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How Your Integrity Keeps Employees Motivated
Sean: When facing obstacles and conflicts, how do you keep your team motivated? Alright, I’ll let you answer this first Le-an
Le-an: The interesting thing with 2XYou, Because with 2XYou we only have a few clients who have more than two assistants. Like most of them are like 1 to 1. So when it comes to obstacles and conflicts between the team, there’s rarely any, which is, I’m really lucky to say. And usually, one of the things when it comes to motivation, team motivation specifically, I always say that my job as a leader is not to motivate but to inspire. It’s to keep reminding them, especially when there are hard days, especially when they’re like their family life is mixing with their work life. I always remind them that take it one day at a time, and also to remind them of what they’re currently pursuing.
Le-an: One of the things is I always ask when they’re starting out is what’s their big audacious goal? It’s something you’re really working towards because then I use that of like, this is what you want. And you said that you wanted this, right? So I’m going to help you the best way that I can to get here. What do you want to do next? So it’s, it’s again, it’s going away from motivating them. Like, ‘you want this, right? You want this. Let’s do this,’ into inspiring of like you want this reminding you that this is what you wanted. So what do you want to do next?
Le-an: So it’s more of getting them out of the feeling of ‘I’m stuck. I can’t do anything. I can’t, I’m just here’ into like, ‘Oh, yeah, I have a dream bigger than this. I have a dream bigger than this small problem, if I get to that point of my dream, this is such a small thing compared to everything else that I want in my life. So it’s keeping in mind, again, that it’s not my job to motivate them. They’re self-motivated. That’s why they’re in this company. But it’s my job to inspire them, to keep them seeing the light at the end of the tunnel if they’re having difficulties with work, and just take care of them the best that I can. Like I said when it comes to conflicts rarely so far. Fingers crossed there have been rarely any when it comes to obstacles that do happen, again life and work mix up. But I keep in mind of I always – reminded myself like, ‘okay, what was your big audacious goal again? Okay, that one. Yeah, I’ll help you realize that and then help you in whatever way that I can to get to that point.’
Sean: I love the Jim Collins reference. So you probably read his books, huh?
Le-an: Yeah, I did. I read a ton of books. So sometimes I like to spout out quotes and I’m like, where did I get it from again?
Sean: Yeah, I hear you. Okay. Obstacles. Since Le-an took it from the perspective of personal and work. I’m just going to take it from a professional purely work standpoint. As a leader, your job is to remove their obstacles, especially if the obstacles are blockers within your team. like someone else in the team doesn’t want to cooperate. Your job as the leader is to make sure that doesn’t happen. They’re cooperating and they understand each other and they get the job done. So when facing obstacles, I take it upon myself and my leadership team to make sure to remove those obstacles so that you just have to get out of their way and make sure they are able to zoom and do the work that you love them to do.
Sean: When it comes to conflict, we have a core value and its unity. And with the core value of unity, there are five enemies. Number one is gossip. Number two is sanctioned incompetence. Number three is unresolved conflict. And unresolved conflict is a no-no for us. So if there is if there’s conflict, we welcome it, so long as it’s a good, healthy conflict. And the other rule is there should be no hitting below the belt. Don’t make it personal. Don’t say to the other person that it’s because you’re like this, this, and that. That’s unacceptable for us. But if you’re saying ‘this kind of work should not be a part of your output,’ then that’s acceptable, right? Or if you’re going to ask them, ‘why was this the work output and how can I help that improve,’ then that’s acceptable.
Sean: If two people are having conflicts in the team, we make sure to sit them down and moderate because if left by themselves to resolve it. The chances of it growing as a conflict are high. So there has to be a moderator. Often one of the leaders or both of the leaders is there if they are from two separate teams. Yeah, we have a team that’s always having friction in the company and we got to watch these two teams because they’re like, you know, the American football just trying to butt heads with each other. And we want to make sure that when they butt heads – and they can butt heads, it’s okay. But keep it professional, right? Don’t make it personal. How do you keep them motivated if they see that you yourself are leading from the front and working hard and you really bring home the bacon, you make sure they get paid on time, they get paid well, that matters a lot. You know, people get motivated when you actually keep your word. Pay them, right. Pay them on time. Give them your vision of how well you’re growing.
Sean: So with SEO-Hacker, we have this monthly report from the account management team. How much revenue, and how many new accounts do we bring in? How many accounts did we lose? Where are we right now? And that helps to keep the team motivated in a way because they know ‘oh okay everything we’re doing, it matters. What I’m doing, matters. Because this is what’s happening right now. And our CEO, he’s working his ass off. He’s not, like chilling off on the beach somewhere right now, expecting me to work,’ so that that is something that helps motivate a team.
