Leadership coach Peter Baeklund once heard this exchange between an organization’s CFO and CEO:
CFO: “What happens if we invest in developing our people and then they leave us?”
CEO: “What happens if we don’t, and they stay?”
While the CFO was understandably concerned with the organization’s expenditures and bottom line, the CEO wisely understood that investing in their people was something they couldn’t afford not to do.
As Steve Chase, cofounder and former CEO of AOL, once said, “Most businesses rise or fall not because of the product, but the people. At the end of the day, the team you build is the company you build.”
Inspirational leaders realize the importance of investing in those they lead. They are willing to invest time and resources in order to have great team members—and thus great teams and organizations.
While monetary compensation and certain financial investments are a part of that, investing in those you lead—and the resulting ROI—goes far beyond money. Inspirational leaders make investments not only by providing competitive compensation and generous benefits (where applicable), but also by:
- Providing relevant training and education options,
- Creating opportunities for individual growth—personally and professionally,
- Nurturing a culture of leadership development, and
- Regularly showing appreciation and appropriate recognition.
Bottom line: don’t take your biggest asset for granted! Invest in your people. That’s a guaranteed strategy for achieving greater success!
[This article was adapted from Chapter 11 of my book, Be An Inspirational Leader]