In one episode the men of Bravo Company were assigned the task of relocating villagers to a new village that was considered more “secure.” Some of these people had lived their entire lives in that village and were now being forced to leave the only life they knew. The journey to the new village would take a few days as they all crossed miles of jungle.
When the men arrived at the village, one of the higher officers ripped the men a new one for their “stunt” of turning the radio off and disregarding the order to ditch the villagers. The colonel said something like, “You don’t risk your life for something of no strategic value!” To which one of the privates in the platoon replied,“People are strategic … sucka...!”
The colonel demanded to know who said that and one by one, the men of the platoon said “I did, sir!” and they all closed ranks, looking at the colonel (with a ton of disdain) as the show faded out.
People Are Your Biggest Asset
I just did two corporate training events for clients on both coasts over the past few weeks. (In fact I’m on an airplane right now coming back home from one of them!) And I can tell you that both companies are intensely committed to their people; and not just to train them so that they’ll make their companies more money (which of course, is a goal…and a good one!) but because they were genuinely interested in helping their people succeed.
I could tell the difference. Big time.
The people I interacted with and spent time with all seemed excited, engaged and really into what they were doing. I met someone today who was with his company for 20 years! And when he spoke of the people he worked with and worked for, he glowed.
How much do you think his company has made from his efforts, just by investing in him both as a person and an employee?
People Are the Difference
Did you watch the Super Bowl this past February? The Seattle Seahawks beat up the Denver Broncos in a way I think few people imagined. Were the Seahawks just that much better from a personnel perspective? I don’t think so—but I think the Seahawks were more inspired.
Inspired people do inspiring work. Uninspired people do uninspired work.
Which one would you rather have?
And you can’t inspire (most) people with only a spreadsheet, new software or a bunch of fancy algorithms and analytics. You inspire people by engaging and pursuing their hearts. You may think that's a bunch of "feel good" fluff but it doesn't change the fact that it's true. I encourage you to try it...and when you do, you’ll experience that people really ARE strategic…and can be YOUR secret weapon.
How have you unleashed the strategic advantage of your people?