May 7, 2020

People are our greatest asset (PAOGA) sounds like a wonderfully warm message – to the leader delivering it. To the listener, maybe not. The phrase is wrong factually, grammatically, and oh if accountingly were only a word. It is condescending, self-defeating, and onmynervegetting (surely that is at least a valid hashtag). People are not Assets, or any other number on a financial statement. People are People. Numbers are managed; People are led. Topic for another day. Humans are humans (all respect to the late John Prine), with brains and personalities more complex, wonderous, unpredictable, and onmynervegetting than any machine. Whatever the intention, PAOGA puts a person in the same category as a drill press, albeit our greatest or most valuable. That is literally treating people like machines and numbers. (Note to those who confuse the words: the previous sentence is literally and figuratively literal). Also, the word asset itself is tricky. If we were on a shaky zoom connection and you screamed, “You are our greatest asset!” Someone might receive an unintended message. Every word from a leader to or about the team is figuratively (ha-ha) screamed at them over a sketchy Zoom connection.    

The tongue has the power of life and death…Proverbs 18:20, NIV

April 23, 2020

Remember when business was simple? Crazy-hard and risky, yes, but we all understood a few simple truths. Like the old-fashioned idea that Profit is a good thing and must be our primary business goal. Now we are told to embrace a more enlightened business model, one no longer beholden to the greedy owners. Hashtag-friendly messages like, you must put People Before Profit bombard us. Much of this comes, not from Wall Street Occupiers, but from some of our own business thought leaders, including several CEOs. Beware of these messages. Putting People Before Profit will kill your business. Even the most people-driven leader knows this intuitively. No money, no mission. No Profit, no people. It is not rocket science. However, that simple truth of no-profit-no-people is based on logic. Emotion often trumps logic.

April 16, 2020

So, which should come first, profit or people? The correct answer will sound like a dodge and a company pitch. A two-fer! Profit and People must move simultaneously, in Parallel.

But that's weasel-y, so I will shout this out: A mindset of putting People Before Profit will kill your small business, despite what pundits say.

There. I said it. No profits = no people. No-brainer. This is preaching to the choir for most Small Business Owners out there. And it should be blindingly obvious to anyone seeing the wreckage today - closed doors that will never reopen. Our SBO heroes are fighting to save the companies and the people who they love. Most knew the simple truth of profit before people long ago. Others learned it the hard way a few days into all this.

Jan 10, 2020

It’s a new year, so we’re going back to the basics. That means tackling DiSC® from the ground up: the theory, the research, the power of the circumplex, and the dos and don’ts of DiSC. We realize that a lot of people might hear “Everything DiSC” and have no idea what it even is or does (conversely, if they do know of DiSC, they might not understand the history and validity behind it). With this in mind, let’s talk about Everything DiSC theory—explained in a way that is clear, thoughtful, and concise. Who said the basics had to be boring?  

Brenda Bradberry taught me never to judge someone before knowing them. People reading is not judging. It is a genuine, generous attempt to meet people where they are. We should not judge a new book by its cover, but we can start reading it right away.

We are all different. And complicated. Few people understand their own personality styles, much less others. If only we had a personal operator's guide, maybe an A.I. powered app that records and broadcasts our styles and preferences. Then, we could know a person deeply from across the room, after a quick digital handshake. Wait. Maybe that's how dating apps work already. And it's a little scary.

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