The Pearls of Business and The Human Element Strategy

the-pearls-of-business-jay-newkirk-smallThe idea for writing my book, The Pearls of Business, came after several years of informal counseling and consulting with individuals who knew or had heard about my role in helping successfully grow a small technology company, Computer Systems Technology, Inc., from its initial three founders to 1,000 employees and $100 million annual revenue, reaching our ultimate goal of a liquidity event in twelve years.

I realized that there was enough interest in our accomplishment that writing about what we did made sense as I continued to want to help entrepreneurs and business leaders grow and succeed with their own companies. The original idea relative to the title and the “pearls” came from understanding that there were some basic truisms and strategies we employed during our CST days that helped capture the essence of our “stepwise” success. The pearls of wisdom I uncovered while reading various books by thought leaders became The Pearls of Business when I took them one step further and overlaid them onto business practices. When I coach or advise others, these pearls substantiate my guidance.

For example, when I talk about the importance of building an effective leadership team that trusts one another, I remind people that, “It’s easier to run with a hundred than drag one.” Then I share some best practices for developing a trustworthy leadership team. 

As I finalized the book’s outline and content, I revisited how CST progressed from launch to the liquidity event. As the writing and editing commenced, I decided to include guidance on how to actually apply the subtle motivational meaning captured in the pearls during each step of a business’s growth. As a result, each part of the original book structure has become a standalone book in The Pearls of Business series. 

The Human Element Strategy

The motivational context and the instructional content shared a common thread that I have been practicing for a long time. A very important theme began to emerge.  The key to business success is ensuring that we overlay the human element strategy onto everything we do while growing our businesses and careers.

I use the phrase the human element strategy to mean the following: At every turn and in every decision we make, we are dealing with people—be they our clients, customers, family, or employees. Applying what I call the human element strategy to every decision we make involves never losing focus of how that decision will influence those around us. So we need to make that decision with the needs, desires, and goals of those people we’re engaging with in our minds.

The essence of the strategy is to listen closely during each engagement and interaction we have and “climb inside the head” of whomever we’re speaking with, looking directly into their eyes (when we can), to truly develop an understanding of where they’re coming from and what they need. When we do this, we are able to successfully meet that need—be it a product, a contract opportunity, or a potential employment opportunity—and the person knows that they were heard and that we are sincerely focused on helping them. This, in essence, is applying the human element strategy.

The reason for our success at CST and beyond can be boiled down to this: we employed the human element strategy at every turn and everyone we engaged with knew we were sincere. 

In the coming blogs, I’m going to share with you some ways to apply the human element strategy during various stages of business development. 

Please feel free to leave comments and questions below.