You may have noticed that every business on planet earth is a collection of human beings. I’ve noticed that too! Those human beings bring all of their talents, their skills, and yes, their fears, insecurities, and quirky habits to work with them.
I think that’s one of the things that keeps me interested in business through all of the ups and downs, the oddities of human interaction and collaboration. It is absolutely clear to me that people management is the single most important leadership skill that we must master as we make our way through the journey of a business career.
Managers who struggle to communicate effectively with their people, or have difficulty managing their people to a high level of performance, are destined for a very tough challenge. You need to lead your people, and coach your people so that they can have a great experience at work, and learn to interact and collaborate at the highest level with the other people on the team.
If you’re not thinking that People Management is your biggest priority, you need to embrace that concept immediately. In my experience, if you get the People Management right, and you hire the best talent, get them in the right jobs and equip them for consistent, predictable success, you almost certainly guarantee your business will thrive.
In fact, you can often mess up a lot of other things, but the strength of the People on your team will find a way to carry you to victory. If you’d like to raise the level of your People Management game, read on, my friends…
People Are Your Most Valuable Asset, Period!
Over the last 3 years, I’ve had countless conversations with Business Owners, C-Suite Executives, and Emerging Leaders about how difficult it is to attract, recruit, select and retain the talent they need to run their businesses. I’ve always believed that People are by far, the most valuable asset for any company and the last three years have proven to me, that my conclusion is as sound as the pound.
Look at how much the situation has changed in the last few years, talented People are coming and going from one firm to the next and the best of them are only available at a Premium. Companies that are going to perform consistently at a high level understand the value of their well-trained, highly skilled, and seasoned People.
Those companies make the moves necessary to ensure that their People understand that they’re valued and that the company is making a long-term commitment to listen to them, to understand them, to see and value their contributions and to acknowledge and appreciate them.
Those companies will do what they need to, so that their rock stars, superstars, and shooting stars will stay, as long as they can entice them to stay because their contributions are pivotal to the company’s prospects of predictable success.
Make People-Management your top priority and you’ll be amazed at how quickly it begins to pay enormous dividends, versus letting great talent slip through your fingers because you don’t value them appropriately.
It All Begins With A Strong Foundation
Any business relationship, or really any relationship of any kind, for that matter, must sit on a strong foundation. The foundation of any meaningful relationship is mutual respect and trust. Earning trust and loyalty will require you to be patient as you gain the confidence of your team over a period of time. You will be wise to begin that process early, rather than procrastinate about it and start later.
In fact, you cannot find a better time to begin than right now. You can best make it happen by conducting yourself at all times with the courage to lead and do things in the right way. I’m convinced that the best way to lead is by leading by example, and by placing service to others above our own self-interest. You need to be relentlessly consistent in your actions, your decisions, and your conversations.
This is not a sometimes thing, it’s absolutely an “all the time” thing. Whether People are looking or not, whether the cameras are rolling or not, you need to maintain a presence that demonstrates that you conduct yourself with character. Your integrity is always under examination when you take on the role of leadership, and it is your conduct with integrity that will draw supporters to your cause.
You don’t get any second chances if your character is not consistently pristine. Stay focused and stay true to your first principles and your core values. You need to become the type of leader that will deserve loyal followers.
Strike A Balance As You Manage And Lead
While you are building that strong foundation of trust with your people, realize that you must manage competently. Nobody is going to want to trust you or follow you if you are all talk and no results. Be competent and do what you say you are going to do, then you can expect your team to do likewise.
Realize, however, that results are not the only thing that matters to a business. We’ve all worked for a manager who was consistently whipping the team to victory but treated the team like objects the entire way. That’s not the approach that is going to turn into a dynasty, by any means. Instead, realize that the best approach to management is a balanced one, where you counterbalance your focus on achieving results with a heavy dose of humanity.
You can absolutely be warm and friendly as a manager. In fact, the warmer you are, the more your team will understand that you actually care about them as human beings, as well as being one of the boxes on your organization chart. Strike a balance. Show everyone that you are about driving to results, and demonstrate your leadership competency by leading the team to victory after victory.
While you do that, humble yourself. Be a human. Be a mensch. Show your people that they matter to you as friends and human beings. Support them. Encourage them. Challenge them when necessary to take their game to a higher level. Do it all in a balanced manner.
Being friendly with your team doesn’t mean that you allow them to take advantage of that friendship. This is not about being weak or tolerant of dysfunction. Be demanding consistent high performance and strong results, for certain. But, do it with love in your heart for your fellow man.
Show your humanity and demonstrate your commitment to helping your People to taste the sweet taste of victory and be great humans for the entire journey.
Well, that’s a start. We’ll leave it at that for today. This is the first in a series of blogs we’re going to share with you about the best practices of People Management. I hope you found something of value in it.
I hope you’ll come back for the next several weeks to sample more of our thoughts about how important People Management skills are for any Leader. We intend to share some ideas with you that might just make a difference for you as a Leader. They might also just make a difference for your team when you begin to manage your People from a higher place.
Don’t dip your toe into the water on this topic. This is one of those moments where you need to dive in, head first, and make a splash. Come on in, the water’s nice and warm!!!
Michael is a Master Coach, certified by the Professional Business Coaches Alliance. He loves to work with C-Suite Executives, Emerging Leaders, and Business Owners to help them to take their Executive Development Skills to another level. Michael’s firm, Michael Beach Coaching & Consulting focuses on helping fast-growth companies to raise the level of their game so that they can compete more effectively in the arena of business.
Check out Michael’s Youtube channel, where he posts free leadership and business management best practices on a frequent basis. Best of all, the content is FREE! If you’d like more information about Michael’s team of outstanding coaches and consultants, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.