environment. We read about workplace violence and workplace issues knowing that they’re at a place that has security. Secondly, it’s knowing that they’re in a place where there is some sort of economic certainty that they know that the lights aren’t just going to shut off. I’ve talked to people that have joined law firms and they realized that the firm isn’t in good of financial shape as they thought and it’s a surprise and it’s a shock and it’s extremely demoralizing to them.
Other elements with security. Knowing that they have a leader that’s predictable. It’s not Jekyll and Hyde, it’s not, “What are we going to get today when we show up to work?” I think our consistency and how we talk to people gives people an element of security. Knowing that we’re congruent with what our core values are. Some of the things I remember hearing candidates talk to me about, they’d say that, “Our company’s core values are respect but I hear the manager talk badly about my colleagues behind their back. I don’t feel safe anymore.” Knowing that they can bring their ideas up to the food chain.
This is one of the things I learned at a young age. I was 24 when I was working in the Navy on active duty. This was at a time, it was right after Tailhook, if you remember that. There’s a sexual harassment situation of Navy pilots in Las Vegas at a Tailhook convention, and that was the time that the Navy realized that some of the traditions weren’t good and that it needed to change. And so that was kind of the impetus for some of the changes that were sweeping.
And that’s when we realized, because in the Navy, on active duty, the captain is always right. That’s what we were taught when I was a young officer. But the captain is not always right, and the captain depends on people to bring him or her information to make correct and effective decisions. And knowing that if I can bring this data to my superior I’m not going to get yelled at.
Knowing that it’s a safe environment for me to bring innovative ideas, even to the point of making myself vulnerable and telling your boss, “I screwed up. I sent the order to the wrong office of our client. And I’m telling you that because we need to fix it.” Knowing that that person is given a learning moment. So those are some examples, I think, of how we can kind of build a safe environment, Pete, for a company.

Pete Mockaitis
Okay. That’s good. And so now, as I’m thinking, this feels like a pretty exhaustive set of categories.

Scott Love
Yeah, I’m tired of talking about it, man.

Pete Mockaitis
Well, if I could quiz you just a little bit.
So, where would you put, “I’m just having fun. Like, doing this stuff is just a good time”?

Scott Love
Right. And I think when people are engaged in most of those elements that’s when it becomes fun. I don’t think the goal of the workplace should become fun. But then again I want to work for Michael Scott and I just want to plan parties all day.
And we’re going to have meetings to plan parties. We’re going to have parties to plan parties. I don’t think fun should be the objective of the workplace. I don’t think that’s the point. I think the point is to accomplish things and to do good work that serve others. And I think that when we start doing and we do it effectively then it becomes fun. But I think it’s a manager’s job to get real clear, “This is where we’re going. It’s serious business.”
But the general culture, the general attitude, the environment, the smiles, all those things make it a happier, healthier place. And I think those are the things a manager can do. I think smile more. When you talk to your people, smile. Ask them questions such as, “What can I do to make your job easier?” A cheerful spirit warms up an entire workplace.

Pete Mockaitis
Well, that’s nice. So, could you keep going with that a little bit? In terms of smiling and asking those questions are sort of simple and immediate actions one can take to bring this to light or into being.

Scott Love
Sure.

Pete Mockaitis
What else would be some key action steps?

Scott Love
I think depending on the environment, I think within sales organizations because when I had my recruiter training company it was basically a sales training company for people in the recruiting industry and it’s a sales-intensive industry. Anything that is a contest or a game, anytime you’re in work that is arduous where there’s an element to a grind to it, because no matter what we do it’s going to be a grind, if you can make it a game then it doesn’t sting as bad when you have the low points in the game.
If you can find ways to have contests, one example I gave to sales managers was to take a $10 bill, tape it to the refrigerator in your break room, and then have a daily incentive, “Whoever does this, first thing in the morning talk to three new people, have five new customers, or whatever it is, whoever can talk to three new people this morning can come in and take that $10 bill off the refrigerator.” It’s going to cost you $50 a week but you’re going to get people that are going to perform like they’d never performed before. Even though, of course, they’ll make 20% more this year because they have good habits, they will kill themselves for that $10 bill.

Pete Mockaitis
Oh, man, this is so good. I’m thinking movies now. Like, I think Shawshank Redemption where you had the beers for the work that they were doing.

Scott Love
That’s right. That’s right.

Pete Mockaitis
So the first time they had some merit-based rewards and they’re just like totally kicked it into gear in a major way. And I’m also thinking about my favorite movie Life is Beautiful in which there’s really tragic circumstances that a loving father turned into a game for his child. I’ll just leave the teaser at that, so people who haven’t seen the movie, go check it out. It hits every emotion in the human heart and masterfully.

