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David Long is the author of Built to Lead – 7 Management R.E.W.A.R.D.S. Principles for Becoming a Top 10% Manager. During this interview he talks about his R.E.W.A.R.D.S, an acronym, and how you can apply that to make your employees much more effective. The thing I want to point out in this interview is David’s idea about giving recognition to people you work with or who you work for and the advantages of doing so. David has a lot to say, he’s a really interesting guy and I think you’re going to enjoy the episode.
David Long is the author of Built to Lead – 7 Management R.E.W.A.R.D.S. Principles for Becoming a Top 10% Manager. In the book, he talks about what it takes to become a Top 10% manager in your company, and show YOU exactly what he did to accomplish that impressive feat in THREE DIFFERENT INDUSTRIES!
The “7 Management R.E.W.A.R.D.S. Principles” in Built to Lead are “get-in-the-trenches, no-holds-barred” lessons of how, specifically, to truly become an amazing manager. David tackles, head-on, the lies you’ve been told about how to reach the top in your career, and shows you what REALLY WORKS! These are concrete, foundational principles that will change your life, not only in your business career… but in your personal life as well!
Zeb’s Take – Giving Recognition
It was a blast chatting with David today. He has so much information to give. You can tell that he’s lived an interesting and fulfilling life by helping his employees and really building them. Taking them through his process, how he cultivates, gets people excited about the work that they do. He said he has a treasure chest full of little goodies and things people have given him over the years that say what an impact he’s had on their lives. That has to be very rewarding.
One of the things that he brought up that I thought was extremely interesting was the idea of giving recognition, and recognizing people in a scenario. That’s one of the things I’ve found predominantly why people decide to get involved in particular organizations or groups that are doing things. It’s because of the recognition you give. As leaders and managers, giving recognition for a job well done is extremely important and critical for the success of a business, especially if your business relies on getting others involved.
From my experience, I have a small business I don’t have any employees per say, I have hired people from time to time, but from my experience from being a leader in my local chamber of commerce, I’m the head of the membership committee. Trying to get people to do things is not the easiest thing to do, especially when people are volunteering their time. What I’ve noticed, this is a recent revelation for me, is the more recognition I give to people the more likely they are to do things when I ask for things to be done. I think they genuinely want to do the things that I’m asking during the meetings, but I think when I give recognition for the stuff that they have been doing I get much more buy in to the work that I’m doing. It can be verbal, in my case it is. What David has created is a way to not just give verbal recognition but also to give monetary recognition, or in the form of plaques, or in the form of taking people out to lunch.
When you are trying to organize people, or trying to get people excited or involved in something whenever people do something above and beyond, or even sometimes within their work capacity, but they do a good job at it, is recognizing that is going to help you build your brand, build your business, build everything that you are trying to accomplish and you are going to have more people willing and eager to help you with that process.
If you do find yourself in that managerial role or that leadership position I think you’ll be able to take a lot away from this interview with David.
Reach out to me, send an email to Zeb@WelbornMedia.com. Ask me questions, let me know if there is anything I can help you out with, shoot me an email and I will be happy to answer them for you.
Lastly, go out there and find your success!
Find Out More About David and His Book
Find his book ‘Built to Lead’ on Amazon. You can download chapter 4 on education of his book, visit the website Top10Manager.com. Go to MyEmployees.com for his employee recognition programs. Reach David at DavidLong@Top10Manager.com.
- “I’ve been in management for over 35 years in my life. I know what I’m doing. Over three quarters of our employees are there because of other employees telling them how much they love working at our company. I can’t think of a better endorsement than that.”
- “If the manager is not worthy of respect, they are not going to get it. If the manager doesn’t seem to care about their employees then they will not care back in return. There will be no loyalty, no bond between them.”
- “You need to constantly read and learn new things and make yourself more valuable.”
- “Focus on adding value to people’s lives. Focus on touching people’s lives where you help make them better. That’s where I get my satisfaction from.”
- “It’s nothing big. It’s just the time. It’s the effort. It’s letting them realize that you totally care about them. That’s what matters.”
- “People just telling me how much I meant to their lives, my goodness man, you can’t put a dollar on that. That’s success.”
