Do you lead a team of people?
Do you want to get the best from them but avoid the downsides of pushing them too hard?
It has often been said that ‘an organisations greatest asset is its people’.
I believe this has to be true because without people there is no organisation.
But there is also a caveat.
Before I share the most important factor in getting the most from your people, let me share a story to illustrate a point.
You may recall that in 2015 the car manufacturer VW was caught out in what became known as the ’emissions scandal’.
Basically, millions of VW cars were programmed to cheat emissions tests. It was fraud on a grand scale form one of the world’s largest companies.
Why did this happen?
Only one reason. Fear. The people involved felt under pressure.
A big goal was set (market share of diesel engine cars) and this became all consuming.
To the extent that the only way they saw of achieving the goal was to game the system, regardless of the consequences of doing so.
Business leaders in organisations all over the world, big and small, set goals, quotas and targets, in the belief that this is one of the primary ways that you drive performance.
But here is the thing…
Often, they have no idea whatsoever of whether this makes their people perform better or worse.
Because they don’t pay attention to what matters most of all.
When are people an organisations greatest asset?
When they feel good. When they feel cared for. When they feel respected. When they feel secure. When they are allowed to be honest.
When are they most likely to be a liability?
When they feel under pressure.
The VW example is at the extreme end of what can happen when people feel under pressure.
But it is incredible how much productivity is lost, and problems created, by owners, leaders and managers who, often inadvertently, make their people feel bad.
The grain of truth
Behaviours follow the feelings you create. In yourself and others. This is a psychological fact.
The most common model for people management is the carrot and stick approach (i.e. positive incentives and disciplinary measures).
But this approach has more holes in it than a Swiss cheese.
The only reason it persists is because people don’t have an alternative.
Instead, teach people the inside-out understanding.
This approach is gathering increasing traction as more and more organisations are realising that state of mind the most significant factor in producing results.
Do you want to understand more about this?
I did an hour long interview with Robin Charbit, co-owner of Insight Principles. This is a highly successful, cutting-edge, consultancy working with some of the world’s largest companies.
You can download it for free by clicking here.