It’s all the “little” people that matter…

Henry Ford

Let me start off by saying the first time I heard this from someone’s mouth, the “little” word resonated harshly through my ears.  Made me a little irritated to say the least. I like to use the term EVERYONE. I came into the business world sweeping floors, painting light posts and dusting shelves. I performed janitorial duties and even filing. In no way was my contribution little. I was part of the bigger picture the “vision”. No one in a company is little. Period

Most upper level management and executives see a 30,000-foot view of the total operations of large companies. Smaller companies let’s say a 1,000-foot view. The most successful leaders and business owners usually understand and know what everyone does and their job role. Can they perform that job role? Most occasions yes, you should, but when it comes to certain technical and legal departments, maybe not.

The main factor in a successful business is all gears turning full turn for the same goal and vision. This in turn means ALL employees must buy in and believe in what they are doing. They will in turn spread this culture. This is a very obtainable achievement. Trust me. One that must be consistently monitored and instilled. The culture must be developed and built from the ground up. There must be a set of core values and company standards that everyone goes by. Write them down, hand them out on cards and hang key parts of them in areas of employee traffic. One of the easiest things I believe in starting from the ground up is making sure your cleaning personnel understands how appreciated they are and even letting them give you updates on certain items. Yes, you might here some crazy things, but letting them have a voice in the company is one you can believe will bring job satisfaction and meaning. It may even enlighten you to new ideas. Remarkable ideas even. Everyone needs a voice to know they are part of this vision.

Employees and staff must have meaning. They need to know their role in the big picture. They are part of a high performing business expectation. EVERYONE. A formula one car with defective or non-performing components will not win, finish the race and sometimes not make it out of the pits. So, startups, think about building your core before trying to blaze a path into the marketplace. I could name a load of successful startups that did just that. I just used the word successful, did you notice? From the guy who is changing light bulbs to the person answering phones. Personally, ask them how they feel their role is helping the company and what YOU can do to help them. Maybe the maintenance guy says your skimping out on fluorescent bulbs and should invest in LED. They last longer. They produce better light. Get with your operations manager and make him aware and have him schedule a time to go over such things with the maintenance department. If you are the operations manager, you now have cost saving business proposal to build. Save the company money and help the environment! Don’t let titles and “rank” get in the way of making sure your 30,000-foot picture is CLEAR with no clouds.

The way I was raised made me the way I am. I have the same respect for the maintenance people as I do the CEO. We all are in it to win it.  I adopted many crucial values along the way and will never stop my passion to learn. I will never stop believing in people. Never. I have been bit once or twice, but that is no reason to start building walls and potentially losing your team morale. I believe everyone makes a difference. I have always been a big proponent of knowing everyone and making sure they knew their part in the big picture and how much they are appreciated. The might not be in a producing position, but their support is needed and appreciated. I utilize democratic/servant leadership style. It has yielded me personally better results. I am very fluent in all styles but choose this due to how I feel it suits my personality.

This is all pretty much common sense. I am aware. This is just me reminding everyone why we are here. Everyone makes a difference.  Be humble, be kind and understand before all else. Always seek knowledge and do not fear risk. Go have coffee with someone in your organization you’ve never really spoken to. Why not? Are we not working together? You’ll be amazed at the interaction.

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