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Insights: People make the Difference!
November 27, 2007
People make the Difference!
Today’s article is ‘hot off the press’, so to speak.
I met, yesterday, with a wonderful lady who is in the advanced stages of planning a new business venture that will employ up to 200 staff and incorporate a state-of-the-art call centre.
To be honest, I wasn’t too sure what to expect from the meeting.
This lady, who I will call Jane (not her true name, in deference to her right to privacy) contacted me during the course of last week to say she wanted to discuss incorporating the principles of life coaching into the management of her new business.
Intrigued, I jumped at the chance to meet with her and see what she had in mind.
Jane’s enthusiasm and excitement was infectious. She was recently introduced to ‘The Secret’ and like Oprah Winfrey and so many others, quickly recognized that the Law of Attraction had played a pivotal role in her life without her consciously understanding, or being aware of it. What ‘The Secret’ did was help her to switch from manifesting negative influences and outcomes in her life, to profoundly positive ones.
Here was someone who I found instantly likeable – not because of her attractiveness and her vibrant, confident character (though that certainly contributed to how I felt) – but because of her clear desire to build a very different kind of business based on a trusting, empowering, caring and inspiring relationship with her staff.
That struck a real chord with me.
I’ve been in corporate employment for 27 years. During that time I’ve worked in numerous different roles. I’ve been part of various different teams. I’ve also had the experience of working for a very diverse group of managers. And one of the most important things that all this has taught me is that it is people that make the difference.
I know. The phrase is terribly overworked – to the point where it has become almost a ‘motherhood and apple pie’ type of statement for business executives who feel it’s the right thing to say, even if they don’t really mean it or believe it. But I’ll say it again…
People make the difference!
You see, any business starts - and ends - with people. If you want to establish a genuine, sustainable, competitive advantage in your industry, it can only come from the way your employees operate and the attitude they have to your customers. You might be fortunate enough to have a license to sell a revolutionary form of technology, but if your employees cannot relate to it with real enthusiasm; cannot adequately represent its benefits to your customers; cannot support it with the necessary technical know-how and sense of service; then your advantage will be short lived.
People who are motivated and inspired, who feel that what they are doing is aligned with their own life purpose, who feel grateful for what they have and keen to share that with others - these are people that are capable of doing just about anything. And when you bring such people together in business and create a common team purpose that they can each passionately relate to, you have the magical formula for a real and distinct competitive edge.
Jane described to me her vision for a business, which, if she is true to her word, will enjoy an amazing competitive edge.
She wants to handpick her management team - not for their qualifications, sales ability or track record – but for their passion for helping other people live their dreams. Each of her managers will be given training as life coaches, so they will spend their time focusing on motivating, empowering and inspiring their staff to be the very best they can be.
Now, if I look back on my lengthy business career, I would be hard pressed to name any of my managers – even the ‘good’ ones - who looked upon their jobs as being life coaches to the people they managed. If only that would have been the case!
In my experience, the business world, rather ironically, breeds managers who are incentivised to ‘manage up’ not ‘down’ the line. By that, I mean their focus is directed at ensuring their bosses perceive them in a positive light, even if that focus is at the expense of the people who report to them.
Performance assessment systems are largely to blame as they invariably emphasize the short term ‘numerical’ performance ahead of anything else. More enlightened organizations look to measure employee satisfaction and require their leaders to undergo annual ‘upward feedback’ sessions, but these things generally have little or no impact on the results of leaders’ performance assessments – so they become mere ‘tick in the box’ exercises.
When all said and done, it’s a numbers game, not a people game. Why else would corporates spend so much time and effort on ‘restructuring’ and ‘reorganisation’, generally at the expense of the morale and well-being of their employees?
In my opinion, that’s a sad indictment on business, because it places higher value on leaders who are restructuring specialists or aggressive ‘cost cutters’ than it does on those who are ‘people motivation specialists’ or ‘organisational inspirationalists’ to coin a term.
So, back to Jane. I, for one, think she has seen the light!
By employing managers and team leaders who are aligned around a common purpose, can understand and harness the power of the Law of Attraction to manifest that purpose – and whose primary role is one of life coach and mentor to their team members - she will build an organization with a difference, an organization in which people will respond to the challenges of the competitive environment not by constant restructuring, but by caring more for their customers, by innovating and by doing more, and doing better, what they are truly passionate about.
Perhaps you have a fervent belief in the principle that it is people that really make the difference. Perhaps you are frustrated where you work because your company just doesn’t get it? Perhaps it’s time for you to make a change in your life so you can make a good living out of helping people understand that it is people who can make the difference?
If you feel a calling to become a well respected life coach, and experience greater personal freedom, self confidence and growth, then why not consider training with New Insights, in your own time and at your own pace.
Till next time
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