It's been a while since I've shared my thoughts, but I was inspired to write after spending a week with the great folks at Allen University. For those of you who don't know who Allen University is, it is a 141-year old Historically Black University (HBCU)closely tied to the AME Church that opened its doors in the immediate aftermath of the Civil War as a place for higher education for newly freed slaves. The leadership of Allen University, specifically President Pamela Wilson, invited my wife and I to attend a leadership retreat, where we spent a wonderful week working hard to ensure the future success of Allen University while getting to know one another outside of the confines of the workplace. Witnessing the openness in which the leaders shared their thoughts, both personally and professionally, with each other made me remember the golden rule of Human Resources - that building relationships is more important now than it has ever been.
The old adage that "People are an organization's greatest asset" is commonly stated in mission statements around the world, yet it should really state that "The RIGHT people are an organization's greatest asset." Getting the right people on the bus, the wrong people off the bus, and the right people in the right position is the real key to an organization's success. In order to do this, organizations, and their leaders, must remember to take the time to build relationships - with their employees, customers, suppliers and each of their stakeholders, including their families and friends.
Such common sense, yet so many organizations and leaders fail at this simple notion. It makes you wonder - if so many leaders are so bad at building relationships at work, are they just as bad at building relationships in their personal lives? If experience has taught me anything, it is that people are inherently who they are whether it is at work with employees or at home with family and friends. I know that I have struggled the most when I have had to be one person in my professional life and another in my personal life. Long-term, it just doesn't work.
So, how do you ensure that you are building relationships that ensure success in your professional AND personal life? Well, that's another blog subject that I will write about in the near future. What I can say is that if you fail to build relationships, you will find life MUCH more challenging. Isn't it hard enough without this added burden? If you're struggling at home or at work, look in the mirror, and ask yourself, "Am I doing everything that I can to strengthen my relationships?" If you're not, you have a mid-year goal to begin immediately!
If you need help in Building Relationships, give me a call...someone at Human Resource Dynamics will be happy to help! And to those wonderful leaders of Allen University, who have focused on building relationships as a strategic goal - your future looks bright! Thank you for the enlightening and spiritually fulfilling week.