Far too many American business executives are using the state of the economy as an excuse for doing nothing to get us out of this recession.They’re sitting back and waiting for something to happen rather than taking the initiative to make something happen—they’re waiting for the economy to get better, for economic stimulus money to be doled out, for credit to loosen up and for the federal government to do something. While they’re waiting, they’re hunkering down, tightening their belts, laying people off and looking for additional ways to cut costs.The problem is that these are the very actions that will prolong the current recession rather than shortening it.
There’s something grossly wrong with this picture.This is not the business mindset that has made America the great country that it is.It’s as if American business executives have lost their compass.Now is the time when they should be demonstrating their leadership by putting American businesses on the fast track out of this recession.They can do this by focusing their attention on the one resource available to their businesses whose behavior they can influence—their employees—the people who do the work that their companies get paid for.The better these people are treated, the harder they’ll work and the harder they work, the quicker the company’s revenue stream begins to grow and that’s what the fast track out of this recession is all about.
In our new book, Instant Turnaround! Harry Paul and I provide a detailed program for making this happen.The beauty of this program is that anyone who chooses to implement it won’t have to wait a month, six weeks or a year to see results; things will start turning around on the very first day.What’s more, this program is easy to execute, there’s absolutely no risk, it costs nothing it drives productivity and revenue through the roof and everybody wins.Those executives who choose to implement this program will immediately put their companies on the fast track out of this recession and look like heroes.Those who don’t will soon be wondering why they’re the only ones still in a slump.
When it comes to impacting people’s lives, nothing is more powerful than kindness. As Albert Schwietzer once said: “Constant kindness can accomplish much. As the sun makes ice melt, kindness causes misunderstanding, mistrust and hostility to evaporate.” Leo Buscaglia put it this way: “Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, and honest compliment or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.” Henry James echoed these sentiments when he said: “Three things in human life are important. The first is to be kind. The second is to be kind. And the third is to be kind.” Kind acts are what we were put on this planet to do. They require very little effort, but they have the power to change people’s lives. On top of that, kind acts have a homing quality; they always seem to find their way back to the person who performed them. Highly effective bosses have figured this out–kindness is a big reason for their success.
Negative bosses who make nasty comments to belittle or suppress those who work for them are a tremendous drain on the productivity of a business. The problem is that negative comments are hurtful and almost always ruin people’s days. When this occurs, it immediately sucks away people’s energy and now they are no longer able to apply their best effort toward doing their job. A friend of mine who is a manager recently told me that he receives at least one degrading email a month from one of his superiors. “When this happens,” he said, “I completely shut down for the rest of the day.” Let’s assume that 29 other employees received similar emails from that same person. If each of them responded by shutting down for a half-day, that’s 15 days of lost productivity each month all because of one thoughtless email! The message here is: If you have negative people working at your company, especially if they’re in supervisory or managerial positions, don’t ignore them. You need to find a way to get them rehabilitated or get rid of them because they’re a luxury you simply can’t afford.
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