Sunday, October 3, 2010

They're People, NOT Staff

It's been a while since I was assigned "homework", but at our September Community Leadership of Licking County class, I received my first homework assignment in years. By the October class, I am expected to have read approximately the first 100 pages of the book The Leadership Challenge, by Kouzer & Posner.

Although I am the official Director of this Leadership Course, I had not read the book and wanted to play the role of student with regards to learning the principals of leadership addressed in this book. I have a friend who operated the Leadership Ashland Program who is walking us through the book, like she did up there.

This morning I was doing my "homework" and came upon something I wanted to share with you. It has to do with your people.

The book gives real-life stories of those who exemplify leadership. One story hit on the importance of taking care of your staff. Read this:

"We are a very, very candidate-driven business," Claire told us. But even more important to her than the candidate is her staff. She fervently believes that if you take care of your staff, they will take care of the candidate; if the staff takes care of the candidate, the candidate will take care of the client; and if the candidate takes care of the client, the client will return to the SG Group for more business. Claire puts her staff first, knowing that they are the ones that ultimately determine the reputation of the company.

She goes on to say:

"We are human beings. We don't have employees. We don't have staff. We have people, and people have emotions, and people have needs. If you are happy you do a better job. If you are excited about the business, and if you are excited about where it is going and what is happening in it, then there is a buzz, a physical buzz. It's my job to create that kind of place."

How well do you know your people? Do you know their names? Do you know about their families? Do you know what really makes them happy?

If not, you should make it a priority to do so. Even if you have hundreds of 'people', you can start with just one and go from there. It will make a difference not only to that one person, but to your company as well.

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