Business is Personal

It really irks me when I hear someone say, “It’s not personal, it’s just business.” Wrong! It’s definitely personal.

The decisions that you make as a manager, from C-level executives on down, impact the lives of real people. The employees you manage have families to take care of, bills to pay and fragile egos to protect.

When you let someone go from their job or implement a pay cut, you aren’t simply “moving in a different direction” or “making a strategic decision.” You’re potentially flipping a person’s life on its head.

Flippant decisions that aren’t based on more than your idea of a good business move are irresponsible. They result in real, serious issues like divorce, crime and depression.

It takes a cold person to justify potentially causing those things simply for the sake of making a few extra bucks. Greed is not an attribute of an effective leader. Success in business isn’t just about the money, and the sooner business people realize that, the sooner they’ll enjoy true success.

By caring for your people, you’ll make a much larger impact.

If you’re in a management role and you think the bottom line is all about money, you’re wrong again.

The true bottom line is creating an environment where people aren’t afraid to make a mistake, where team members are seen as more valuable to management than dollar signs.

Creating a culture where your team members and their personal lives are respected will result in lower turnover, better reviews of your company and more productive employees.

All that leads to increased revenue and cost savings without sending anyone’s life into a tailspin.

Go ahead and continue to justify your business decisions by separating business from personal life. You might see short-lived success, but in the end word will get around, and you’ll find you can no longer recruit top talent. Your current employees will start looking elsewhere, and turnover will skyrocket.

It’s time to stop making these types of decisions on a whim. Yes, it’s true that sometimes businesses have no choice but to cut jobs or pay. To do it on a whim, however, when not doing so won’t hurt your company is wrong. So before you make that next great “business decision” think about whose lives you’ll affect and whether there’s a better, more responsible way.

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Anthony Gaenzle
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