People are your greatest resources: Individuals of excellence that is, people who produce outstanding results almost universally have a tremendous sense of respect and appreciation for people. They have a sense of team, a sense of common purpose and unity. If there is any insight at the heart of the new generation of business books like Innovation and Entrepreneurships, In Search of Excellence, or The One Minute Manager, it’s that there’s no long lasting success without rapport among people, that the way to succeed is to form a successful team that’s working together. We have all seen reports on Japanese factories, where workers and management eat in the same cafeteria and where both have input into evaluating performance. Their success reflects the wonders that can be achieved when we respect people rather than trying to manipulate them.
The factors that made companies great, one of the key things they found was a passionate attention to people. There was hardly a more pervasive theme in excellent companies than respect for the individual they wrote. The companies that succeeded were the ones that treated with respect and with dignity, the companies that viewed their employees as partners, not as tools. They note that in one study, eighteen out of twenty Hewlett Packard executives interviewed said the company’s success depended on HP’s people-oriented philosophy. HP is not a retailer dealing with the public or a service company dependent on goodwill. It is dealing at the most complex frontiers of modern technology. But even there, it’s clear that dealing effectively with people is seen as the preeminent challenge.
Like many of the beliefs listed here, this one is easier to glibly mouth than to actually adopt. It’s easy to pay lip service to the idea of treating people whether in your family or your business with respect. It’s not always so easy to do it.
Keep in mind an image of a helmsman readjusting his ship’s path as it moves toward its destination. It’s the same with life. We have to constantly remain alert, readjust our behavior and recalibrate our actions to make sure we’re going where we want to go. To say you treat people with respect and to do it are not the same thing. Those who succeed are the most effective in saying to others. How can we do this better? How can we fix this? How can we produce greater results? They know that one man alone, no matter how brilliant, will fund it very difficult to match the collaborative talents of an effective team.
Work is play: Do you know any person who has achieved massive success by doing what he hates? One of the keys to success is making a successful marriage between what you do and what you love. Pablo Picasso once said, ‘When I work, I relax doing nothing’ or entertaining visitors makes me tired.
May be we don’t paint as well as Picasso, but we can all do our best to find work that invigorates and excites us. And we can bring to whatever we do at work many of the aspects of what we do at play. The secret of success is making your vocation your vacation. That’s what successful people seem to do.
We hear a lot about workaholics these days. And there are some people whose work has become something of an unhealthy obsession. They don’t seem to get any pleasure out of their work, but they reach the point where they can’t do anything else.
Researchers are finding surprising things about some workaholics. There are some people who seem maniacally focused on work because they love it. It challenges them, excites them, and makes their life richer. These people tend to look at work the way most of us look at play. They see it as a way to stretch themselves, to learn new things, and to explore new avenues.
Are some jobs more conducive to this than others? Of course they are. The key is to work your way toward those jobs. One of those upward spirals is at work here. If you can find creative ways to do your job, it will help you to move toward work that’s even better. If your decide work is mere drudgery, just a way to bring a pay check, chances are it will never be anything more.