How to Drive Your People to Meet Customer Deadlines

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Scenario: "Dude, we just got to motivate the sucka out of 'em. They'll meet those customer deadlines like a mofo. Yay!" You won't get your people meeting deadlines on a viciously consistent basis unless you do one thing.

How Most Managers Enforce Deadlines

Before we tell your badass what that one thing is, notice how most managers enforce "deadlines":

  1. Manager Marie: "Yo, have you finished customer Chrissy's project? It's due today."
  2. Employee Ernie: "Not yet! Still working on some important parts. I'll get it to you on Monday."
  3. Manager Marie: "Sure. I trust you know what you're doing. I empower you. I'll tell customer Chrissy."

Monday rolls around...

  1. Manager Marie: "Done?"
  2. Employee Ernie: "Nope. Still adding those important features. Wednesday. Promise."
  3. Manager Marie: "Sure."

Three weeks later...

  1. Manager Marie: "You done, you son-of-a-biatch?"
  2. Employee Ernie: "Not yet. I'm still fixing some bugs."
  3. Manager Marie: "The client needed the project weeks ago!"
  4. Employee Ernie: "Two more days. Promise."
  5. Manager Marie: "Okay."

And the vicious cycle continues....

Most company managers, and they have have good hearts (and we love 'em), want deadlines met -- but they enforce nothing to drive their people to meet them.

The solution to missed deadlines?

Enforce vicious consequences for missed deadlines. We affectionately call it the "No Deadline Left Behind" initiative. It's sexy, juicy, and delicious. We'll explain what exactly "vicious" means.

How To Enforce Your Customer Deadlines

We're bombarded with short deadlines from our clients. If we don't come through, we're in heaps of trouble. Not only do missed deadlines make us look pathetic, they push back other projects. And you know what happens then: That phenomenon severely

  1. weakens our cash flow,
  2. hurts our bottom line,
  3. demolishes our credibility,
  4. and worse: keeps customers waiting.

So we've enacted this rockin' rule for deadlines -- the fabulously sexy "No Deadline Left Behind" initiative:

If you complete your work before your deadline, you earn 100% of your money for your project. If you don't, we remove 20% from your pot, 20% from our pot -- and return that to the customer. And, for every day your project's late: We remove an additional 20% from both parties' original pot. Badasses wanted, only.

(Customize to your business, of course.)

  1. For instance, say customer Craig wants a white paper for $2000.
  2. You hire Johnny for $1000 to write a white paper for customer Craig. Craig needs it done 7 days.
  3. If Johnny doesn't get that paper to customer Craig in 7 days, you remove $400 ($200 from you + $200 from Johnny) -- returning those Benjamins to customer Craig.
  4. Now, if Johnny again misses it on the 8th day, you remove another $200 from both parties. And, so on -- until the sucker's free to customer Craig.

The "No Deadline Left Behind" initiative keeps your players on top of their games, and fiercely drives your people to meet those freakin' deadlines.

Why the "No Deadline Left Behind" Initiative Rocks

"But my people will hate me. Ahh!" Don't trip. Here's why the initiative rocks:

  1. You get extremely kick-ass feedback.

    Johnny misses a deadline. You know something went wrong. You tell your bad-self you need to understand what happened:
    • Was the project too complex for him?
    • Did Johnny have the necessary skills required?
    • Did he understand what the client needed?
    • Did he have the necessary resources?
    • Or, is he somebody who just slacks off?

    When a team player misses a deadline, not only does it hurt that player's pot -- but it also hurts your company's overall profits on the project. That viciously drives you to understand what caused the missed deadline -- to ensure it doesn't happen again. For instance, if Johnny lacked the necessary resources, you know you'll have to provide him with the resources required -- or you both lose money. But if he's a slacker? You know he doesn't belong at your company. Rule of thumb to remember: If Johnny can't accomplish his stuff on time, you know either (1) you've put him in the wrong position, or (2) he's not a good fit at your company.
  2. You separate the badasses from those who can't cut it.

    Enforcing the "No Deadline Left Behind" initiative keeps your company tickin' & rockin' with great people. It quickly weeds out those who can't kick-ass on time from those who could. (Besides, who'd want to work for free?) At the heart of every kick-ass company lies great people who accomplish kick-ass things on time. That's what the business world calls: Execution. Google's filled their headquarters with them, so has Starbucks, so has Walgreen's, and so has Enterprise Rent-a-car. Those companies are a major cut above their competition because they obsessively focus on juicy execution. The "No Deadline Left Behind" initiative ensures your company keeps on ticking with people who execute.
  3. You ensure your customers sweet happiness.

    When you enact the "No Deadline Left Behind" initiative, you ensure your customers' sanity by either
    1. accomplishing deadlines, or
    2. providing them kick-ass deals if your company misses those deadlines.

    Besides, what's the worst thing that could happen? The customer receives a free product because of those successive missed deadlines. And trust us: Most customers would rather get free stuff.

To get your people on rockin' those customer deadlines, remember:

The "No Deadline Left Behind" initiative drives major on-time ass-kicking.


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Posted on October 31

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