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Incognito’s guide to retaining top talent, even when you pay them shit

Anyone who has been a halfway decent manager at some point in their lives has struggled to keep top performers – and for good reason. Current market conditions aside, without good talent, you have no business. They are the reason you bring in revenue, and anyone worth a shit knows this. That’s exactly why you hired them; because they can see the bigger picture and make decisions based on what has the greatest ROI.


While throwing piles of money their way is absolutely a great way to incentivize people to stay with you, it’s not always something those at the top of an organization feel is a good investment. I know, its fucking stupid, but sometimes people just have their head up their ass. Maybe they needed a new Bentley or something. Super important shit like that.


I have been in many situations where payroll wasn’t dictated by me, but the results were absolutely my responsibility. I needed to polish those turds into diamonds, and this is how I did it:


Find out what drives them


Sounds simple, but even if they say “money” – figure out a way so that working for you builds their reputation as someone who will absolutely land a huge opportunity after “paying their dues” with you. Introduce them to the top players in the field. Brag about how amazing they are to everyone who matters. Maybe it isn’t even money. Maybe they want a better work/life balance. Volunteer to take some of their shifts and never, ever deny them a “personal day”.


Make sure that they feel respected in the workplace


You need their buy in for your success, so actively seek out their feedback on big decisions. You don’t have to take it, but the fact that you cared enough to even ask means a lot more than you know. Defend their reputation with your life and for fuck’s sake


Always accept responsibility when you have been wrong.


The details DO NOT MATTER. Take your ego and throw it out the window. They do not care why you were wrong; they just want you to own it. Absolutely any further commentary or excuses are disingenuous and it will piss them off.


Think of how your actions will affect them


They get it. You have the big boss title and make a lot more than they do. Want them to not hate you? Always think of what they need before yourself. I know that sometimes you need to do things to promote your business, but always, ALWAYS make sure that it is NEVER at their expense. PAY ATTENTION to the details when their reputation is on the line. There is no excuse to “miss”. It’s a valued form of currency that doesn’t cost you a dime – only getting over yourself enough to actually care.


Get your hands dirty with them


Letting them do all the work while you sit in your ivory tower is the fastest way towards a high turnover rate and endless college freshies named “Brody”. Earn their respect by grinding every bit as hard as they do. It doesn’t always have to be the same tasks, but they better see you working. Grind so hard that they BEG to help take over some of your tasks. Again, this goes back to earning their respect and getting buy in. Once you’ve lost that, it doesn’t matter how much they’re paid.

_________________________________________________________________________


TL;DR – As Coors Chief Nuclear Strategist, I’m hitting the button. I might lurk here and there, but radiation burns are the one fetish I *don’t* have. While I know that no one gives a fuck about insurance, tag my ass if you require assistance and I’ll do my best to find the nearest hazmat suit. Until then, every time you see a crane in the distance, I do hope that you’ll have a chuckle knowing that I’m probably attempting to shove it down some racist/sexist douchebag’s urethra (sounding is underrated IMO). 


🤘

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19
InQ5WeTrust
Arsonist
+9
Sales Savages, what is our profession? Trauma!
“The flame that burns twice as bright burns half as long." - Jonny sins 
Incognito
WR Officer
+11
Master of Disaster
Well I’m nuclear so…..
InQ5WeTrust
Arsonist
+9
Sales Savages, what is our profession? Trauma!
Damn girl 
Show 4 more replies
Biznasty
Opinionated
+5
Lead Business Development Manager
the owner of the first company I ever did sales for referred to me as the horse before secretariat who ran so fast it's heart exploded. 
CuriousFox
WR Officer
+13
Senior Account Executive
This depressing, but I respect your decision. 🦊❤🕵️‍♀️
Incognito
WR Officer
+11
Master of Disaster
🖤🦊🖤
UrAssIsSaaS
Politicker
+8
SaaS Eater
Damn, a second great Knight off into the distance. 

This is all great stuff, and thing I wish I knew 5 years ago when I started managing. #1 resonates big time here. If you know your people "why" and their real one, not the surface level shit you can move mountains. 

Keep those mountains blue @Incognito 
Incognito
WR Officer
+11
Master of Disaster
Yet again, you prove your credentials are legit from mere words. 

I will find you, dear Sir, fear not. 
UrAssIsSaaS
Politicker
+8
SaaS Eater
In due time! 
InQ5WeTrust
Arsonist
+9
Sales Savages, what is our profession? Trauma!
Another Knight has fallen. 
CuriousFox
WR Officer
+13
Senior Account Executive
Not a fan of it. 
Sunbunny31
Politicker
+5
Sales Executive
Yeah...it's a shame, that's for sure.
Show 2 more replies
Sunbunny31
Politicker
+5
Sales Executive
Nothing kills off a sales team faster than bad management.   
Incognito
WR Officer
+11
Master of Disaster
📠
UserNotFound
Politicker
+10
Mid Market Manager
First and foremost, can I come work for you? How do you have this figured out when no one else on the planet seems to? Second, farewell my friend. I genuinely look forward to your content and though my handle has changed a few times, my cult-like followership hasn’t. Damn that Incognito Koolaid.
Incognito
WR Officer
+11
Master of Disaster
ILYSM, hold down the fort! Even in the face of those who hang up on you!
FamilyTruckster
Politicker
+9
Exec Director, Major Accounts
Riding off into the sunset with medical grade tubing in hand. What a boss. 
Incognito
WR Officer
+11
Master of Disaster
Knew you would catch the pun 🖤
poweredbycaffeine
WR Lieutenant
+10
Bean Juice Drinker | Sales Savant
We salute you, comrade. May your mountains stay blue, and your meltdowns stay epic.
Incognito
WR Officer
+11
Master of Disaster
Always, my Caffeinated Coors Knight 🖤
Justatitle
Politicker
+11
Mid Market AE
A+ list IMHO. People want to feel that they work for someone that displays empathy and understands where they are coming from. When you feel like you are just in a machine and what you do is not impactful it doesn't matter what you get paid you don't have the will to be there anymore. @Incognito I salute you.
cw95
Politicker
+6
Sales Development Lead
Auld Lang Syne my friend. 
NoSuperhero
Politicker
+7
BDR
Just reading this makes me want to jump ship. All the people that did the majority of what you said like finding out what we care about, thinking about how their actions affect us, and taking ownership of mistakes are basically things of the recent past.

Also, I want to add that job security is near gone at where I'm at and I just went on vacation after the worst month of the year for me and my team, yay! Zero fucks given.
re
returnofthemac
Valued Contributor
+5
Account Executive
i don't comment often but when i do it's because this post is fire
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