Scott Love
Great films.

Pete Mockaitis
But, onto business. We talked comedy, we talked movies, so that’s really cool. So we also talked specifically about what makes employees sort of comply versus blow off one particular request, I could say, within that overall culture. Sort of are there particularities to a given request or piece of communication?

Scott Love
Yes, there are. And this is what we need to do. Remember, I said that people are motivated by their own self-interest. Let’s just admit that. Let’s not fight that. Let’s just say, “Okay, my employees, each of them has something that motivates them.” When we give them a directive they choose their level of response. And I like the fact you brought up Life is Beautiful because that was the gravest of gravest scenarios that anybody could ever go through, but it was his love for his boy and the spirit and his perception of how he could give a lens that would be more palatable for his boy to endure, and he chose to do that.
He could’ve chosen to have a victim mentality and to just give in, but he didn’t because he was able to change the lens. And we all look through a lens and sometimes it’s difficult to change the lens from a victim to a victor. I’m a really good victim, Pete. I like to have pity parties all day. I can feel sorry for myself all day long but I have to choose to be a champion. You have to make that choice. And so the same thing when you’re a boss. You have to look through the lens of optimism, “How can we take this adversity and use it to our advantage?” I think that’s one part of that. If we can portray, “Here’s a challenge. How can we use this to our advantage?”
I’m actually giving a presentation on Friday to a group in L.A. talking about resilience, building resilience muscles, that when something bad happens to us we’re going to go through a grieving process. First there’s disbelief, and then there’s anger, and then there’s depression, and finally acceptance. Well, you’re going to go through that. The goal is to go through that in a compressed period of time by asking questions that can help you change that lens a lot more quickly. That’s especially important for people that are in sales where adversity is a very big part of their business – rejection all day long.
So, when you’re a manager, realize it’s all about your employees’ self-interests. When you give them a directive they’re going to choose their level of response and there’s a scale. And it’s a scale of one, to the minimum, “I’m going to do it because you’re my boss and you told me to,” and all the way up to a 10, “I’m going to do it because I respect you and I’ve seen how you lead. I’ve seen how you’ve resolved conflict within our company. I’ve seen how you have given nothing but respect to our colleagues. Even when they made mistakes I saw that you were able to use that as a teaching moment. I saw that you’re able to recognize them in front of a group. When I made a mistake you took me into your office and you asked me questions and helped me solved it. You’re reprimanding me by giving me the chance to find solutions on my own. And you shook my hand and you thanked me for my time.”
So those are the things that your employees, they observe. They observe here, over here, over here and they take those observations and they tuck them away in their heart. And when it’s their time to give a response, if that’s the kind of leader you are, they’re going to give you a 10. If you’re the kind of boss that doesn’t exude trust, if you’re duplicitous in how you speak, if you say your values are one thing but you do something else and they see this, and you’re eventually going to get found out, and they’re not going to respond. They’re going to respond with a one.
So how do we get people to respond at that high level? We have to become that boss. It’s what I call follow-able. We have to become that kind of boss.

Pete Mockaitis
Okay. So, I really like that notion of it being a spectrum and I think that sometimes, when work doesn’t come back done-done, as a previous guest, Jeff Kavanaugh, described it, but sort of, “Technically you have complied with what I’ve asked of you. But if you had your brain turned on I think you would realize that this does not actually optimally meet the needs of what we’re shooting for here.” I think a lot of responses to requests come back in that zone, and you’re suggesting that it’s not so much a matter of, I don’t know, they didn’t know or they’re sort of unaware, but rather it’s like, “Well, this is just about what I feel like you deserve, so that’s what I’m going to hand back to you.”

Scott Love
Yeah, I think a lot of times that’s what it is. It’s like, “Okay, bucko, if minimum wasn’t good enough it wouldn’t be minimum. There, how do you like me now? How do you like me now? You want me to put those boxes? Okay, I’d put them over there. That’s a warning.”

Pete Mockaitis
Okay. Thank you. Well, that’s sparking some ideas and implications and fun. So, very good.  Now, so tell me then, are there any other sort of big ideas or insights from your book Why They Follow that you want to make sure that those who want to be awesome at their job get to hear?

