by Bernie Anderson
My name is Bernie Anderson and I have the honor of taking over the BAM blog for the next several weeks. I am a certified business and nonprofit consultant with Growability® – read more in my bio below.
Thank you for following along with this month with this series on business basics. My prayer is that this series of articles will be an ongoing resource for your BAM project.
Like baking a great loaf of bread, we build every organization with three simple ingredients: leadership, marketing, and management.
If leadership is the flour and marketing is the water, I consider management the salt.
While prepping the dough for my loaf of sourdough this week, I mulled over the necessity of salt. Why does bread need salt? In theory, it’s possible to create a loaf of bread with just flour and water, give it some time to ferment the natural yeast, and a perfectly serviceable loaf of bread should appear.
But, without salt, nothing about the loaf of bread will be right. It will have the wrong flavor, texture, and consistency. Salt regulates the yeast, strengthens the dough, and brings out the beautiful complex flavors of a great loaf of sourdough. Salt is essential.
Like good management in your business.
Many consider management in basic terms of resources, operations, and finance. And it’s true, all this is involved. But the heart of management is people. Management is the salt of your business because management is the most human element of your business. Continuing with the Growability® Business Operating System as a model, think of management as having two parts:
1. Empowering Teamwork
2. Equipping Managers
The diversity of your team creates a diversity of opportunities. Many BAM teams are cross-cultural by nature. All BAM teams will bring together a variety of strengths and personalities that make your business unique. Community creates and expands creativity. An excellent team is also critical for capacity. Teamwork facilitates both multiplication and stability in your business. Never forget, God delights in and blesses common unity and teamwork (Psalm 131). Joy is an overflow from quality human relationships.
Global business has a reputation of building teams of human beings in some of the most inhuman ways. We hear horror stories of companies who entice employees with the promise of high pay, but to keep the pay coming, workers must sacrifice their humanity. Golden handcuffs, indeed. While paying your team their value is important, it’s not everything. In his book, The Heart of Business, former Best Buy CEO Hubert Joly says:
“The carrot and the stick are pervasive and persuasive motivators. But if you treat people like donkeys, they will perform like donkeys.”
Your BAM project should be different.
The biggest mistake entrepreneurs make when building a team is hiring people who are just like them. Teams need four kinds of people:
1. Ideators and Innovators: People who are great at ideas and vision
2. Deciders and Delegators: People who are great at turning ideas into actionable plans
3. Equippers and Educators: People who are great at empowering and encouraging team
4. Achievers and Automators: People who are great at building processes for getting stuff done
When a team can freely work in their diversity of strengths, the entire business thrives. In my work as a Growability® Consultant, I help team members and managers understand their various God-given personalities and strengths and see how they work together to build a business that makes a difference in the community.
Like salt in bread, management is the flavor of business. Managers are the primary shapers of the culture of your BAM project. They ensure the team you’ve built work together, not just to achieve more, but to achieve purpose. Equipped managers equip the team to scale as your business scales. Good managers foster nobility and dignity. Management often gets typecast into a role of the cold-hearted beast. Management should be the most human role in your business. Equipped managers ensure your team will reach its full potential.
Every employee asks three questions:
1. What’s in it for me?
2. What is expected of me?
3. Where do I stand?
Every manager should be able to answer these three questions for every employee, with clarity. An equipped manager has the tools they need to provide workers with incentive, expectations, and accountability in the workplace. While this includes tools and processes for essentials like job descriptions, performance indicators and reviews, and time project management – managers are the primary promoters of purpose.
Best Buy was on the brink of extinction in 2012. People mocked their stores as “Showrooms for Amazon” as the retail giant struggled to compete in a disrupted market. When Hubert Joly took over as CEO, expectations were layoffs, store closings, and a lot of internal disorder. But Joly started with purpose. He didn’t do the standard corporate-speak, trying to inspire workers with a framed company purpose statement nobody cared about. Joly tasked himself with leading every Best Buy employee in understanding their personal purpose. It transformed the company. Connecting what we do every day with the bigger sense of why we do it is how to inspire and energize, and this is the core of great management.
Of course, management has its own complexity. This portion of the Growability® Business Operating System has a robust set of 15 tools to help your team discover their strengths and personality, develop great time and project management habits, create workable systems, and even provides templates for effective meeting rhythms.
While I’m certain Jesus wasn’t speaking of sourdough bread when he said, “you are the salt of the earth” (Matthew 5:13), the statement applies here. Business is ultimately people. Working together on a BAM project is the people of God being salt to business, to community, and to the world. It’s hard work, but worthy and worthwhile effort–for now and eternity.
Empowering Teamwork and Equipping Managers are two out of the six fundamental parts of the complete Growability® Business Operating System. If you would like help implementing this in your business or nonprofit organization, contact Bernie@growability.com for options.
Bernie Anderson is a consultant, coach, and trainer with Growability® Consulting, specializing in non-profit and cross-cultural business and leadership. Check out the Growability® Podcast at all your favorite podcast places. He currently lives in Greenville, SC USA, with his wife of 34 years. Bernie’s career has certainly been a diverse one. He spent 13 years as a pastor and the better portion of 10 years living in Central Asia, while developing entrepreneurial, Christian leaders. Since returning to the US in 2014, he has been a major-gifts fundraiser for an international nonprofit and is currently a certified business and nonprofit consultant with Growability®, where the mission is to equip business and nonprofit leaders to enjoy meaningful work by creating scalable, effective, and generous organizations. For further help for your organization (or his exact sourdough process) feel free to email him email@example.com.
 Story from The Heart of Business by Hubert Joly