Business Magazine

Smart Entrepreneurs Favor People-Centric Leadership

Posted on the 21 April 2017 by Martin Zwilling @StartupPro

Employees-Office-Greeting-WorkEvery business needs repeatable processes to grow and thrive, but modern business processes need the right people to make them efficient and productive. In addition, today’s customers judge a company by perceived people relationships through social media, phone conversations, and sales experiences. The right people make productive processes, not the other way around.

Thus I believe that business leaders and entrepreneurs need to focus first on people leadership, rather than process leadership. As a business advisor and investor in new startups, I see how difficult it is to make any process work, no matter how well designed, if the team is dysfunctional. On the other hand, I see teams with almost no process that are tremendously productive.

Of course, some balance is required. That’s why I was pleased to see the balance on people versus process in a new book on how to fix your organization, “The Diamond Process,” by Mike J Diamond and Christopher R Harding. These authors highlight the importance of both in their guidance on becoming a complete leader. Processes without people leaders will still be chaos.

Thus I find that the best entrepreneurs and business leaders today are people-centric, but they never forget that efficient repeatable processes are required as the business scales up. There are many advantages to this focus today, including the following:

  1. It takes people to see the need and adapt to change. Today’s pace of change in the market and in technology is unprecedented. Business leaders who are people-centered understand that a learning culture, tolerance for mistakes, and innovative approaches are required to thrive. Process leadership focuses on repeatability and efficiency only.

  2. Customers demand more engagement and flexibility. People-centric leaders drive ownership and engagement down to their customer-facing team members. For this to work, team members must commit themselves and freely accept accountability for their actions. In the end, engagement drives customer retention, sales, growth and profit.

  3. Leaders need direct and open team communication. Effective communication in a rapidly changing environment must be two-way and continuous, from all levels of the organization. Leaders need to share their values and goals, as well as challenges, to get effective assistance and buy-in from team members delivering the company image.

  4. You need a team focused on the future as well as the present. Long-term business survival and success requires everyone taking calculated risks for future gains, rather than blindly following a hard-coded process that seems to work today, handed down from leaders on high. People-centric leaders encourage and reward thinking outside the box.

  5. Self-motivated people require less supervision and management. This means more time for leaders to concentrate on looking ahead and rewarding team progress, rather than managing corrective individual performance actions and motivational incentives. Self-motivated team members are known to be many times more productive than others.

  6. Priority is placed on employee mentoring and coaching. A primary focus on process leads to highly structured training classes, leaving little room for personal career development. Mentoring and coaching tend to improve commitment, motivation, decision making, and creative talents, which are required for a competitive business and career.

  7. Taking care of people generates a quid pro quo. What goes around, comes around. If you treat people as automatons who execute a process, your team will respond in kind. If you treat your team as peer business owners, they'll be there to support you as the business changes. Leaders who demonstrate trust and respect will gain that in return.

  8. People leave you a favorable legacy long after you are gone. The mark of a complete leader is the ability to leave on vacation, and be assured that all will proceed without change. The greatest legacy that any leader can leave is a team who remembers and continues to honor the right values and objectives, even after you are gone.

Whether you are building a new organization or fixing an old one, the leadership analysis and focus needs to start with the people, and extend from there through the level of process and productivity required by the size and scope of the organization. Process leadership is important, but it’s just not effective without people leadership first.

How much of your time as a manager or business leader today is spent on people versus process? Would everyone on your team agree and return the focus?

Marty Zwilling


You Might Also Like :

Back to Featured Articles on Logo Paperblog

These articles might interest you :

  • Is High Cholesterol Dangerous on A Low-Carb Diet?

    Is high cholesterol dangerous on a low-carb diet? For some people, the "bad" LDL cholesterol goes up, while other aspects improve (like the "good" HDL... Read more

    By  Dietdoctor
    DIET & WEIGHT, HEALTH, HEALTHY LIVING, MEDICINE
  • [NYC] Go! Go! Curry!: Dinner in a Hurry!

    [NYC] Curry!: Dinner Hurry!

    This post is going to be quick and dirty, just like a meal at Go! Go! CURRY! in NYC. After hippoCHAN finished class, it was already pretty late and we were... Read more

    By  Foodobyte
    DINING OUT, FOOD & DRINK, RECIPES
  • Choose the Right Generator for the Right Purpose [Infographic]

    Choose Right Generator Purpose [Infographic]

    Choosing the right generator for the task is very important but sometimes we find it difficult to pick the right one as there are many options available. Read more

    By  Kravelv
    HOME, HOME IMPROVEMENT
  • My Garden Right Now

    Garden Right

    I'm writing this post specifically in order to participate in Michelle Chapman's meme called #mygardenrightnow. If you want to know the full story behind this,... Read more

    By  Mwillis
    GARDENING, HOME
  • Most Sociable and Friendly Cities in the World

    Most Sociable Friendly Cities World

    The most sociable cities of the world were revealed by booking website “Hostelworld” following a study which covered 39 cities in 28 countries. Read more

    By  Poundtravel
    TRAVEL
  • Getting Summer Ready with Herbs & More

    Getting Summer Ready with Herbs More

    Hey beautifuls, hope you all are doing great. Mumbai is burning, and perhaps I am seeing the hottest February since the time I have come to the city. Read more

    By  Jhilmil D Saha
    HAIR & BEAUTY
  • The Atomic Bomb

    Atomic Bomb

    Richard Rhodes' history of the development of the atomic bomb, The Making of the Atomic Bomb, is now thirty years old. The book is crucial reading for anyone wh... Read more

    By  Dlittle30
    SOCIETY

Magazines