December 19, 2018
Business Leaders Beware: Know Your Limits, Have No Limitations
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I'd like to start by saying that today’s ways of running business are outdated. More than ever businesses need to have the right leadership to navigate the unchartered waters of the ever-changing economies and trends. The type of leadership capable of integrating the best of what we know, skillfully adapting to changes and innovating on the go, experimenting and taking proper risks, recognizing and rewarding PEOPLE that contribute to the overall success. That’s right...PEOPLE! It seems that in conversations about the Internet, Digital, Artificial Intelligence, Virtual & Augmented Reality, Social Media, Technology, etc. we forget that businesses are run by and serve PEOPLE! Forget the technology, machinery, equipment, facilities, buildings, etc. for a minute. NO PEOPLE = NO BUSINESS.
Undoubtedly, there would be no Apple without Steve Jobs, no Tesla without Elon Musk, no Amazon without Jeff Bezos to name a few. But don’t you agree that something is missing here? It’s true that none of these iconic companies would be around as we know them without their leaders, but they also wouldn’t be around without massive "support teams" of engineers, developers, designers, scientists, thinkers, managers, marketers, accountants, analysts, statisticians, and many more. Consequently, today more than ever, business leaders should recognize the need to reevaluate relationships with their PEOPLE.
Knowing your people well is, in fact, knowing the limits of your organization. When you as an owner, CEO, or executive know your people well, you don't worry about how things get done. You know that your people are capable, reliable, motivated and well-aligned with the corporate strategy. They will do what's necessary to succeed, be it the extra effort, long hours, thinking outside the box or coming up with a solution at the right place and the right time.
To the contrary, when you don't know your people well - you're taking a gamble on your future. You could end up with people that are not very capable, not reliable, not motivated and could care less about the corporate strategy. They are happy to collect their salaries and spend 2/3 of their productive time browsing social media apps on their phones (effectively computers) and doing anything else but work (Oh Yes, that happens more than you think). That means you don't even know your limits.
It's like walking towards a cliff blindfolded: every step you take seems to have solid ground underneath...until you take one more and all of a sudden there's nothing there and you fall off the cliff. In this example, if walking is running your business and the blindfold is not knowing your people well (hence not knowing your limits), then falling off a cliff is a business outcome that you weren't expecting, i.e. FAILURE. It could become a major obstacle to your success, or even worse, it could cost you your business...
Hence, it's never too late to get to know your people. Reevaluating relationships with your "support team" is priceless. It could be a way to remove that blindfold and avoid the step off the cliff. Moreover, cultivating a culture where people are appreciated, encouraged, motivated and rewarded will set up a good foundation for excellence. Having a culture that fosters integrity, collaboration, ongoing personal development, effective communication, sharing, and transparency can set your organization free of the traditional limits. The choice is yours: either get to know your limits and move freely to expand beyond them or keep walking blindfolded, we know that outcome well...
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