If you know me, then you know that I am a runner. I love everything about it, especially the challenge to push myself past my limits. It has become my stress reliever, meditation and weight management tool all in one.
But there was a time when I did not feel this way. One day, crossing the street in New York City, I twisted my knee in a pothole. I felt nothing at the time, but on my next run, I felt pain in my knee within minutes. I took a few days off, but the pain kept returning on every run I tried. I became afraid of running on roads too far from my home and unable to get back. This was years before Uber was available on every corner.
This led me to the gym, doing slow, easy runs on the treadmill for 20 minutes. I hated it. I recently read that the treadmill was invented to torture prisoners by having them run on a device to turn a wheel to ground grain. I believe it. Every step I took on that treadmill felt like torture.
But I loved the spin classes I took in a dark room with music blasting and an instructor screaming like a drill sergeant, pushing me harder than I ever could have imagined. I left each class drained and exhilarated.
One day, as I stepped on the treadmill, I decided to push myself with the same intensity I did in the spin class. I increased my speed every minute, going beyond my limits and falling in love with running again.
Turns out that’s the secret to getting results: using 100 percent of your passion and ability.
As I run my service company, one of my biggest challenges is to get each member of my team to give their full passion to everything they do. Some employees naturally have this ability and throw themselves completely into every task they do.
But how do you push your entire team to show that same intensity?
I’ve found two critical ways to help them. No, it’s not being the drill sergeant and screaming at them.
First, give them knowledge. The more training they have on any given topic, the more confident they will be. As a pest control company, it’s not enough to show them how to treat a pest at a specific account. Go beyond and teach them everything they need to know about that pest including their habits and biology. I get excited when I hear a service tech explaining to the customer the unique habits of a particular insect and how they are tailoring the treatment to account for it. They gain the confidence to sound like a professional.
Second, they need to understand how the entire process works. I learned this years ago when I first started training technicians. It wasn’t just how to treat this crack or find that hole. All of that is useless if they can’t find that crack or that hole on their own. I walked them step by step exactly what my entire thought process was. When there was a cockroach infestation by the dish area of a restaurant, I didn’t say where there was a major nest hidden. I showed them how two cockroaches scurried away when we moved a bucket, which led to a crack in the corner with a small pocket of cockroaches. Then finally to the main infestation inside the motor. This gives them the tools to do the detective work to find difficult problems on their own.
A little knowledge and understanding gives everyone the tools and the confidence to attack every task with the passion it takes to solve any problem. And that’s what leads to results.
Have a great run!