Fresh out of school, I began working for a company where the founder directed the sales team. He was a micromanager, and when I spoke to my wife about him I described him as a noodge.
Our small but growing team of inside sales reps were used to his not-so-subtle directions: “Get back on the phone! Talk about movies and TV later. More calls lead to more commission. Come on guys!” When I say we were “used to it,” I mean that nearly everyone hated it. But that was his style and he made no apology for keeping us on the top of our game. There was no “comfortable.”
The Noodge also mixed that direct style with genuine concern for the team’s development. He didn’t merely tell us what to do. He made time to explain why, and demonstrate how. By example, he invited everyone to grow with the organization. He coached us in the truest spirit of the term.
I didn’t know it at the time but exposure to this micromanaging would impart an indispensable lesson early in my professional career. It would also play a starring role in increasing my commissions.
We all need a noodge in our lives. The comfort zone is no place to call home. It’s too easy and too natural to resist change. It’s staying under the covers instead of waking to the gym. It’s accepting an unfulfilling job because switching seems like too much effort. On and on, the examples go.
Without a noodge, smart money bets on “no change.” With someone there to keep pushing you, however, growth happens. Progress is made. Results are clear. Many people think “micromanage” is a bad word, something we’re all supposed to be above, similar to the way many view cold calling. But there’s another side to both of those things, and it’s your attitude about the thing that matters — not the thing itself.
I can point back to The Noodge as having helped me lay the foundation for a happy life, with a family, a home, growth, challenge, and enough discretionary time and income to enjoy it all. So thanks to all the noodges out there.
By David Sill