My daughters were easy children to raise. They were the kind of good-natured, polite and respectful children that were simply fun to be with.  They made their mother and me look like we could have written expert parenting books.  Although I am certain we had influence on them – I am equally certain that we were blessed by the way they were wonderfully made by someone much smarter than me.

I have been close to people who have had to deal with much tougher parenting challenges as their children stretched their boundaries.  My heart has gone out to them.  I watched their struggles.  One of those people that I watched deal with such issues was my mother.  And the difficult child was me.

Don’t misunderstand me.  I never got into the kind of trouble that required police intervention, bail and a fine attorney.  But I certainly gave my mother reason to question my sanity during my teenage years – especially in the year that followed the accidental death of my father when I was 15.

To my mother it seemed like I questioned everything she wanted me to do.  In the beginning, she would try to explain her reasoning to me.  But as I continued to question her she would finally just exclaim, “Because I said so!”

I remember thinking, “I will NEVER say that to my children.”

Fast forward around a decade or so:  There we were… in the middle of Walmart.  My wonderful and darling little angels were asking for some candy as we were checking out.  I delivered my well thought out and perfectly logical explanation of why the candy was not going to be purchased on that day due to not wanting to spoil their dinner.  Valiantly, they tried to persuade me that there were errors in my decision making process.

I then explained that the sugar contained in said candy was bad for their teeth.  Their expert and persuasive efforts continued – after all, their baby teeth were going to fall out anyway.

Finally, I looked at them and said it.  I tried to catch the phrase as it was rolling off my tongue and keep it hidden inside my brain.  But much to my dismay, after hearing Lindsay ask “Why?” one more time, I said, “Because I said so!”

My mother was hundreds of miles away – but I swear, I could hear her laughter.

How many times do the sales managers of struggling organizations try to motivate their sales teams in the same fashion?  Rather than gain their team’s commitment – they attempt to force their compliance.  The results: their team performance often spirals.  One of my new favorite authors, Dondi Scumaci has a quote that I love.  She says, “Compliance will never take you where commitment can go.”

So how do you get your team to commit to the organizational goals?

Tune in and read tomorrow’s post for some great suggestions to make that happen.


What are the areas where your organizational structure relies heavily on compliance over commitment?