You often hear the phrase “People are your greatest asset” – I completely disagree.
I’ll be frank and honest with you. In my experience most organisations are full of well intentioned people who are happy to play it safe and collect a pay cheque whilst delivering average or at best above average performance.
Harsh? Perhaps a little but it’s the truth.
Disenfranchised, frustrated and apathetic people will never deliver the kind of results you dream of, they simply won’t be motivated to go beyond the call of duty or think outside the lines. They are far more concerned with how they perform against metrics and in appraisals – “Have I don enough to get pay rise?”
Great brands like apple, Google, Zappos, Virgin – and for a while where I spent much of my career Egg – aren’t great by accident, they are great by design.
They are full of inspired, motivated and engaged people – which is the true asset in any business.
These people are the ones who live and breathe the brand, they deliver exceptional customer experience and they spark creativity, innovation and perform at the highest level.
That’s all well and good but how do you get more of your people to perform like this?
It comes down to how you lead people – note I said lead and not manage.
Leadership means many things to many people but what I believe is the key to great leadership is the ability of the leader to connect the inside with the outside – to create the “hairs on the back of your neck stand up” moment
Much is said about having a company vision. A lot of companies have them…they are usually hung on the wall in reception or in the inside cover of an induction manual never to be seen again.
How often do you revisit your company vision or mission statement?
How often do you measure if people are working in line with it?
How often have your asked you team if they can repeat it to you? Or if they even care?
How often do you stop to check if your actions, behaviour and communication are consistent with what your company vision or mission statement demands?
You often see the Gandhi quote “Be the change you want to see in the world” flashed up on the screen at leadership training programmes. I often wonder if people really get it.
You as the leader have to embody everything you wish to see in others. You are the reference point for what is expected…what is possible….if you don’t live and breathe what your company stands for then how can you expect others to?