John DiJulius | Customer Experience Blog


Cal DiJulius

This is a very common question I am frequently asked.  Actually many times it is not a question, but rather a statement: “Employees have to be incentivized to go Above & Beyond, otherwise they won’t do it regularly.”  I totally disagree.  Actually, I do not want employees that need incentives in order to be “day makers.”  I want genuine people who enjoy making other people’s day.

Think about the most passionate, committed people?  The ones I have come across are anyone associated with:

  • Volunteer Groups
  • Charity groups
  • Campaigns
  • High school & college athletes

Think about those groups.  You have people who commit a ridiculous amount of time and energy to something other than themselves.  They work tirelessly for days and days, building homes, donating their time, knocking on doors, and raising money. Think about a student athlete competing in volleyball, wrestling, or soccer; training year round, off-season, getting up at 6 am, working double sessions.  For what?  Rarely is there any monetary opportunity.

Many times these exact same people are constantly late and have zero passion for their paying jobs. What is it that causes these types of people to sacrifice so much for so little?  It is because they are part of a cause that is something bigger than themselves, and somehow, someone constantly shows them their direct impact on the outcome.

My middle son, Cal, at 11 years old, worked on a political campaign. This was not a result of his parents doing. I am embarrassed to say that neither of his parents had any political knowledge of any kind or interest.  However, Cal read a book and decided he wanted to help get this politician elected. I remember the weeks leading up to the election. Cal and I would constantly get into arguments because he insisted he be allowed to knock on doors and make phone calls on school nights way past his bedtime.  He was convinced if I didn’t let him, his candidate would lose.  I couldn’t argue with his passion.   Yet this is the same kid I sometimes have to beg to clean up his cloths, put his toys away and take the trash out every week.  But he had conviction. There was something he believed in and he was convinced he impacted the outcome.

World Class Leadership

John DiJulius

John DiJulius

Ask yourself, if as a leader, your employees clearly know your vision.  Have you made them part of a cause, something bigger than themselves, and are you showing them that their direct contribution impacts the outcome.


1 Comment

Thanks for a great article. I needed this! I’ve been wondering lately if I need to light a fire under some of my employees or simply fire them. Now I’m thinking that some of them may not understand our vision as completely as others do. I’m sure a few of them have never thought they were actually part of something bigger than themselves, something that’s trying to make a difference in this world. And, sadly, I think there may be some who never will. I’m realizing, too, that those people will need to go. We’re a small company and we cannot afford those who don’t have a passion for what we do. That said, I’d better make sure they get a chance to feel that passion first. Thanks again.

Comment by Mark Henson

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