More from the Interview
David lost a job he had in retail over a disagreement with management. That’s when his life went into a tailspin. He was successful at that job. He assumed he would be able to get another job making just as much money. He went through 7 jobs in 3 years. It was a dark time in his life and he’s grateful for having his wife and 3 kids to help him through.
After 2 and a half years of anguish his father called him and suggested he move back home with them. Davids response, a sarcastic “Yeah right Dad!”
One year after that, his father called asked if he was any better off now than he was the year before. David answered, “No.”
They had just sold their house, that they almost lost to foreclosure. They weren’t going to be able to pay rent the next month so they took his dad’s offer and moved in with the folks.
His best friend’s mother remembered that David had engraved jewelry while he was in college she wanted to help him out and gave him an opportunity. There was a jewelry store closing nearby, she told him to check it out to see if they had any equipment, and if he thought it was worthwhile, she would buy the equipment, they would go into business and split profits 50/50. He thought that was a good idea and went for it. At first it didn’t really pan out.
He was also working at Circuit City. He noticed the plaques they had on the wall, and asked his manager how much they cost and was surprised by the price. He asked if he could create some samples to replace the ones they were selling. The manager was impressed with them. David sold them to him and a to a few other Circuit City stores.
He was still interviewing for other jobs. A potential job fell through. He remembers being in his car on the way home. He had those sample plaques that he made in the trunk of his car. He saw a real estate company on the side of the road and he just pulled in. David was allowed to see the person in charge of employee recognition. He made a deal with the guy and got a check right there. He went to another real estate office and made another sale, got another check and he never looked back. He was in business.
His company is My Employees is in the top 1% of employee recognition and engagement companies in the US and Canada. He says, they’ve grown by an average of 20% every year for the past decade. He has 45 employees now, and they are hiring a few more. They work with Walmart, Target and many more.
He says, “I’ve been in management for over 35 years in my life. I know what I’m doing. Over three quarters of our employees are there because of other employees telling them how much they love working at our company. I can’t think of a better endorsement than that.”
“If the manager is not worthy of respect, they are not going to get it. If the manager doesn’t seem to care about their employees then they will not care back in return. There will be no loyalty, no bond between them.”
David uses the acronym R.E.W.A.R.D.S. in his book.
R – Reconnaissance: know who is on your bus
E – Education
W – Winners Emerge: people will take on leadership roles and responsibilites
A – Attitude: if you have a bad attitude you have a very bad foundation
R – Recognition: it is very important that people realize what you want to see more of
D – Duplication: training your second tier of employees to be ready for opportunities
S – Success: success is different for everyone, it shouldn’t be just about money
For recognition at his own company David gives out awards every month to top performers in every department. He takes them out to lunch. They do activities together, see movies, race go carts, while on the company clock. He will take them out to a nice brazilian steakhouse for dinner. Once a year he takes a select few on an all expenses paid Champions trip, sometimes they go on cruises, we go out west to the Grand Canyon & Zion, the Dominican Republic. In addition to that, they also do recognition on a daily basis to motivate their employees. When they hit a certain number they get a reward from the cookie jar.
“You need to constantly read and learn new things and make yourself more valuable.”
“Focus on adding value to people’s lives. Focus on touching people’s lives where you help make them better. That’s where I get my satisfaction from.”
He says all managers can give employees recognition. It doesn’t have to take a lot of money. You can go to their office and tell them they did a phenomenal job getting that report done early. That right there is more that most managers do. David also says it’s important to be specific. He warns, “Don’t insult someone’s intelligence either.” Put in some effort.
“It’s nothing big. It’s just the time. It’s the effort. It’s letting them realize that you totally care about them. That’s what matters.”
“People just telling me how much I meant to their lives, my goodness man, you can’t put a dollar on that. That’s success.”
David shares about one of his other passions. Him and his wife funded a documentary called Still in the Fight. It profiles 3 wounded warriors, one of which just received the congressional medal of honor. It can be bought on Amazon. All of the money (besides expenses) goes directly to 4 military charities.
David also plans to contribute some of the sales of his book to go to charity as well.