Do you want to grow a long term business that can go on without you?
Then you have to grow people. Of course you have to do all the fundamental work, like recruiting, developing customer relationships, and training. Those activities will all lead to growing your volume, and your income comes through volume. But if you want that income to last, which means it will have to endure the ups and downs of the work, the market, the economy, and life in general, then your number one leadership goal is to grow your people. Not just teach stuff. Grow them.
Too often those in leadership, in all business, lose their way, and begin to believe all kinds of other things in their business are more important than the people. Marketing plans, products, systems, tools, packaging, blah blah blah. All important things, and all not remotely as important as people.
Nothing is More Important to The Success of a Business Than the People
We’ve all seen successful companies with average everything….except people. And we’ve all seen amazing products and systems disappear because the right people weren’t in place.
True leaders know this and treat developing and growing their people as a priority. Since leadership is a humongous topic, this article could have been The 155 Things True Leaders Do…or maybe the 1550 Things! But for the sake of a teachable bite, I am just giving you five things that are specific to growing people. There are more than five, but these five are right up there at the top.
- Help The Discover their Strengths: This one is so big for people. Most have no idea how many strengths they have or how to apply them in building their business. True leaders know better than to put someone in a box and try to make them be good at things they aren’t wired to do. By helping them know and use their strengths, you will have added unforgettable value to their life and given them more enjoyable way to grow their business.
- Encourage Them: You have to know that the people you are working with are not receiving encouragement in their life. It is just not something that society as a general rule does, and unfortunately the home environment is no different. You know how it feels when someone encourages you. It gives you a lift. People appreciate encouraging voices and are attracted to them.
- Believe in Them: It’s one thing to say “I believe in you and you can do it.” It’s something entirely different when you say this from a leadership position having invested enough time in someone to know their strengths so you can allow them to see WHY you believe they can do it. It helps them to believe in themselves.
- Praise Them: The people you are working with are spending the majority of their working life and much of their home life with voices telling them how they are messing things up. I call it “catching them doing things wrong.” It’s as if there are awards handed out in society for pointing out how people make mistakes. Pretty ironic when you consider that no one is perfect and everyone makes tons of mistakes (unless they are doing nothing in life…which of course is the biggest mistake of all!). If you praise people for their efforts and for the things they do that make any measure of a difference you will put huge wind in their sails, and increase their productivity, because people in general, will repeat that for which they receive praise.
- Serve Them: I never forget Ken Blanchard’s words “The Sheep are not there for the sake of the shepherd, the shepherd is there for the sake of the sheep.” You get to serve your people and to invest in them. That is a privilege. Do it and they will grow and be loyal to you.
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