Running a business isn’t something you can usually do by yourself. One way or another, other people make their contributions to your enterprise. They could be members of your team, suppliers, co-directors or even family members who support you – and they all deserve some personal recognition from you for what they do.
However, not every business owner or manager combines the wisdom of Solomon with the personal relationship skills of Dale Carnegie. Some people who are highly successful in the financial sense manage to alienate just about everyone around them while they’re on the way up and there’s nobody to help them out when they eventually start to come down.
There are some classic personality and behaviour types that can alienate just about anybody. These are seven people you don’t want to be:
· The Great Dictator
Don’t share any of the decision-making powers. Don’t share any of the responsibility for running things. Keep it all to yourself and just tell everyone else what to do. Tell them it’s your way or the highway and when they desert you it’s only because they weren’t good enough to measure up to your standards.
· The Boss
Forget all that team nonsense. You’re the boss and the rest of the people around you are just employees, paid to do what they do. Treat them like interchangeable parts and if they wear out you’ll get another. And don’t let yourself become interested in the personal side of their lives; who cares about their families or problems anyway?
· The Cynic
Everyone’s out for themselves, so why should you appreciate anything they do for you? Be suspicious of others who give you advice or support since they’re in it for themselves and only want to put you in their debt. In fact, avoid other people because you’re the only person you can trust.
· The Procrastinator
There are tough decisions to be made but you can always put them off for a while longer. Your people come to you for some assistance or extra support when the workload gets too heavy but they can go on a bit longer until you finally decide what to do about it. You have to choose between two suppliers but just keep them both hanging while you think about it. Don’t decide – delay!
· The Gambler
You’d like to do something but others tell you it’s too risky. You’ve got a brilliant idea but nobody else thinks it’s financially viable. Never mind. Just go ahead and take the risk. Be a gambler and it might pay off. If it doesn’t you can always cut a few jobs and stop paying creditors for a while. Gambling is fun and you might get lucky.
· The Lone Ranger
This person works in splendid isolation, ignoring the marketplace and not worrying about the competition. Build a better mousetrap and everyone will somehow hear about it and beat the proverbial path to your door. Even better is to just keep on doing the same old thing year after year and avoid change like the plague.
· The Bully
Make a point out of putting everybody else down. Whenever you have the chance to pass comment on someone else’s work make sure to slip in some sarcasm or negativity. Make sure everyone knows that you’re the tough guy and remember that fear is a better emotion than love when it comes to getting what you want from others.
Of course you’re not like any of these, are you? Not all the time, anyway. But it’s really important to analyse your behaviour towards all the other people that you interact with in the course of your business and make sure you don’t become anything like these seven characters when you get stressed or want to impress somebody.
If you recognise any of these traits in yourself you need to consciously work to get rid of them – and quickly. Your relationships with those around you will improve and so will the performance of the business you’re running.