Put people first and the money will follow

Most organizations claim that their employees are their most important asset. Or at least that’s what it says in oneimagesCAPEOUR2 of their policies, although some might not live up to their words. Either way, there’s an increasingly raised awareness that the employees – and other stakeholders – are the ones making all the difference in an organization. This awareness has brought with it a shift of focus in many organizations, from an organizational culture previously focused on ‘money’ to instead being focused on ‘people’.

This is not to say that ‘money’ doesn’t matter for these organizations. Of course it does. But these organizations broaden their perspectives and offer more. People-centred cultures are dedicated to create good relationships with stakeholders and by that deliver a better value than any competitors. And as with any other work culture this is naturally reflected in leadership behaviours.

imagesCAYPC6VDPeople-oriented leaders share a set of beliefs and values that are about “putting people first”. Such leaders are constantly learning and adapting to “people”-requirements yet still, or maybe because of that, adapt effectively and swiftly to competitive conditions. Put simply, people-oriented – or servant, service or personal – leaders know that by putting the people first the money will follow.

I want to share two great videos with you in which the featured speakers are taking about what I call servant leadership:

– In the first video one of the most inspirational women I’ve come across, Colleen Barrett at Southwest Airlines, talks about the importance of making employee and customer satisfaction the highest priority: Servant leadership I 

– The second video features bestselling author Tom Peters, talking about what happens when you treat your employees like customers – and when you don’t: Servant leadership II

What’s your thoughts on servant leadership? Do you think it makes any difference to the bottom-line how you percieve your employees, customers or other stakeholders? And do you think it makes any difference to your employees or in your recruiting efforts?

 

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