Positive Path Recommended Reading

Building Your Business? Build Your People
By Catherine Palin-Brinkworth

What an exciting thing to do - develop a successful business! For me, it's about alchemy - that amazing and mysterious process of creating something wonderfully valuable out of bits and pieces. It reads like a recipe book, really. Take one good idea, add heaps of energy and hard work, gradually mix in well thought-out systems and strategies, and turn it out through a set of highly effective people.

Sound familiar to you? It is to me. I've been part of the building and developing of at least four dynamic, successful enterprises, both as an employee back in my corporate days, and most recently in my own business. We're in a tremendous stage of growth and development right now at my company, Progress Productions, and I'm reminded every day of some of the most important Principles for Progress that I share with my clients and continually reinforce for myself.

Here are five principals that can make a significant difference:

1. People will always perform for their reasons, not yours. 
If I want my team to go and grow with me, I need to find out continually what excites them. What are their personal drivers and inhibitors? What are their psychological needs around their work environment? What are their fears and concerns, and how can I help them manage them? What are their values and goals, and how can I ensure they are in alignment with mine? It is important to remember that all your strategic planning, your goals and your objectives will be useless if you need other people to help you make them happen and those people don't have the same level of commitment to them as you.

2. People can only perform up to the level of belief they have in themselves. 
This was a major discovery for me. I also discovered for myself, during my early years in management, the tremendous power of the "Pygmalion Effect" - people largely live up to my expectation of them. So I've learned that if I want to build my business through my people, I have to build their own belief in their capacity to achieve. This belief must be nurtured, not to the point of any delusion about current performance, but with a real conviction about potential. If I want to lift their achievement, I must help them lift their self-belief first.

3. People want floors, flexible walls and no ceilings. 
While we are growing, we usually want a level of security beneath us, a floor or a foundation. Keep your people informed of your plans and your activities, so they know where they stand. Allow them flexibility of operation, within specified measurable frameworks, and let them know the sky is the limit, for achievement, for recognition and for reward.

4. People treasure recognition and need to own responsibility for creating it. 
Everywhere I speak and consult, people tell me they don't get enough recognition. Sad, isn't it? I usually ask them how much recognition they give. They look at me as if I'm crazy, but a good culture of recognition is carefully and deliberately developed, with praise and appreciation shown both up and down, and sideways, in a team. Find fun ways to encourage everyone in your team to recognise achievement in others, but be careful to keep it genuine, spontaneous and both individual and team based. Teach your team to ask for feedback if they're not receiving recognition the way they want it, and teach them they own the responsibility for earning it, too.

5. All people are creative. 
Each one of us has created our life just the way we choose to have it, or at least the way we've settled for it. Those of us who have been told we are creative (the "Pygmalion Effect") will probably use our creativity courageously. Others who haven't had their creativity encouraged will mostly believe they are uncreative. I suggest you encourage your people to be positively creative and innovative.

Building a business is hugely rewarding, and building your people is equally rewarding. Seeing your people develop as a result of your encouragement, mentoring and management is a great joy!

About the author: Catherine Palin-Brinkworth is an international presenter, consultant and author on business and personal success strategies. She holds a Masters Degree in Social Ecology and is a Certified NLP Practitioner.

A powerful, inspirational presenter with practical and proven success skills and strategies, Catherine is in constant demand as a keynote speaker. Her web site is www.catherinepalinbrinkworth.com

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