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Is your engine in danger of overheating?

By | David Klaasen | Helping You Create Clarity, Inspire Your People & Drive Performance | Retain your best people | Changing Management Mindsets and Behaviour | Practical Behaviour Analytics

“It’s either the cash or the people that cause a business to fail”. Hearing this recently from a very successful Business Strategist was very refreshing because so often the people-side of the business equation is seen as ‘soft’ or ‘fluffy’. He was unequivocal; “When I’m looking to invest I will scrutinise the figures and the quality of the people”. But there is more . . .

. . . he went on to say “It’s more than just the quality of the people, it’s the quality of their relationships, which includes leadership from the top and the right management skills”.

For example, it doesn’t matter how many sophisticated gadgets you have in your car, if the fuel tank is empty you won’t get very far. However, even if you have a full tank, you can still grind to a halt if you neglect the oil, and without a spark from the battery it’s difficult to even get started.

It was fun to discuss how a business is like a car, but I was left with a powerful impression that too many businesses are still only focused on the fuel (i.e. the finances) and neglecting the importance of the oil (i.e. the relationships) that prevent overheating, and the sparks of inspiration and leadership that keep it all going.

It seems that the tougher the economic climate, the more businesses focus purely on results and not the people who actually produce them. With most leaders and managers I meet there is still a reluctance to have the ‘deeper conversation’ with people. For example, to explore the relationships people have with their manager, their subordinates, their team, their work and the business as a whole.

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