"If you tell a big enough lie and tell it frequently enough, it will be believed." Walter Langer
I was at a business dinner in San Diego this week where I sat next to a man who specializes in turning around failing companies.
In the 90’s he bought a $25M company and scaled it to $250M over 18 months.
Scaling a business is hard.
Doing that in the 90’s was REAL hard.
So I grilled him with questions about how he did it.
He told me...
"We were a mail order business. So we sent out catalogs and people called to buy products from us.
But our sales reps weren't performing.
So I cleared out one big 60 ft by 60 ft room. And I painted everything in the room gold.
Gold curtains. Gold tables. Gold chairs.
Then I moved some reps to this room and told them they were now part of "The Gold Team."
I explained that each person on the Gold Team was specifically hand picked because of their potential to grow and achieve high sales numbers.
And, as a perk, the Gold Team would now get the highest value customers routed to them.
Gold customers like to spend more money. So it's important to give them the highest quality service and offer our best upgrades to them.
Then they hit the phones."
Can you guess what happened next?
Within a month, the average order value skyrocketed.
The average sales team got $25/order.
The Gold Team achieved $60-70/order.
Every single person on the Gold Team performed above average.
It was all a lie.
The sales reps were not "hand picked." They were randomly selected.
There were no ‘high value customers.’ They were all the same customers.
The whole thing... was made up.
And the business took off because of it.
So... should YOU lie to your employees?
But that's not the point of this article.
The point of this article is how our FRAME dictates our reality.
There is a psychological phenomenon known as the Pygmalion effect.
Pygmalion was a Greek sculptor who created a statue of a woman so beautiful, he fell in love with it.
Enamored with his creation and unable to love a mere mortal human, Pygmalion pleads with Aphrodite, the goddess of love, for help.
She takes pity on him and brings the statue to life. Pygmalion marries his creation and spends his life with her.
It was his expectations that led to his dream coming true.
The Pygmalion effect explains how high expectations lead to improved performance.
It is this Framing that leads to self fulfilling prophecies.
The Greeks understood the power of Framing hundreds of years ago.
When these sales reps held the mental frame that they only spoke to Gold customers and they were hand picked to be on the Gold team... they performed differently.
Not because of talent. Or skill. Or discipline.
But because of the frame in their mind.
The most important frame is... the frame you hold for yourself.
What do you believe about YOU? Do you belong in the Gold Room? Or do you belong in the average room? Or do you belong somewhere else entirely?
And if you're unhappy with your current frame of yourself... Consider:
This guy lied to his employees until they started believing in themselves.
It's never too late to lie to yourself... for your own good.
Originally published by andydrish.com.
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