Leo said "there's no 'we' in team" the other day and it reminded me of this story.
There's No 'My Kid Has Cancer' In Team
By Jake Dobbins
December 6, 2000 Issue 36•44
All right, team! Look alive! This is the big one. This is the week we finally pull into the sales lead, and that means total focus.
Now, as you no doubt know, the free trip to Vegas for the year's highest-selling office is within our reach. If we can keep the momentum of the past week going, we can pass the Denver office and take this thing. But that means we must all work together as a team. Every one of you is a cog in a well-oiled sales machine.
And I don't want to hear any excuses. That means no more 45-minute lunches. No more lingering around the break room. And, most of all, no more of this "But my daughter is going in for chemotherapy tomorrow" business. From anybody. I'm not going to name any names, but I've heard that one a couple of times this week, and that's a couple times too many. I hope I only have to say this once: There is no "My kid has cancer" in "Team."
I know, I know. Cancer sucks. Hey, I'm not happy your kid has it, either. But the way I look at it, cancer's not a reason to get slacking, it's a reason to get cracking! You think your kid's chemo is gonna be free? You gonna say to the doctor, "Hey, I decided not to go to work this week because I'm too upset about my kid's cancer, so how about you give me that chemo for free?" See how far that'll get you! (It certainly won't get you to Vegas!) As we say in the business, no COM-mission, no RE-mission.
I've seen too many salespeople take a nosedive in this business because they let their terminally ill kid hold them back. They start visiting the kid in the hospital, their cold calls drop off, and their sales numbers suffer. Next thing you know, it's not just the kid who's dying, but the hopes of an entire sales team that wants to win a Vegas trip!
You hear what I'm saying? You're part of a team, here. If you miss a pitch, you might miss a sale, and if you miss a sale, we all might miss winning that trip! Believe you me, we've all got plenty of problems we could use as excuses to miss work, but we don't want to let our team down! Do you see Jerry staying home because of his trial separation? Or Brian because of his car trouble?
What do we sing "The Team Song" at the start of every day for? You think it's just so we can hear Glen howling off-key? (Ha, ha, I'm just pulling your leg there, Glen.) What it comes down to is, we're Teamers, not Tumors!
And, while I'm on the subject, what about that trip a certain someone took to Disneyworld recently? You think the rest of us wouldn't love to spend five days whirling around on teacups? You can go to Disneyworld next year, two years from now, ten years from now! I realize the Make-A-Wish Foundation paid for the trip, but that's not reason enough. Hell, I've got tons of frequent-flyer miles piled up, but you don't see me taking off for Bora Bora smack-dab in the middle of our final sales drive, do you?
Did you even try to give the sales pitch to your kid's doctors? The nurses? The Make-A-Wish guys? See, that's what I'm talking about. You're letting opportunities slip through your fingers, and that hurts the team! We'd be the leaders for that Vegas trip if not for your lollygagging and lack of focus. Team has four letters. T-E-A-M. Here's an easy way to remember it: Take Every Avenue Manageable. Do you see the letters "T-H-E D-O-C-T-O-R-S S-A-Y T-H-E C-A-N-C-E-R H-A-S S-P-R-E-A-D T-O H-E-R B-R-A-I-N" somewhere in there? I don't.
This job is about one thing: moving vacuum cleaners. Everything else is a blind alley, kiddo.