Leaders Multiply not Add

One of the biggest frustrations in our business is when leaders in organizations don’t understand the value of investing in their people. Most leaders want to grow their business, but they do not believe investing in training and development will help or they lack belief in their people. Those two beliefs (or lack of beliefs) go together.

One theme I have seen a lot is that many organizations believe that in order to grow they must add more people. I am all for new jobs, but effective leaders and great organizations multiply! They don’t just add.

In order to multiply, you must invest in the growth and development of the people you already have. If your organization has a Development Culture, multiplication happens. But if you have a toxic or stagnant culture, your people are probably less productive. If you add people into that culture, they will under-perform, just like the rest of your people. One person cannot change a toxic culture. People become like their leader. People become like their culture.

What if, instead of adding more people, organizations invested in, motivated, and supported the people they have already? What would that do to productivity? SOS co-founder, Bill Moyer says that “organizations are perfectly designed for the results they are getting.” If you don’t like the results, you have to change what you are doing. Adding does not change anything. It is simply more of the same.

Bill also says, “If you do what you have always done, you will be who you have always been.” If you continually add people, thinking you will get better results, you will actually continue to get the results you have always gotten. Your organization will not change. It will stay the same and an organization that stays the same is moving backwards.

I encourage all leaders of organizations to resist the urge to simply add. Make sure your current people are the right ones first. Then invest in their growth. All of the solutions you need as an organization will come from your people. But you have to ask. The only way they will respond is if they feel invested in the company. Make them feel invested! When that happens, productivity goes up, results get better and you multiply!

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