Ten Durable Truths for Managing People

  1. No matter how much you spend on marketing, you can’t sell something to people that they don’t want to buy. You must deliver a quality product, you can not spend yourself out of an operations problem with marketing dollars.

  2. If your employees do not believe in your mission, your agenda will not advance no matter how often the pay is raised or the boom is lowered.

  3. Your reputation is in the hands of your front line staff, they are the face of your company to your customers. Treat them exactly how you want your customers to be treated.

  4. You can never really trust someone until you have endured a hardship with them. Loyalty is often forged in the furnace of failure. People will decide who to respect and who to follow based upon how you respond to problems. Embrace problems, for they can be opportunities to build loyalty and trust.

  5. All work is teamwork. People perform best when they work together. Everyone needs to feel equally important. Each with their oar in the water pulling in unison, not because they are paid to do so, but because they believe its the right thing to do. Every team member has a crucial role to play in the operation.

  6. The lower you are on the totem pole, the more you crave respect. If your opinion is solicited and your contribution is respected, you will feel valued. Valued employees feel a sense of belonging and strengthen your reputation.

  7. Build employee confidence and empower them to make decisions on the spot. Confident and happy employees who are trained to believe what you believe are your best marketers.

  8. Recognition is the fuel for staff satisfaction. Seek out opportunities to celebrate success, recognition will energize weary associates. Praise in public discipline in private. 

  9. Lead by example. Operate in the center of the field of ethical behavior, never on the sidelines. Character is what you do when no one is looking. People want to believe in their leader, don’t let them down. Remember consistency = credibility. Treat the people below you the same as you treat people above you.  

  10. People will evaluate your leadership not by all the things that went right, but rather by how you responded when things went wrong. Look for solutions to problems not blame. Supporting people when they are vulnerable is an opportunity to build a cohesive team. A good team leader listens to people and encourages them to take risks and not be afraid to make mistakes. No one ever learned anything from doing things right.