#12 of 37 Lessons -- Employees Always Come First

Employees always come first– time and again, we hear of business ventures focusing on their “core business.” Surely a high priority, though the first priority of any business should be their employees. Even in a sole proprietorship where there are is but one individual, there must be an element of self-love in order to thrive and survive.

 In 2017, when the Clemson University Fighting Tigers won the College Football Playoff National Championship (they did it again in 2019), their coach, Dabo Swinney told an on-field reporter that the team’s entire season was about love. He went on to say, he told his team, “tonight, we’re going to win this game because we love each other.” Clearly, they needed football skills to reach the pinnacle and they demonstrated those skills in the game. What Dabo added to the mix of skills is the element of love.

 Arguably, college football players aren’t employees, though there is little difference between those amateur football players and the team which keeps your business running. If you think about the best job you have ever had, did you do the job solely because you loved the extrinsic motivation of pay, benefits and perks? Probably not, you likely loved other aspects which made you feel valued. Those intrinsic motivators helped you feel as if you were somehow making a difference. 

 Similarly, Swinney’s team didn’t win just because they focused on the core business of scoring more points than the opposition. They added an element of love to take the players’ and coaches’ contribution to the game to the very highest level. That is what makes a winning team.

 If you’re an employee and not feeling the love, maybe it is time to speak up, or look around. If you are the employer, above all, show your employees the LOVE! Make them smile. Make them feel appreciated. Employees are the key to your core business success. 

 How do you, or how have you been shown the love?

Dan