People-oriented Company from “Leaders Eat Last” by Simon Sinek
“The death of one man is a tragedy, the death of a million is a statistic.”
We can have empathy when we understand the story of a person, we can feel how that person feels. Number can create abstraction of the value of relationship, so does internet and virtual communication. Real relationship is built on face to face meetings. When we understand a person better, we can feel how he/she feels.
How can we build a people-oriented company?
Rule 1: Keep it real, bring people together.
A handshake will always be better than a “like” on Facebook. A true relationship is created when we meet face to face with people. I need to make sure that my employees can meet and share things to each other frequently, face to face. The closest we are to the people around us, the better decisions we can make if the decisions can affect their lives.
Rule 2: Keep it manageable, obey Dunbar’s number, 150.
Maximum number of employees in a premise/office/factory should be below 150 people.
A person simply cannot maintain more than 150 close relationships. There are only 24 hours in a day. I need to build another office if I have more than 150 employees, and so on. Smaller teams can build relationships within the team better.
Circle of Safety is a bond created by a leader and its followers, it is a bond of trust and collaboration.
A CEO has to make his directors feel safe and trust each other. A director has to make his managers feel safe and trust each other. A manager has to make his subordinates feel safe and trust each other, and so on. Everything starts from the top leader, the CEO. When we expand the circle of safety from top to down, our company thrives.
Rule 3: Meet the people we help, the customers or the beneficiaries.
When the employees meet the people they help and they share to our employees how the company has helped them/change their lives, our employees will see the tangible impact of their time and effort for their work and they will be motivated to do better. This is a significant shift in how the employees perceive their jobs and it is foundational to having a sense of purpose in the work we do.
Numbers are important too, but as social animals, our sense of purpose is always human.
Rule 4: Give them time, not just money.
We need to give our employees our time and energy. We need make them know that we care about them by sacrificing something valuable for them, like time and energy. A company can’t buy the loyalty of their employees with salaries and bonuses.
Business is a human enterprise. That’s why we call a business a “company”, because it is a collection of people in the company of other people. It’s the company that matters.
Rule 5: Be patient. Remember the rule of seven days and seven years.
“If I tell you I have dated my girlfriend for seven days and we are getting married, you will think I am crazy because it is too fast. If I tell you I have dated my girlfriend for seven years and we are getting married, you will think I am weird because it is too long.”
Because all of us know that a strong bond of human trust cannot be formed in a few days.
It takes time to get to know someone and build the trust required to sustain a relationship, whether personal or professional.
Our world with internet is impatience, a world of instant gratification, a world ruled by dopamine. But building a relationship takes time, and there is no app that can speed that up. Be patient.
We have to build a company’s culture that encourages and rewards people for helping each other. When people trust each other and share what they know and what they don’t know, the result is innovation. It’s just natural.