3 of 5 Interview with John Marshall


Interviewer: That’s really interesting. So tell me more about the key between the Effort Profile and the Success Profile. Tell me about how you create that profile.

John Marshall: I use a couple of examples. Have you ever seen a company that has such a strong marketing position that the sales people are order takers as an example?

Interviewer: Oh yes.

John Marshall: You could mistake a Success Profile for an Effort Profile. I’ve seen people that have worked with very top companies where there’s no effort required. You go in and you say you’re from blank and everybody wants to talk to you. Then you see people coming in and they’re slugging along with a company that no one knows about and those two people are performing at about the same level in terms of results. The one who’s working for the organization that doesn’t have the high profile is probably working twice as hard as the one who is working for the high profile organization. The key is to find out what the Effort Profile is, what the effort pattern is, what the habits are. What is interesting about it is the key thing that separates these top performers is that it is self-initiated effort not structure initiated effort. For example, if I’m the president of my golf club, and I have to run meetings, the structure tells me what to do. It’s not really something that I have to keep creating or a lot of effort in the sense of initiating effort. The structure tells me what to do. Whereas when you have to do something and there’s no structure or there’s any number of things you can do that’s where the self- initiated structure, at least the self- initiated effort, starts to differentiate those top performers. What you’ll find about a top performer, which I always love, it doesn’t matter what they do. If they say they’re going to do something they do it and you don’t have to worry about them. If they say they’re going to do blank they will do it and you can sleep at night because you know that they’ve done it. Then the next day when you’re talking to them or coaching them you can ask them how it went not did they do it because you know. Now you’re helping them do it better rather than worrying whether they did it or not. What you’ll see with top performers is they’ll always keep their commitments.

Interviewer: Part of that comes through the interviewing process clearly.

John Marshall: Yes

Interviewer: You want to try to ask the right questions if you’re trying to select an athlete for your team trying obviously to select an employee. There’s also ways through assessments you could use to get to that?

John Marshall: For sure. You can assess anything in an individual. The question is, is it a good investment to do it. A good selection strategy you always, and how you identify this is a combination of things. If I’m using a tool, one of our tools as an example, and say identify this thing we call self-management which is really do you make commitments and keep commitments. A good self manager, which is the number one competency of successful people, you’ll find that successful people tend to take control over their internal environment. So they’ll go inside themselves, they’ll have a whole bunch of energy and they’ll invest that energy every single day to try and get return on their energy and that’s what we call self-management. You can assess for example, and the number one thing we assess in our instruments is self-management. Do people take responsibility for their day to day effort? Will the initiate? Will they be proactive? And once you’ve identified the potential the interview process looks at the reality of it. What you’ll find is that some people will have the potential to be a self manager but when you interview them and look for a habit pattern that substantiates the potential and there’s nothing there. You’ll see people for example who may have the potential but they don’t have any examples in their life where they’ve made a commitment or kept a commitment or initiated some commitment on a day to day basis. That’s where the interviewing and the profile work hand in hand. You can have a strong profile, and again our number one characteristic is self- management, taking responsibility, and our number two is their motivation, will they be high achievers, because top people not only have a good activity pattern but they’re highly motivated.You can check that out in your structured interview as well. The two top characteristics the self- management and the motivation structure, you can look at it from a potential sense with a proprietary profile or assessment and then substantiate that with the interview.

Interviewer: So you’ve got your ability to determine if someone is a self manager. Tell me a little more about that motivation structure. Tell me more about what that means because motivation means a lot of things to a lot of different people.