Scott Love
Yeah, I think to always know that everything you do is being observed and people are making a judgment about how they’re going to respond in the future when you ask. And we have all these invisible bank accounts with other people, with your colleagues, with your clients, with your boss, with your subordinates, and you can’t make withdrawals from empty accounts. You have to put deposits in them. Deposit, deposit, deposit, withdrawal.
It doesn’t mean like we’re suddenly manipulating them but we know that to get anything done, it’s going to have to have an “ask,” and I need to have enough in the account to make a pretty big “ask” sometimes. And so being aware when you talk to people, tell them why their work matters. Give them that recognition. When you see them doing something right tell them that in front of their colleagues. And so you’re looking intentionally on how you can put deposits in that emotional bank account.
And when I talk about emotions, I mean, really, it’s emotions. That’s what happens to them. The emotions that they have at work go home with them every night. The emotions from home come to work with them every single day, and it’s the boss’ responsibility to create that positive environment. Like what you talked about in that movie Life is Beautiful, I think that’s a great example that we’re at work and we’ve got challenges, we’ve got problems.
Sometimes we’re in a crisis and we’ve got to have a lens of champions that we look through. And we’ve got to huddle together and we’ve got to find solutions on how we can overcome this and get to the point we can look back on this and say, “We’re glad that adversity happened to us because we wouldn’t have figured out the solution.” And that’s the kind of leadership it really takes.

Pete Mockaitis
That’s good. Thank you. So, I want to kind of follow-up a bit then when it comes to sort of learning the different motivators and drivers of folks. What are some of your best practice, recommendations for doing great, asking and listening to get after it?

Scott Love
Yeah, I think telling them why, giving them specific examples of why their work matters. And sometimes you’ve got to be creative about this, Pete. I’ve also got a little girl that’s five, and about a year ago she was a flower girl in a wedding. It was her godparents’ wedding, and when we were over at their house about a month ago, they had a photo from their wedding and you saw our little girl in front of the wedding party with the flower basket and some other people behind her. She was the queen for the day.
Well, a month later, this is a fall wedding, her cousins, their dad was getting married, she wasn’t the flower girl. So we were in a moment of crisis, and we were in tears that morning, Pete. I’m like, “What am I going to say? She’s not going to be the flower girl. She’s really upset.” So I told her, I said, “Maya, today you’re going to be the leaf girl.” “What’s a leaf girl?” I said, “At the end of the wedding, because it’s an outside fall wedding, you and I are going to take two flower baskets and we’re going to collect and see how many leaves we get.” And she was ecstatic.
So sometimes you have to be creative. You have to think a little bit, “How can I interpret this? How can I give my employee a different lens through which they can look?” Here’s a more practical application. When I was on my ship we were the next minesweeper to go to the Gulf and we couldn’t get underway because our sonar was down. We had our sea trials starting on Monday and we had a very tight schedule to get under way and get the sea trials so we could go to the Gulf.
Well, Petty Officer Shaffer, he was a sonar technician on the ship. The sonar had been down for several months. He had spent the last six weekends on the ship. He had a young family, he wanted to go home, I had to tell him he can’t leave and he has to stay on that weekend to get the sonar fixed. So I could’ve used my authority, but what I did, I sat him down, I said, “Come to my station, let’s talk about this.”
I said, “As you know the Iraqis have invaded Kuwait. Right now, the ships can’t get to the harbor because it’s mined. Right now, we’re the most important ship in the United States fleet. We can’t get underway until the sonar is up. Right now, you’re the most important sailor in the United States Navy. I need you to stay here this weekend to get that sonar fixed.” “Yes, sir.” No hesitation because I was able to show him, through self-actualization, that his work mattered.
Now, sometimes in the normal workplace it might not be that dramatic, but showing people that what they do has a big impact on the organization. A receptionist, that’s the director of first impression and the final memory maker. That can make someone feel really good about their company. I remember there was one client that I went to go meet I was doing some training with. They have my name, “Welcome, Scott Love.” And when I walked in she greeted me by name, she stood up, she shook my hand and she asked me if I needed anything to drink, took my coat when I left. She asked me if I needed a taxi. That was my director of first impressions. And the way I left about that company I always took her image with me.
Somebody told her that, “This is why your work makes a difference.” That’s the lowest level in the org chart. They either hired somebody that was already at that level, so they did a good job in hiring, or they trained her on how to do that. And so that, I think, tactically show people why their work makes a difference.

Pete Mockaitis
Oh, that’s a great. And I had a final question here with regard to if there are folks who do not have direct reports, if they are exercising leadership and influence sort of tangentially or in more kind of collaborative ways as opposed to top-down, what are some of the nuances or slants you’d put there?

