I share with you a portion of Chapter 1 of my new book that will be published in 2017.
Remove People That Does Not Fit Our CULTURE
Before I even started my own business 13 years ago, I had many years of experience building both big and small businesses. I have always understood what it took to buy, fix and sell businesses. I have always understood how to grow businesses fast with the number 1 resource – people. However, leading people and managing businesses that did not belong to me had a total different meaning and experience all together when it came to the real pressure of becoming my own boss with real bills to pay at the end of every month. When I first started my own business, the pressure was real. The bills I had to pay were even more real. This is when I learnt the real lesson that people was NOT the greatest asset to a business.
a) Setting high accountability standards.
Like most entrepreneurs and business owners, we are always suckers for wanting to do the unthinkable to create value and make a difference. We are curious and we want to know how to inspire, motivate and encourage our people to do more, work hard, and smarter to differentiate from the previous places that. We want to be able to provide a place of employment that could be so different that could attract and appeal to talented people to work with us. So I researched, read and applied the best practices that well known global organization put in place to make things better for their people to work and achieve. And yes I was one of the suckers that believed that by providing a more creative workspace and office with continuous monetary and non monetary rewards will definitely keep my people excited and motivated. I wanted to be the Google of Malaysia. I wanted to be known as the best employer and the best place to work in. This is where I got it so wrong as I was building a business focusing on all the wrong reasons. If I wanted to build a great business, we need to have high accountability standards by everyone in the organization. That means everyone needs to carry their weight to take the company forward. NOT depended on me the boss to carry everyone forward. If you do not produce results, you will have to go.
b) Develop capabilities to achieve collective mastery.
After 10 years of continuously and consistently working hard building a great place to work for my people, I began to feel tired. I started to feel angry. I started to feel that I was taken for granted all these years building a business for my people and no matter what I did for them, they will always ultimately leave me for all different reasons. Sometimes it was my fault, sometimes their fault and sometimes it was just nobody’s fault. It was just a progression of life expectations, desires and growth that was no longer a match for both parties. It was also at this time that my beloved mother passed away from a grueling battle with cancer. I was also getting a little older and with the years of wear and tear, and intense working lifestyle I decided to take a step back to reflect on the past in order to move forward. I realized and learnt that the number 1 resource that I have always believed to grow businesses – PEOPLE was absolutely wrong as I was working too hard to keep people motivated and encouraged. When things were working well, I invested in both monetary and non-monetary resources to keep my people motivated and encouraged. When things were not going too well, I invested even more as I believed that as long my people were motivated they would perform better. This is where I had a wake up call and a real rude awakening. I had gotten it all wrong.
The people we hire, develop and trust to help us grow our businesses can either make you or break you. After years of building businesses, I finally came to the conclusion that people are NOT the greatest assets of a company. In fact your people can be a huge liability. Over the years I have experienced trusted employees that we empower to do things lie, cheat and steal from our businesses. This is even after consistent and continuous sharing on the critical importance of integrity in the way we conduct our business internally and externally. This is when you will learn that highly competent people without integrity can be very dangerous to your business. We must never allow the growth of our businesses to be led by business growth for the sake of growing. This is also why we must never lower and negotiate on our standards for the required competency and character of the people that we work with to build sustainable businesses. This is where you will learn that ONLY GREAT PEOPLE are assets to your business. And by that, great people are by definition highly competent people with high character. Great people know why they join you in the first place. Great people have their own mission and objectives that are aligned to your vision.