Solid relationships with your people build massive ROIs. Y’know how I constantly go on about how business is Personal? And Personal means People? People. Not data and not tech? I want to share something that happened this week.
A bit of background
More than twenty years ago, I began building my ultimate dream team. A motley collection of ordinary people who delivered extraordinary results. The building process took three years, the results piece started after the first year and continued uninterrupted for nearly ten years.
We were focussed on upping our performance. Removing all the waste. Making it a great and safe place to work and have fun. Driving profits sky high and then sharing part of those profits with EVERYONE. Our results were so spectacular I entered into negotiations to go to the US and teach the other 20 subsidiaries there how to do beautiful business the way the crazy Canadian chick did.
I received a very short text from one of my favourite team members. “Charlene, sad news. Our friend Nabil has left this world for the better.” I was floored. Nabil had been my main right-hand guy. And he had been defying the odds over the last 8 years or so as he battled many different cancers with exceptionally aggressive treatments.
Over the course of our working careers – whether as employees or as business owners – we all come in contact with a vast number of people. But only a handful become what I call solid relationships, deep friendships or close colleagues. For me, Nabil was one of those guys. And what I want to share with you today is
The stuff that really matters
First, I cannot remember any of the actual benchmark data we surpassed. Nor can I quote any stats without first looking them up in some very old files. I cannot tell you how many days and nights we all worked outrageous hours to deliver what we set out to do. Nor can I remember the specific bonuses I paid out, or even how many real emergencies we managed through.
In other words, my memory is totally blank on all the things we paid strict attention to on a daily, weekly, monthly and annual basis. All the stuff we believed was crucial to our jobs, our teammates and our performance record. Y’know, the stuff we actually got paid to do.
What I do remember is the personal side. How Nabil bragged about both of his kids and their accomplishments and his immense pride in them. Every day he said something beautiful about his wife. He loved everything about her – warts and all. I remember how he loved living in Canada and how his sciatica knocked him out of commission — again.
How he was always kind and decent to just about everyone. How he sat quietly beside me for a whole week, while I bawled my eyes out fretting about having to put my first dog down. In other words, I remember him as the generous, kind-hearted, loving human being he was.
Furthermore, I remember the rest of my favourite team members
The ones who dropped everything when someone had a problem. And the ones who visited their mates in the hospital. The ones who told their colleagues before their family about a new pregnancy. And the ones who proudly brought in their kids on ‘bring your kids to work’ day. The joyous lunches and silly celebrations for hitting benchmarks, honouring newlyweds and retirees and of course the just because the sun is shining days.
The kindness and generosity of always wanting to set up a donation-drive for so many unfortunate circumstances. The caring and tender way arms snaked across shoulders. The high fives and smiles. The silly pranks, the really bad jokes, the massive swearing, the vehicular accidents. And most of all — the Love and Respect showed for one another. Every single day.
Human beings live for connection and belonging. Human beings were designed to be happy and give their best. Most of us, regardless of position or seniority, remember the best parts of someone we care for. Our strongest and most poignant memories will be with our solid relationships, deep friendships and close colleagues.
You see, business really IS personal. Solid relationships matter. Please consider adding more of that element into yours. It truly is the best way to get stellar ROIs.