Wednesday 2 May 2012

Human beings are not resources, assets or capital. Please stop treating them as such!

Get the point of this post and live it in your own way and you will begin to stop the status quo from derailing you and costing you in more ways than one.

You have probably heard the talk about humans being your most valuable resources or assets.  Human capital is also a commonly used expression, sadly in my view.

You might even be using this kind of talk. Stop please.

Here’s what I think:

I think such talk is trash.

Referring to human beings as resources, assets or capital is arguably a clever analogy or metaphor.  For me it demeans human beings, for beings we are.  And not just any old being that can be labeled. You are unique.  Just like everybody else!

Some research suggests 100 billion people have walked the earth.  Get this - there has never been a duplicate.  Everyone is special, a one-of-a-kind.  Therefore to label people and treat them the same misses the point and has dreadful consequences.

Your purpose as a leader, assuming you’re a real leader, is to inspire people to bring everything remarkable that they are (that unique being each of us is) to everything they do.

And you will need some serious management skills.  Leadership falters without management and usually badly.

Management is the practice of making it simple for people to bring everything remarkable that they are (that unique being each of us is, I am repeating this deliberately) to everything they do.

Get it?  Leadership is about people and inspiration.  Management is about people too just in a systems and processes sense.

The key role of great leadership (supported by great management) is talent maximisation i.e. inspiring people to discover their unique talents or gifts, sometimes called their music, and then letting people loose in bringing who they are to their work. 

Carefully consider this great paradox - give people massive freedom to do their own thing within very clearly defined boundaries.  Of course boundaries is the stuff of management.

Our world needs great leaders and managers more than ever. If not you, then who?

Be the difference you want to see in the world.

PS You’re leading.  Who is leading for you?
Please consider engaging me as your mentor or joining one of my changing what’s normal master-mind groups.

My work with you is about maximising your talents/gifts/music so powerfully that you become brilliant and inspire other people to maximise their music.

"A friend is someone who knows the song in your heart

and can sing it back to you when you have forgotten the words."

My work is about being this kind of a friend to you for a time.
It’s about uncovering your ‘music’, 'enhancing your gifts’ and letting you loose!

More about my mentoring here and my master-mind groups here.

And if not me then engage someone and belong somewhere. You owe it to yourself.
As my friend and colleague Keith Abraham says: “If you are not investing in yourself then you are a poor judge of a great investment."

“No matter how brilliant your mind or strategy, if you’re playing a solo game, you’ll always lose out to a team.”
From The Start-up of You by Reid Hoffman, co-founder and chairman of LinkedIn.

“Don’t die with your music still in you.”
Benjamin Disraeli who probably borrowed the line from Oliver Wendell Holmes.

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