Recently, I had a conversation with a colleague by the name of Damian Street.

Damian is a corporate adviser, business owner, entrepreneur, and much more. He is also a presenter at our ABDI programs, and his intelligence and business acumen will be well known to program participants.

He made an interesting observation, which I am now of the firm belief will go down as one of those ‘defining moments’ in my professional and personal life, where you are taught something that stays with you forever.

The observation was along the lines of:

“You know, I’ve been reflecting on what it takes to be successful in business. In the past, one of my key mantras has been around an unswerving and laser sharp focus on financial management. Without it, you have no idea how your business is performing, you’ll never be able to plan properly, and fundamentally you’re flying blind.

While this is certainly important, lately I’ve been observing that in fact, managing the human aspects of business is likely far more difficult…. and, if mastered, potentially much more valuable when running a business. Many people can be taught how to review or develop a profit and loss statement or budget, however not that many can truly manage people well, or, show natural leadership. And, it is even more difficult to teach it.”

 

“Managing the human aspects of business is likely far more difficult…. and, if mastered, potentially much more valuable when running a business.”

While his intention was not to say that you should take your eye off managing the finances, and obviously this is not correct in all situations … this certainly got me thinking.

A lot of business owners we work with lament their lack of financial skills. And yet, they may be great ‘people persons’. Potentially their role in their businesses is to manage the people aspects (staff management, customer engagement, succession or family dynamics), and financial management could be delegated or outsourced to someone more efficient and effective.

It is vital to recognise your strengths and weaknesses. As long as you understand and acknowledge your weaknesses, but don’t ignore them and sweep them under the rug, rather find ways to manage them, playing to your strengths means everyone will ultimately be better off.

 

David Stone
ABDI Operations Manager


 

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