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After my students had taken their last final exam in the Management Principles class I, I was wishing the students the best as they were leaving the classroom. One student said, to me “I learned that if I used the basic ideas of leadership and remember that leadership is really about people I will be successful leading people.” This was incredibly gratifying….why? Because it meant that I had met my primary goal in the class…to teach them that they should forget fancy strategies…focus on your people.

Managers forget that ultimately people drive every process that we have in an organization. People are complex, but there are some basic things, that if done well, will make you look like the greatest thing since sliced bread. Am I being simplistic…maybe… but in the end if you take care of your people….your people will take care of you and get the job done for you. As I tell people….I am a simple guy (not a simpleton…that is of course you ask my buddy Randy about me). I get confused easily so I have to keep it basic. Do the following and you will be incredibly successful:

  • Communicate with your people regularly
  • Be up front and honest with them
  • Treat them with respect…..always
  • Pay them fairly
  • Deal with issues quickly when they come up
  • Tell them what you expect from them…..and hold them accountable when they don’t meet those expectations
  • Fire the lousy performers so your good people don’t have to carry what I affectionately call the “slugs”

If you do those BASIC things well….you will be immensely successful and have people who will go the extra mile for you…..especially when things get tough. We always seem to get hung up on trying some fancy program that is the flavor of the day and forget about what is truly important…your people!