How important is all this "people stuff"?

29 januari 2018

"Do I really have to spend so much time on all this people stuff?" my client asked. It's a common question. Almost all my clients ask it at some point.

And my answer is always the same: No, of course not. You don't HAVE to. The only thing we all have to do is breathe and pay taxes :-). But do you want to? 

"I don't want to spend his time 'pampering' (his words, not mine) my people", he said.

OK. Let's zoom out a little. Where do you want your company to be in, let's say, five years? Will you get there by doing what you've always done? Or do you need something else? 

My client is ambitious. He wants to build a great team. He needs people who want to invest themselves in the company.  He just didn't know how to. He wasn't confident that he would be able to make it work.

From his fear-based perspective (I don't think it's possible), it seemed easier to not have discussions with his people about their goals and ambitions. Easier not to train them. Easier to not ask too many questions. Easier to just focus on the product and the technology. But that wouldn't get him and his company to the next level. To the level he wanted to be

Fear is seldom a wise adviser. Fear can tell you what you still have to learn. It rarely tells you how to get where you want to be.


So what do you choose?


Do you choose to focus on the stuff you know and like? The "easy" stuff? The numbers, the products & the technology? Even if it keeps you stuck where you are?  

Or do you choose to stretch yourself outside your comfort zone, do the "people stuff", so you can reach your ambitious targets together with your team?

Because yes, it's the "people stuff" (working together, giving feedback, developing people, having the tough discussions, as well as the kind ones) that will get you there. 

My client chose the courageous path. He let others help him and built a strong team. It's a stretch, it's uncomfortable, and there are still days when he asks himself: "do I really have to?" But he knows that in the end, he wants to. Together they're on track to reach their big goals.

You don't have to, but -  if you're honest - I think you want to :-).

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