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attention business owners...

Are we order takers or commitment makers?

written by Dan Molloy 

edited by Thomas Cantrell

The other shoe…

…is about to drop!

The economy’s cooling …

…or is it getting hot?

No, the economy’s fine; it’s quite robust…

…no, maybe it’s a bubble about to bust?

Are you fearful for the future? Are you confident about the future? How is the current political/economic climate affecting your industry?  Your own business?  Your executive team? Your employees?  Your customers and clients? 


Yes, “the times they are a-changing…”[1]  Indeed they are!  The national narrative is all about a whiplash shift occurring between administrations; how our economy changes when national leadership changes; how business changes when the economy changes. Yes, that’s all true. It is what it is and always has been.  Our economy always changes when national political leadership changes.




Here’s what we, as business leaders, should be talking about.  We should be talking about how we affect change, not just how we are affected by change. We should be talking about how we, in the business community, create change, not how we suffer from it – what we are committed to do to create positive change, and how we can get better at creating that change. That’s the kind of conversation that makes us leaders.  Commitment based communication; commitment driven conversations at all levels in our companies. We ask, “How can we help you?” We say, “Yes, we can help you with that…” We mean we will help them. And we do.


We are not order takers we are change makers.  


Yes, there is uncertainty in the world. Our customers and clients – our neighbors and friends – wonder about the commitment of those with the power to shape the narrative of our country’s future. Should families hunker down to ensure survival? After all, survival is a pretty basic instinct. Should we save more? Buy less?  Hold off on that oil change? Conserve on groceries? Keep the old car for another year and hope for the best?


And how about businesses? Are they wondering about the same things?  Should we pull back too? Should we downsize? Reduce inventory? Lay off employees? After all, a storm is brewing!


What do you do?  It depends on your commitment.  Some companies flounder as things change. Others expand and grow. What is the difference?  Their level of commitment to serve and the language they use with their clients as they serve them.


Business leaders are the change agents of America (and the world). We are the leaders of this nation. We are committed to service, committed to positive change, committed to help. By being proactive rather than reactive, we set the mood of progress, set the economic stage, and keep America great.


We are not order takers we are change makers.  


Please understand; all business owners are not business leaders. There is a marked difference.  Leaders show up as leaders in the way we communicate – not just in what we say but in how we listen, learn, love. That’s how we lead!  


The way we communicate with our teams, our clients and customers, our neighbors… This guides the political, personal, business conversations on a personal level and ultimately on a national level. The way we set our business goals with our teams; the way we help them better communicate with our customers and clients every day and help them deal with change every day creates commitment based communication.


That kind of productive, proactive, decisive and determined communication – and the action it produces – is what makes long term differences in our businesses, and in our national and world economy. Those kinds of commitment based conversations – the ones we have, the ones we guide, are what makes us leaders. 


We are not order takers we are change makers.  


When customers and clients come to us, what are they trying to do?  Solve problems. Enhance their situations for themselves and their families.  They are trying to survive – and succeed. When the pressures of an uncertain political climate and national economy blare at them from the morning news broadcast, it affects them – likely more than they realize. 


They may think they need lawn supplies, or groceries, or a brake job, or tune-up, or a tank of gas, but underlying their quest for some “simple” purchase may well be concern, anxiety, even fear, for what is happening on a more global scale (the price at the pump for example, is a stark reminder that all may not be right with the world).


War with Russia?

Raising interest rates?

Dramatically higher energy prices?

Real estate values bouncing like a rubber ball?


Whatever product or services our business provides, it is our job, as business leaders to make things right – at least better – for everyone.  How?  We listen to the conversations around us; national conversations, personal conversations. We listen to, and actually hear, what our customers are really saying to us when they come to us for help; because that is exactly what they are doing – even when they are getting their tires checked – they are asking for our help...


…and we help them.  That is why we are in business. We hear them and help them.  That kind of commitment forms the basis for all effective conversations. “Can I help you?” is not just some trite phrase intoned by a bored clerk.  In successful business and sales conversations, “Can I help you” becomes “How can I help you.”  That quickly evolves into “Yes, I can help you with that.”  Then we do it. We help them with whatever they need help with. That kind of commitment based communication is what sets us apart from other businesses.


We are not order takers we are change makers.  


We don’t just sell people what they ask for; we find out what is needed and help them buy the right things at the right time for the right reason at the right price.


We are not order takers we are change makers.  


We pay attention to the conversations of regular folks as well as our elected leaders, make an assessment about what they are committed to, and communicate our commitment to help them. Computer scientist Alan Kay said “The best way to predict the future is to invent it.” It is the conversations we have today that literally invent the future we are heading towards. Yes, “the times, they are a-changin’.” Big changes are in the wind, and we, business leaders, who speak the language of commitment, are the ones who will shape those changes.


Every sales call will take on a new significance. Molloy’s team and his clients are change agents. Our language of leadership is that of committed communication. We are prepared to not only face challenge and change, but make changes and help our clients succeed, not just survive.


We are not order takers we are change makers!


[1] Bob Dylan ~ The Times They Are A-Changin’

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