Hiya! I do hope everything has been going on terrifically well with you. I believe that my skipping a post has not annoyed you. In case you are, please try and smile a bit before reading today’s post.
Today let us consider something important in enterprise management – that is – people skills. Now, before I proceed, there are people who think that an entrepreneur can simply hire an HR (don’t mind the Human Resource or HR bit though some people have moved on to HC – I mean Human Capital), and everything regarding human resource is fully taken care off. Such people also tend to think that there is no need for an entrepreneur to have people skills. Candidly, I don’t believe in that view point, but I’m not going to react very violently. OK?
I will speak my mind with love, and say that in my opinion, an entrepreneur needs people skills. Whether you are selling horses, doughnuts, or some crazy thing you can dream of, as long as you have staffs working with you I think you need people skills. In the words of Theodore Roosevelt, ‘The most important single ingredient in the formulae for success is knowing how to get along with people’. So my friend, today I would like us to consider some key reasons why an entrepreneur needs people skills. Let’s get going!
- Human capital is the most important resource you have in your enterprise. Don’t be deceived, and take this from me, the people you have working with you in your enterprise are far more important than those machines, IT equipment, materials etc that you might be bragging about. The machines need people to operate, repair and maintain them. You could indeed spend zillions of money on expensive machinery and some idle and very uninformed guy can make them pack quickly through wrong procedures. Don’t you think so Mr. Entrepreneur? Even that money you have in your bank accounts need an astute accountant to manage otherwise your enterprise will bleed it all in a short while, and then you start yawning afterwards – yes I literally mean yawning.
- Human capital coordinates all the other productive resources. This is the gist of the matter. Human beings coordinate machinery, money, materials, information etc. Creating and delivering value to the market involves a lot of synchronization and coordination of things within your enterprise. These can make or break your enterprise. This again explains why an entrepreneur needs people skills. You simply cannot gamble on these areas because they determine your ability to deliver on your enterprise value proposition and remain relevant in the business arena, otherwise you go the way of dinosaurs. Even the recent discussions about AI (Artificial Intelligence) with threatening news that AI will replace up to 25% of manpower in some countries, still leaves human beings in charge. I simply can’t imagine a world in which some weird looking machines control everything! Those gadgets will not have mercy on humans I can assure you. Imagine if they simply decide not to understand and communicate to each other! I don’t want to be there at that time. What about you?
- The entrepreneur’s human capital management practices most certainly flows down the line. This is another important reason why an entrepreneur needs people skills. If you the entrepreneur possess and utilize very good people management skills, there is a high possibility that your other managers will follow suit – of course you cannot eliminate some exceptional off-sites. You might have guys who will still do their own thing until you force them to tow the line. Similarly, if you are a terrible people manager, most likely your managers will also be terrible. Talk about corporate culture, isn’t it? Habits are contagious. A screaming and swearing boss develops several other screaming and swearing mini-bosses.
- Happy and motivated staffs mean higher productivity – with all its attendant benefits. Entrepreneur, when you manage your staffs with excellent people skills, you will certainly have a team that is highly motivated and productive. I believe you agree with me, don’t you? Come on, this high productivity is something that many enterprises crave for but they can’t get it easily. High productivity carries along many other benefits for your enterprise. I don’t know what your objectives are in your enterprise, but I think you should work towards improved productivity in your own interest, and don’t get annoyed that I continue drumming about this animal called ‘productivity’. OK?
- The multiplier effect of a dedicated, committed and engaged team. Here comes the word ‘multiplier’ –which is synonymous with the word ‘synergy’ and ‘leverage’ that I recently tried to explain in one of my blogs. Through synergy you can add one to two and get six! Are you surprised? It’s like adding numbers in another base and not base ten. I hope you still remember those ‘base’ things in primary mathematics. Now, I beg you, don’t run away from this blog because I’m talking about numbers, mathematics, base etc. I know some of you dislike mathematics with a passion. I’m not going into numbers, but I’m just saying that some actions more than triple results to your benefit. Dedicated, committed and engaged teams wake up every morning with the zeal to deliver results for your enterprise. They walk with a spring and swag and pursue targets with a vengeance! Come on. You must know what I’m talking about as an entrepreneur – though you may pretend you don’t. Hey!
- You have got to understand and flow with your human capital manager or consultant. Please, never be the entrepreneur who cannot decode what your human capital manager or consultant is talking and doing. It’s not good and I must tell you. You have got to follow the lingo they use and flow with them. Every profession has its language and mode of operation, and you can easily appear to be a naïve entrepreneur if you are not smart. In such a scenario, you consultant can speak nonsense and charge you highly for that nonsense. Or he could introduce some practice that simply distorts the business or lead to a strike and you will be nodding your head in agreement because you have no clue, until you start seeing the bad effects and swiftly call that manager or consultant to order. I have seen this happen in real life, so don’t think I’m just saying this for the sake of it. I always say that an entrepreneur requires wide knowledge about everything. It’s good. Something about selling and buying, something about accounting, something about staff management, something about law and tax etc. Do you understand me?
- Your staffs have got to key into your vision so that the vision becomes big enough and is kept alive always. This is the last but not least reason I’m stating as to why an entrepreneur needs people skills. Good people skills make you hug your people. Now, get me right here – I’m not sending you off to go and physically hug every employee in your enterprise, until you start appearing silly. OK? I simply mean relating to people with a sweet closeness that breaks communication barriers and yields synergistically charged employee-employer relationships. When you do these things right, your staffs will key into your vision and make that vision bigger, clearer, alive and attainable.
Permit me to simply put this matter to rest here. I could just spoil it if I continued on and on and on. I think I have stated my points clearly. If you don’t understand me, simply ask me to clarify and I will certainly do that. Cheers!
The Wise Entrepreneur