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The Fordyce Letter

Straight Talk for the Recruiting Profession

Articles tagged 'motivation'


What Does Success Mean?

Success at sunrise-123rf

Most companies, including Versique, my own, put extensive time and energy into general planning, client relationships, and results strategy, all the while keeping a close eye on operations and service/product offerings and, of course, finances. Over the past 10 years, I have had the opportunity to work with hundreds of great companies, and I have seen many put so much energy into the strategic planning process only to fall short because they forget one key item – they fail to define what success means to their organization.

Success can mean different things to different people, so which definition is right?

Ask Barb, Motivation

Personal Goals Lead to Consistent Production

Ask Barb

Dear Barb:

My team has very inconsistent production I actually blanked two months. In our niche, it can take anywhere from six to eight weeks for a deal to close. How can I manage my team to produce consistently when our hiring process is long? My team is convinced it is reasonable to have one good month followed by a flat or blank month and I need to turn this around.

Marsha L.
San Jose, CA

Dear Marsha:

The length of your hiring process should not prevent your team from

Ask Barb, The Business of Recruiting

You Can’t Motivate the Unwilling

Ask Barb

Dear Barb:

How can I motivate my sales team to produce more? I know they could all do much better, but they seem to be satisfied with average production. They look to me for motivation which I find very frustrating. Shouldn’t they motivate themselves?

Sharon M., St. Louis, MO

Dear Sharon:

You can’t motivate another person especially if they choose not to be motivated. What you can do is identify what is most important to the individuals you employ. If your sales team understands the WIIFM (What’s In It For Me), they will motivate themselves. People do things for their own reasons, not yours.


The Best Advice I Ever Got


Overworked worker - freeFrequently, while conducting training programs or during my in-house consulting work, I am asked to offer the best advice I can on how to be successful in this business. For 40 years I have offered the same advice;  advice someone else gave me when I was a rookie consultant. What my mentor provided me was the best “how-to” advice I ever received. Daily I focus on that advice because it’s as valid today as it was so many years ago.

The best advice I ever received was:

Ask Barb, Motivation

Start the New Year With Your Own Dream Board

Ask Barb
Note: Build your own Dream Board. Barb Bruno explained how. Click here for the details.

Dear Barb:

I saw you speak in Canada and came back to my office on fire. I had my best quarter ever by implementing some of your strategies, but I’m now falling back into some of my old habits. How can I stay motivated every day to feel the same energy level and enthusiasm? There are some days I just fill my day with busy work because I don’t want to pick up the phone. Daily motivation is becoming a real problem for me. I would appreciate any words of wisdom you’re willing to share with me.

Janice F.
Ask Barb

Create Your Own Dream Board and Realize Your Dreams In 2015

Ask Barb

Note: Today, Barb Bruno explains what a dream board is and how to build one. Next week she shows you how to use it to meet your goals for the year ahead.

A dream board is a visual picture of the dreams you have for your life that you want to come true. The concept is that we attract to us what we think. If we put good things in front of us, those things we’ve always wanted, those things we’ve always thought about having in our lives, then we will attract what we think.

I’ve watched clients want something but not write it down, and not

Ask Barb

How 10% Will Get You 30%

Ask Barb

Dear Barb:

I work a contingency engineering direct desk and have produced between $250,00 and $275,000 for the past five years. When I focus on producing more, I beat my monthly average, but then the next month I crash and burn. I’m getting married next year and want to earn more. What do I need to change in order to consistently produce more?

Susan F.
San Jose, CA

You Can Motivate You

Dear Susan:

The great news here is you have accomplished consistent production and

Ask Barb, For Managers

My Team Isn’t Producing. What Do I Do?

Ask Barb

Dear Barb:

I’m frustrated by the results this year. I know my sales team could produce more. How do you light a fire under people without having them walk out the door? They are never on the phone and seem to think sending emails and texting is just as effective. They also spend way too much time on social media sites, job boards, and searching our database rather than calling possible candidates to place.

I’m at my wits ends and really don’t know how to motivate my current team. There are times when I think I should fire everyone because I could make more money just producing by myself. How do you motivate your team?

Walter M.
Detroit, MI
Ask Barb, Motivation

Need More Balance? Discuss it With the Boss

Ask Barb

Dear Barb:

I’ve been a big biller for most of my career. I just returned from maternity leave and I find I don’t want to put in the effort or hours it takes to become a top producer. I tried to explain this to my manager, but he is convinced I’m just sleep-deprived and will return to being his #1 producer this year. It’s not going to happen, my priorities have changed and my husband earns great money, so I don’t need to earn what I’ve earned in the past.

I don’t want to quit, but I’d rather work for someone who is not pressuring me on a daily basis to produce numbers I feel are unreasonable considering I have a four-month-old daughter. My co-workers even feel my manager is out of line. I know you were a single mom and would really value your advice.

Judy C.
New York, NY
How-To, Motivation

If All You Do Is Think You Should Be Doing Better, You Won’t


When I was 16 years old I came home from a particularly hard day’s work at Burger King where I commanded a wage of $3.35 per hour. (Yeah, minimum wage.) My very loving and supportive mother asked me how my day was and I remember answering, “It was long, difficult and hot…  I should be making A LOT more to do this job!” I was expecting a supportive hug, a “Keep it up honey, they’ll recognize your worth.”… Something like that.

My mother’s response floored me; I’ll never forget it. She said in a pretty terse tone, “NO you shouldn’t! You DON’T KNOW ANYTHING YET!”

Wow! I felt the blood drain from my face and felt very humbled and a bit humiliated, honestly.

As Tim Russert wrote, “The older I get the smarter my father  seems to get.” Substitute ‘mother’ in that sentence and that is how I feel now. You