Scott Love
I think pure-level leadership is the most challenging because we don’t have that authority we can fall back on. I’m on the Rotary Club, I lead a committee. If I’m a jerk, nobody’s inviting me to the party this weekend, right? And that’s what you learn in Scouts at a young age, or any sort of sports. When you’re on the field you can’t use your authority. You have to inspire people. So I think people that are in sales, that’s another example of leadership.
Within my headhunting practice, it’s myself and one part-time employee, and I’m on the phone four or five hours a day convincing partners to make life-changing moves based off of a cold call from a stranger. I had to lead them forward. I have to make sure that everybody’s comfortable with the deal. Asking questions, “Is there anything that you think would keep this from going forward? What do you like best about this? What are the concerns you have? Have you talked to your spouse about this? What does she think you should do?” Really building that trust level with them so they bring the walls down, they trust me, and then I lead them forward, “This is what I think we should do next.”
Making sure they’re okay with it, gaining their agreement, their compliance. I think sales and leadership are very similar because it’s all about influence. So, even if you don’t have an organization where you’re not leading a team of people, you still have to influence other people. Even if you’re at home and you’ve got kids, bless your heart, boy, that’s the toughest job of all is to be a leader with your children. Because, “Oh, he’s just my dad.” They see you all the time and so you’ve got to lead.
With my little girl, and my son when he was little, when I had to get them in the car, I just did this sort of this past weekend, “Let’s have a race. Let’s see if you can get in your car seat before I get to my seat. Ready, set, go.” She runs, she jumps, “Look how fast you are.” She buckles herself in. Being able to harness that intrinsic motivation and align it with your own goal is what leadership is all about. Whether you’re leading a team, or whether you’re a solo practitioner, or you’re at home with your children, it’s all about gaining compliance by getting them to be willing participants in what you want them to do.
When I do presentations for sales groups I talk a lot about the Principle of Influence, “How can I get you to do what I want you to do and have you thank me for that at the end of the process?” Whenever I do a deal, I’ve got a new candidate, a new partner, I say, “The only way we go forward is if it works for you. If at any time you’re not interested, that’s okay. This is all about you making correct decisions that benefit your career and that’s all that counts.” Letting them know, “This is where we’re going to go, and if you want to get off on the next exit, that’s okay.” And that’s what leadership is all about. It’s getting people to follow you. If you’re influencing them in sales, convincing them to do what you want but having them to do it in a way that they feel comfortable, they feel safe with you.

Pete Mockaitis
That’s great. Thank you. All right, now, could you share with us a favorite quote, something you find inspiring?

Scott Love
I think my favorite quote was from John Paul Jones, I learned this when I was a midshipman at the Naval Academy, “He who does not risk cannot win.” There’s all sorts of risks that we have. You’ve got to be willing to take that shot. Sometimes you take shot and you miss, and you can recover from that. So I think that’s probably one of the most inspiring quotes that I’ve ever had since I was a young man.

Pete Mockaitis
Oh, thank you. And how about a favorite study, or experiment, or a piece of research?

Scott Love
For me it was just making the calls over and over, tens of thousands of them, literally, over 22 years and just seeing that there is data, there is empirical research I’ve seen that gives me ideas in what makes people never want to leave a company.

Pete Mockaitis
All right. That counts. And how about a favorite book?

Scott Love
Favorite book? I’d say it’s the most recent one that I read called The One Thing written by Gary Keller.

Pete Mockaitis
I love it. We had Jay Papasan earlier on the show.

Scott Love
Yeah, I was on their podcast a couple of weeks ago. And that book just gets right to the point. We can only do much. What’s that one thing you do that affects 80%? What’s the 20% of what you do that affects 80% of the results?

Pete Mockaitis
It’s so good. I find that’s very soothing to read that book because I don’t have to worry about everything. I could just focus on that one thing. It’s a winner. Thank you. And how about a favorite tool whether that’s a product or service or app, something that helps you be awesome at your job?

Scott Love
It’s the telephone without any doubt. Because if you think about the telephone, if you think about voicemail, voicemail has a 100% open rate. Everybody that gets your voicemail is going to listen to your message. When you’re over the phone you can have immediate access to people. You can get them to make decisions based on emotions which is what sales and influence is all about, and you can get them to go to the next step all over the telephone. You don’t have to go back and forth, you get information, and you build a relationship with people that way because there’s an emotional context to the telephone.

Pete Mockaitis
Oh, Scott, that’s fun. That’s quite a reframe there. Voicemail has a 100% open rate. You’re right. No one just leaves it there, it’s like, “I don’t care.”

Scott Love
Absolutely right.

Pete Mockaitis
So then, if I may, what is your sort of strategy when you’re reaching out to folks cold associated with the approach whether it’s email, LinkedIn, phone? You don’t get them, do you leave a voicemail, do you not? Since you love the phone and you’re a pro sales guy and you’ve done it thousands of times, how should we think about that? If we want responses from strangers how do we play the leave or don’t leave a voicemail game?

