Hakan Ozel, General Manager – Shangri-La Hotel, Dubai
Managing a business by looking at the financial results may not be healthy. It is like trying to coach a sports team during a game while keeping the eyes constantly on the scoreboard! Financial results are the outcome of excellence (or the lack of it) in the key processes, which produce the value that the customers pay for. What the companies must manage and ensure of are the things that produce value by all means: energized employees who deliver outstanding quality and service to enterprise and competition!
The financial results of a business is not something that can or should be directly controlled. It is achieved by ensuring ‘superior value’ in all instances that the enterprise should offer. This is possible only when the value is provided through ‘people of the organization’.
Does that mean that financials are not important or should not be monitored? Of course not! Investors are risking their capitals to make profit, and profit generation is the ultimate goal of any enterprise. Indeed, financial discipline is the bedrock of business success, but it is not all of it, and maybe not even the greater part of it. The real key is the ability to get the people of company sufficiently focused so that they can eagerly and willingly strive for high standards of performance.
Every professional company is preparing their annual and periodical business plans to achieve their set of goals as identified. Financials are the ultimate goals. Unless they consider ‘people factor’ in line with value provision in their plans, it is not difficult to predict that each of the plan is almost identical!
The winning strategy can only be determined by the following set of closely related values: energy, drive, enthusiasm, dedication, loyalty, excitement, commitment, passion and ambition! Where these values exist, the discipline can also be found to execute and outperform in business.
The role of the leadership is to become the owner of all these values above. It is the leader’s job to inspire, support, praise, encourage, comfort, and at the same time when required, confront and critique. Strategy without ‘people factor’ will eventually collapse. People add value. Leaders must have long term focus, and interfere personally whenever there are departures from the aforementioned values and vision that create excellence.
Business life is filled with daily temptations, short-term expediencies, and variety of reasons for why it is not possible to follow the high standards as deemed required. It is imperative to believe that the reputation for excellence is worth more in the long-term than short-term incremental financial gain.
Successful leaders give their people individually and collectively the confidence that greater success, fulfilment, accomplishment, and eventually profits are indeed attainable, and spend their time and efforts to things that produce financial results. Creating value through people is the key to success.
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