Recently I had a discussion with a newly promoted Leader facing a very difficult Leadership issue that should make us all stop and recheck how we lead. His Company was and has been hurting and choices were having to be made, change was unavoidable, but how to approach all the change that need to happen was the issue. In every business the Leader is responsible to make sure that the Team he/she oversees as well as the organization they lead is taken care of at the highest level of individual ability. The problem comes when taking care of one conflicts with taking care of the other. When choices for the positive growth of the company seems to be in direct opposition of the positive growth of the Team, what do you do???
Come along on this journey and maybe we can help “John” figure this out together. The bottom line of a business is simple, success= profitability! However, many business guru’s hold to the fact that the key to a successful business is purely relational. Build the right relational culture in your company and success, profits will be a natural result. Okay, so which is it? Where do you focus your energies on a daily basis, relationships or numbers? Dollars and cents, or people and culture. Undoubtedly there are many of you standing on each side of this conundrum! Let me share with you what I have believed, and recently become even more re-affirmed. What if every decision you make as a Leader took both relationship/culture, and the profitability factor, rolled them together, and made a WIN-WIN outcome? That is the goal, or should be the goal of every Leader out there. The question is how do you achieve it? Granted, this is just one man’s opinion but here we go:
It appears to me that no matter how one slices this issue in the professional world we exist in right now, a company has to error on the side of developing and taking care of their people. A quote I read recently helps me keep my focus on this issue, “But I like to think that a lot of managers and executives trying to solve problems miss the forest for the trees by forgetting to look at their people — not at how much more they can get from their people or how they can more effectively manage their people. I think they need to look a little more closely at what it’s like for their people to come to work there every day.” Gordon Bethune, Continental Airlines
This leads me to this quote, “Long-term success is the result of relationships built on a foundation of trust. People get more value from those they trust.” – Garrison Wynn. If you keep the culture of your Team the number one focus, over time, your profits will rise. Time and time we see companies that are teetering on the edge of closure come rising up from the ashes to highs of success that they never thought possible. What do we generally find at the root of this recovery? Most always you will find a Leader that realizes the time they invest in restoring the faith and loyalty of the Team will be the key to making a long-standing and thriving company. A Leader that comes in with great plans to cut costs, reform compensation and make quick, broad moves are generally sitting in their offices 6 months down the line wondering why things aren’t any better, or even worse than they were.
John, take your time and stay true to your people despite the up and down numbers. Don’t be crazy, you will have to make some cut of those that don’t get on board with the rest of the family, but whatever you do, make all of your decisions based on one thing while trying to recover your company: What is the best move to heal my people and make them stronger, more loyal and feel the most valued? This John, will pull your Company up, give them hope, direction, a sense of purpose and value. Your Company will rise with the days of under performance and low profits will be a thing of the past. Just remember, it will take time. Hang in there John and don’t give up on your Company, your Team or yourself!
Until next time, lead with your people in mind first, your profits will come; history proves it!