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People First

Putting people first is a choice, a mindset, a philosophy.

Putting people first is a choice, a mindset, a philosophy. It’s investing in your team members to where they choose to become a vital part of your organization. It’s about multi-directional support and accountability which comes down to the commitment of individuals as well as your overall work community. I have learned through the years that people will commit to the extent they feel their organization cares about them and their interests. This is a multi-direction undertaking. 

Why is it that many organizations talk about putting their people first but when it comes time to do so, they do not? It’s because leadership hasn’t bought into the importance of the people they represent or they rhetorically espouse that they care, but their actions betray their words. Basically, their pronounced intentions don’t align with their actions. I’m not sure they see any real value in putting people first. To them people are nothing more than commodities and therefore, interchangeable, replaceable, and expendable. 

This is where leadership can be extremely short sighted because whether they realize it or not, team members are paying attention. As a leader, if you think you can finesse a good game around how you care about the people you represent and then operate in a dichotomous manner, you will be sorely disappointed and ultimately fail. Don’t forget that the most talked about individual in any company is the person or persons at the very top. 

When you put people first, it’s a balancing act because you are weighing the singular against the pluralist, and the pluralist is nothing more than a compilation of the singular. As a leader there are those difficult times when you must put people or the pluralistic first, not the person or individual. Especially, when their actions or behavior are negatively impacting the greater good or the mission at hand. I tell people all the time that there is no one bigger than the cause – not me, not you, not anyone. 

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