Sean: Question from Mitch, can you give us your thoughts about productized services and how one can come up with the right productization plan for their freelancing business in the digital marketing space?
Sean: I guess when you say productized services, it’s when people can like click on the inquire now or buy now or something like that for a certain service in a package. What’s your take on this?
Le-an: We had a very specific question. I love it because it’s – I don’t know. For me, it excites me because it shows me that a lot of Filipinos are starting to think this way and it was something that I’ve always spouted before, like, ‘no, you don’t want to keep focusing on productizing your service makes it easier than you are not working just directly for the hours.
Le-an: Can you give us your thoughts? So my just my thoughts. It’s amazing. When you productize your service kind of the way that we have in 2XYou, it’s 40 hours a week for an assistant including the training the ‘us’ taking care of them as the Philippine government, their HMO, the coaching, the consulting with the client, all of that. It’s this package every month. There’s no like, can we do part-time? Can we do it at this rate? It’s just like, ‘Oh, this is it, and that’s it.’ Before, when I was a writer, I would also do the same thing of like, if you want me to be your writer, I will do this and this many articles per month and that’s it. So I wasn’t anymore chasing the hourly rate. I wasn’t any more chasing that part. So more and more Filipinos taking it that way, and more freelancers thinking this way. I think it’s amazing because it’s the easiest way that you can get yourself out of having to work for your time.
Le-an: Now, how can someone come up with the right productization plan? One is to stalk your competitors. That’s my favorite thing to do. Anytime I’m doing a new business, I always stalk the heck out of my competitors. I see how people are doing because I truly believe that you’re never really starting from scratch. There are people out there who are leaving small clues for you to follow on how to do it yourself. And that’s why I read books. That’s why I watch Youtube videos is why I go through courses is again, there are people who leave crumbs of how they were able to do it and find the right one. Just test one that fits you. And then usually what happens is the same thing as I said earlier, you find what works, you find what doesn’t work and you throw away the ones that don’t work. And you focus on the one that works.
Sean: That’s amazing. That is amazing. I guess how I did it for SEO-Hacker is – and I used to do it hodgepodge because I also started as a freelancer. Like, I get all sorts of Frankenstein projects, you know, you can’t be choosy, when you got none, right? So whatever comes my way, that’s what it’s going to be. And I got to mobilize a different plan for this and a different plan for that and a different person to outsource for this and that. And it can get grisly pretty fast. A startup is already chaotic enough, and if you’re doing it like that, where you’re not productizing, you’re not packaging your stuff, you’re just chomping up whatever comes your way. Yeah, it gets even more chaotic.
Sean: So I guess how I did it was like Le-an, checked out what others are doing. And since I was doing SEO pretty early on, way back to 2009, and 2010, there weren’t a lot of SEO companies here in the Philippines yet. So I’d look at the US SEO websites and see what they’re doing and I emulated that all the way to their price points. And maybe that’s why SEO-Hacker is one of the higher-end SEO companies here. When it comes to our services, we do the extra mile, as well as our pricing because I really based it on what people are doing in the US. And we try to improve on that because Filipinos were excellent when it comes to extra mile services. So that’s what we do and I just put the packages on the website. And when it got traction, meaning companies who would just take my package instead of giving me ad hoc stuff, then I could turn down other clients who are just asking for hodgepodge stuff. Right?
Sean: And it’s easier for me to do that because I already have clients who love the packaged stuff and it works. It works for them. And right now, that’s what we’re doing. We can – you know not all money is good money for me anymore. We turn down customers or potential customers who are asking us to do stuff that we don’t want to cater to, or it’s too troublesome for us to do. So that’s how I did it. And it took years. It doesn’t have to be like in a few months. Your plan could be for years. And that’s not a problem.
Sean: Guys, that’s all the time we have. I learned a lot. I hope you guys have learned a lot as well. We do have our YouTube channel and our Spotify podcast. If you’re not yet subscribed, please subscribe to YouTube. That’s leadme.ph/YouTube. And we also have leadme.ph/Spotify. If you’re an auditory listener, you want to listen while driving, go ahead and follow us on Spotify as well.
Sean: And with Le-an, look her up, The Virtual Ate for those of you Tiktokers, she’s there. For those of you who prefer the longer version on YouTube, she’s there. Go ahead and subscribe as well. Now, if you haven’t joined the Leadership Stack Facebook group yet, please do join leadme.ph/Facebook. That’s the Facebook group. We have 105 new members today. I hope you also do join that Facebook group where we’ll be posting stuff, you can post your questions there and we’ll be getting to answering them here. That’s it. Thank you so much for your time. Hey, thanks, Le-an, for joining. And thank you, everyone, for being here tuning in. I really appreciate you guys. And I’ll see you next week.