John Marshall: What we find is that a lot of people confuse what we call “need to achieve” with achieving. If you look at a very successful person in terms of, depending on how you measure it but let’s say you measure it by money, when you look at that achievement you might mistake that for “need to achieve” and all that is that they have achieved. Some people achieve but don’t have a high need to achieve and other people have a high need to achieve and don’t achieve and, of course, some people who have a high need to achieve, achieve. What we have found is when you look at someone’s insides, in terms of how they’re put together from a motivational perspective, they have a high “need to achieve”. And what that means is they, on a day to day basis, put out energy and they put out a lot of energy and it is focused towards some sort of goals or objective. They do that every day and they work hard towards that. If they make a lot of money as an example, the need to achieve is still there. You’ll often hear “why is so and so still working” and that’s because they have a strong need to achieve. The fact is that their achieving is just their way of keeping score. Again that gets back to the difference between Effort Profile and a Success Profile because if you look at the outside of somebody you think “gee they’re successful, they’re achieving” but you want to know what’s going on inside, do they have the high need to achieve? I’ve made that mistake in the past where you look at somebody that’s very successful with somebody else and they’ve achieved and they didn’t have a high need to achieve and you bring them on board and you have mistaken that achievement for a need to achieve and they don’t work hard with you.

Interviewer: Interesting. You’re looking at the motivational structure for the individuals and recognizing that as a coach or as a manager or a leader in an organization, be it sports or business or education, the more you understand what motivates people then that clearly puts you in a power position. You’re able to adapt your style right?

John Marshall: Exactly. Not giving too much personal disclosure about you, but I know that you have that high need to achieve. I know that you put that effort in no matter what you do. If you think about yourself and you think about what questions would I ask myself to identify my high need to achieve you could probably come up with some things that you would say “if somebody asked me this question this would identify my high need for achievement”. Not just only in your sports side but also in your personal side and professional style as well.

Interviewer: The application of that is broad. I’ve got a couple of sons who play in high school sports and I’m thinking man this is information we need to get into the coaches hands to help improve the ability to coach these kids at such a young age.

John Marshall: Absolutely. A good friend of mine wrote a paper on golf for the RCGA up here and he was talking about the role of coaches and parents at different stages of development of kids and how that changes. What we know from studies is kids internalize at about puberty so up until puberty their sort of thinking somebody else is an athlete or whatever. About 12 or 13 they start to realize that it’s them and either they’ll click in and become a lead athlete or they’ll click out and quit. You’ll see most of your drop outs occurring around that stage, 12 to 13 to 14. That’s where it happens. That’s where that inside stuff takes over. Top people again, which is interesting, become internal rather than external. Whereas the people who keep waiting for the environment or the coach or whatever to tell them what to do, they never become elite. The ones who become elite are the ones that internalize it and it comes from the inside out, not the outside in. But you’ll see coaches continually thinking that they’re the ones that motivate people. And as we both know you can’t motivate anybody. You can try to do that but no matter what you do it’s a very short term impact. The key to long term success is people becoming self- reinforcing and the coach just reinforces the internal structure that’s already there. With your kids, watch what the coaches do. They try to get them to be self -reinforcing or do they create a dependency on the coach to tell them what to do whether they’re doing well or not.

Interviewer: Well the challenge with that is what seems to be the easiest way to do it is to coax and to bribe and to force and to tell them.

John Marshall: I remember a president I was working with in a company. He had a program where if you saved a thousand dollars in operational cost the reward was lunch with the president. He was such a tyrant that nobody wanted to have lunch with him. Motivation and reinforcement is only meaningful to the individual. We see that all the time with contests and stuff like that where you try and figure out what is motivating this person. If you make it an external thing once the people achieve that then the motivation disappears. A trip to Hawaii is an example. Once they achieve that then they wait until the next trip. If they’re externally motivated and just working for external rewards, once the rewards run out, what happens is the motivation runs out. I found out with my daughter, I always laugh over this, when she was very young I’d try and get her to shovel the snow when it was snowing. I said to her the first time it snowed and she was about 5, “can you shovel the snow?” and she said “no”. I said “I’ll give you a buck.” So she went out and shoveled the snow and came back and I gave her a dollar. Next time it snowed I said to her “Can you shovel the snow? I’ll give you a dollar” and you know what she said to me? “I want two.” I was about to reach in my pocket for the two bucks and I was thinking this is a never ending process. Don’t you find that with everybody? They find out ways to work the system to their favor. If they know you as a coach are going to do this or you as a manager are going to do this, they’re going to put pressure on you to find out new ways to externally reinforce them, so that the manager can get what they need from you. If it never gets shifted into the internal side the manager’s always at the mercy of the motivational system outside to try and figure out new and exciting ways to reinforce his or her team.

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