I am reading a book by T. Harv Eker, The Secret of the Millionaire Mind: Mastering the Inner Game of Wealth that resonates with how I think we should be looking at life as CSI South Africa.
I have always thought employees should be well compensated, but that this compensation should be for true value. And I have to say true value is hard to come by. This year I have let go of more people than in any other year. You might ask why?
It is because I believe – I can’t explain why – that it is better to work alone than to work with people who are not invested in what our country needs. In The Secret of the Millionaire Mind, Harv Eker says,
“Rich people get paid based on results and poor people get paid based on time”. This could not be more true.
I let the people go because I simply could not accept how they shut down on a Friday. I have worked for corporates, small businesses and NGOs, and I can’t remember any time when my boss called me on a Friday (or a Saturday) and I did not pick up or call back. I sometimes said, “I am not available right now; I’ll call you back”, but I usually said, “I will do what you ask.” Today, when I have clients instead of bosses, I still tell them, “Thanks, I got your call. I’ll work on this in the next hour” or whatever.
The one thing I am clear about is that I am no one’s boss: I don’t insist on being the One Who Knows. No matter how our paths crossed, we can both learn from each other. Each person I cross paths with has something I need – I am sure about that – they have a lesson to teach me, otherwise there would be no need for me to meet them. Life is very smart; it doesn’t bring us people for the heck of it: No, sir, that never happens.
No second chances
I have always had this thing of not wanting to give people a second chance but, of course, the world tells us that we should. It was only when I read a book by Raymond Ackerman that I found someone who agreed with me. He said, “If you catch a person stealing in your company, fire them. There are no second chances for those people. Once is enough.”
So I decided a long time ago that, although I would try to understand their reasoning, I would not give people second chances. I have this conviction that, if they cannot get it right the first time around, they will never get it right – or they are holding up someone else’s job.
I recently heard that, in the last quarter, around 39 000 of the youth lost their jobs. I am waiting for the day when I find a young person who says, “Give me a shot for half the pay and I will do the job – and much more.” I know this young person exists because, when I was unemployed and working as a waitron many years ago, all I said to myself was, “If I get a job, I will do so much more…” And “so much more” did I do that, today, we are working with leaders – not just because of the services we deliver but also because of the “so much more” we provide.
So much more
One of our clients asked me, “Simphiwe, do you have any other clients except for us?”
I said, “Yes.”
They said, “Then how do you make us feel like we are the only client you have?”
I said, “It is because I pick up your calls, I don’t talk about time, I don’t talk about what the contract says – I talk about delivering the service to the best of our ability.”
We are working for South Africa.
Our accountable entrepreneurial payment model
I recently devised an entrepreneurial system for CSR NEWS. It started with one of our clients complaining about a service they got from us. I picked up the call, talked to the client about the purpose of the product, and then explained the measure we had implemented to satisfy their needs.
What we implemented was an entrepreneurial payment model: We all get paid a basic salary and we all have to bring in clients. But bringing them in is one thing – treating them well is the key to earning more than our basic salaries. Our system allows our clients to influence the commission we all get. Their opinions go directly to the accounts department and they tally up our work efforts based on clients’ opinions. That way, we make sure we deliver impeccable services to our clients, and also make sure that our teams are well compensated.
Giving value for money
I am going to close this Note with a paraphrase of a story from T. Harv Eker’s book, The Secrets of the Millionaire Mind. He hired a PR firm to help him market his book. The PR agency told him they would need around R48 thousand a month to manage the process and that he would get PR value worth over R250 thousand.
He asked, “What if I don’t get the R250 thousand you’re talking about?”
The PR agency replied, “You still have to pay us R48 thousand for our time.”
To which he responded indignantly, “But I don’t want to pay for your time! I want to pay for the results your time brings.” He then said to the agency, “I’ll tell you what. If you believe you can get me advertising to the value of R250 thousand, I will be happy with that. But let’s work like this: I will give you R5 thousand for your administration process and, if you get me advertising to the value of R250 thousand and we can see that, I will give you an additional R100 thousand every month.”
The agency of course declined his offer because they were not willing to put their money where they said they believed their value was.
Working for the salary, not the results
A so called NGO project manager told me they had raised over R2 million for the foundation.
“Great,” I said. “Then you will prove that by working on a low basic salary and allow the commission structure to elevate your pay to what it used to be.”
From calling me every day, that NGO project manager’s calls subsided to none at all. Why? – Because their claim was not matched by their work.
That’s why I am not willing to work with such people: They are not here for the industry, the community and our country; they are here for the salary. Tomorrow, such project managers will be working for car companies as PAs. Why? – Because they were in the wrong job.
I have been in CSI for over 20 years now. I have grown and will remain here because I belong here: This is the right job for me.
Help us help South Africa
What I know is that there are other people out there who belong here, and CSR NEWS is searching for them – maybe searching for you – to help us help South Africa. If you believe you are the kind of person we are searching for, please email your CV to email@example.com. The CSR NEWS job market is open all year round.