How To Make Your Employees Do What You Want

Do it yourself first. Allow me to tell you a brief story that will explain how this works.


When I moved to Spokane Washington in 1996, I went to work for a man named Steve Cody.

Cody ran the group of radio stations that I myself would one day be charged with overseeing, but at that time he hired me as the program director of the group's country station.

Within a few days of my arrival, our station hosted a live on-site broadcast. When I showed up, Cody was already there, helping set up the radio station's tent and hang the banner.

I just stood and stared for a moment, as I've never seen a radio station General Manager dirty his hands with something so mundane as putting up a tent or hanging a station banner at a sponsor's remote broadcast.

Over the next couple of weeks, I noticed that Cody was always the first person to show up at the office and the last person to leave. I talked to people who worked with him for a long time, and learned there was a general respect for him I had never encountered before.

One of the younger staff members said to me at lunch one day, “The thing about Steve Cody is, he will never ask you to do something he's not willing to do himself. So I will do anything asks me to do.”

In all the years that Steve and I worked together, I never heard him give a staff talk about motivation, commitment, loyalty, or work ethic. He just lived out those values, and people following him.

The message you are preaching is not nearly as persuasive as the message you are living.

Ray Edwards is a world-renowned copywriter and communications strategist, writing for some of the most powerful voices in leadership and business including New York Times bestselling authors Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen (Chicken Soup for the Soul) and Tony Robbins. Ray is a sought-after speaker and author, hosts a popular weekly podcast, and blogs at