Person First, Profession, Second... Regulators, Mount Up!
Behavior Scientist, Sports Coach, Teacher, Writer, Consultant, Sales Person, after school program leader, Interventionist, Manager, gym attendant, envelope stuffer, night club bouncer, podcast host, tutor, Admissions Community Liaison, workshop provider, lecturer, therapist, trainer, highlight film curator, and speaker…
I have done all of these jobs, not just as a task but actually been paid for each one. As I created that list, all I could think about was how the years have flown by and all the people I have come into contact with during that time. It has been quite an adventure with many ups and downs. However, something stands out that seems to stand the test of time and that is; people are people.
I mean something very specific in that statement. In particular, everyone wants to be treated the same and feel like they are valued and appreciated. Often, the profession supersedes the person and in approaching customers, this is the absolute wrong approach, in my humble opinion. People are more likely to do business with you, do things for you, and your team will run through a brick wall when you put their well being first, over that of the revenue, profit and loss margin; the bottom line.
The ability to make a connection on a personal level allows for the fortitude to weather the storms. When things get rough, if I have a personal investment in your well-being, you are less likely to hightail it out of there. When things change, we adapt if we have a personal connection.
In your personal life, think about those who stick around during the days when all is going wrong and it feels like a jail break. That individual is a true friend. That individual who rides with you through the muck is invested personally and for no other reason than they love you and you are invested in them. Professionally, I think there are two points to make here. First, as consumers, we buy from people we like. When I had hair, I would wait 2 hours for my barber, not because he was the most exceptional barber on the planet rather, I liked him. I am sure there are many barbers who were just as talented but he was my guy. He knew about my endeavors, my sports, things I liked and didn’t and always asked about my family.
Second, if you are leading a group of people as a CEO or Executive, the employees that care most for your company and vision are those who feel as though you care about them as a person. Do you know their names? Do you know that little Johnny broke his arm last week and that’s why Karen from accounts payable had to miss two days of work? Did you ask how little Johnny was doing?
I had two meetings today and they went really well, prompting this post. Just like this article, I didn’t say anything new or provide some crazy insight that they (you the reader) were unaware of at the time. What was different was I connected personally, first and foremost. Maybe this isn’t your approach or concern as a professional. Maybe you are the numbers cat who wants profit for self, growth of company revenue, and as long as that is happening you are fine with a revolving door. I think that methodology had utility in the past as the stereotypical corporate America planted its roots in our consumer-based economy. Today, that shit don’t work. It is simply not sustainable. What is sustainable is a personal relationship.
That is not to say that there won’t be difficult decisions to make where business takes precedence over personal connection. It will, however, allow that individual to accept the situation in a more graceful manner, learn from it, understand what it truly is, and move on without their personal feelings hurt and a sentiment of sabotage. This is only true, if, there is a genuine relationship built. Stop identifying as your profession. It is simply a thing you do. It is not you. I don’t buy from or work with a company. I focus on people and it has served me very well. I may not have the monetary value I desire, yet! But I know one thing, I have more than two handfuls of people who are ready to mount up and ride out from a single phone call. Do you? If not, you better start working on it.