Scott Love
I’d say if you’re in a business where you’re doing it, if it’s just a generic voicemail, “I want to tell you about our company.” You want to find something specific whether there’s an event, “I read about your company in the news,” or an event such as, “You have another client very similar to theirs, I just obtained another client XYZ Corporation and I was able to help them solve this problem. I did some research and I see that you have the same problem within your company.”
If people that listen to your show who are in sales, probably the best sales book I’ve read has been Smart Calling, how to take fear, failure and rejection out of cold calling written by Art Sobczak. And his website is SmartCalling.com. I highly recommend that. I’ve read that book three times.

Pete Mockaitis
Oh, fantastic. Thank you. And how about a favorite habit, a personal practice of yours that’s been helpful?

Scott Love
Every day when I wake up the first I thing I do is make my bed, because your mom was right. Make your bed. It’s a line of demarcation that says, “Night is gone. Day is here,” so you’re taking action. The first thing you’re doing is you’re taking action. Then I have these rituals. The next thing I do, I tell myself, “Today is going to be the most exciting day of my life.”
The next thing I do I tell myself, “Everything I touch turns to gold.” Then I tell myself, “Everybody I talk to wants to do business with me.” And then it’s almost like a prayer, “Put me on the path of those whom I can serve.” And it also reminds me, it’s not about me, Pete. It’s not about me, it’s about service to other people.
And then when I get to my office, before I check my email, before I get my cup of coffee, I pick up the phone and I call someone. Many times it goes to a voicemail. I picked up and called someone yesterday at 8:15, he was in his office, I got a new client meeting out of that. First call of the day, that’s a good way to start the day. So those are the habits that I’d recommend.
And then something else is to spend one hour a day in personal development. “What? I don’t have that kind of time.” Yes, you do. If you drive to work, how long is your commute? Thirty minutes? Listen to Pete’s podcast each way.

Pete Mockaitis
Great idea.

Scott Love
Yeah, you’re turning your non-productive time into money-making time. Yesterday I was on the recumbent bike for 30 minutes. I was able to read a book while I’m on the recumbent bike. I turned 30 minutes worth of time into one hour of personal development. So whether it’s working out, whether it’s reading, whether it’s listening to audio programs, whether it’s listening to Pete’s podcast, or anything else, do one hour a day, little minutes here and there. When I’m walking to the Metro across the street it’s about a 30-minute commute, I’m listening to audio books, I’m listening to podcasts, I’m turning my non-productive time into money-making time.

Pete Mockaitis
Thank you. And would you say there’s a particular nugget you share that particularly resonates with folks in terms where they say, “Oh, yes. Scott, that’s so good. I’m writing it down right now”?

Scott Love
It’s, “Learn how to be of service to other people.” People are going to do what’s in their own best interest. Help them get exactly what they want, not what you think they want, but what they want. And be willing to walk away from deals that don’t offer a value to other people.

Pete Mockaitis
Okay. And, Scott, what’s the best way for folks to learn more or get in touch? Where would you point them?

Scott Love
I’d refer them to my speaking site at ScottLove.com. My book is called Why They Follow: How to Lead with Positive Influence, and there’s a link on my site that has that and other information about how to get in touch with me.

Pete Mockaitis
Oh, cool. Thank you. And do you have a final challenge or call to action you’d issue for folks looking to be awesome at their jobs?

Scott Love
Absolutely. Two things I’d recommend that they do. One of them is, before you go to bed tonight, if you haven’t done this before, write out your personal mission statement. Why are you on this planet? Take a few minutes. It might not have anything to do with your job or with work or business or anything. But what’s your purpose on this planet?
Then, secondly, clarify your core values. If you had all the money in the world, all the time in the world, if everything was perfect, what’s left over? What are those values that motivate you? And write them down. Sometimes they change over time. Sometimes the more you learn about yourself or your life changes or you grow, but just get a clear picture of what motivates you. And then when you make decisions that’s what you go back to.

Pete Mockaitis
Very good. Well, Scott, this has been a ton of fun. Thank you for this and I wish you tons of luck with your headhunting, your speaking, your writing. Keep on rocking.

Scott Love
Thank you, Pete. You, too, as well. Let’s do this again sometime real soon.

One Comment

Leave a Reply

The Gold Nugget

The Gold Nugget

After each episode I send out the #1 performance-boosting takeaway I glean from each podcast guest. Register now! it's totally FREE. And short. And fun.

You have Successfully Subscribed!