You’re Not in the “Make People Happy” Business

Posted by on Jul 10, 2013 in Coaching Blog | 0 comments

As a leader, “You can’t make everyone happy”. With that said, let me give you one business lesson: “Your job is not to make everyone happy”. As a matter of fact, it’s impossible to make everyone happy. On top of that, it’s unimportant. Your job is actually more about making people better than it is about making them happy. So how do we suggest you make them better?

1. Run your business/department more like a team than a family.
We tolerate family members who don’t carry their weight or measure up to our standards because they are family. Family model mindsets just won’t work in the business world. If you want a high-performance business, then you need to run it like a team. Members of teams must prove themselves over and over again. There is pressure to perform, members are held accountable, and non-performers don’t make the cut.

2. Set minimum standards, and fire those who can’t make the grade.
Set these minimum standards, put them in writing, and constantly communicate them. Then hold people accountable for reaching them. As a leader, you cannot compromise and accept standards lower than you set.

3. Hold managers personally responsible for people development.
Tie the manager’s bonus to people improvement, and you just might see some. No improvement, no bonus. Big improvement, big bonus. Pretty simple, huh?

4. Get rid of bad managers and poor leaders…and fast.
If you tolerate bad managers and poor leadership at your company, you will never hit your potential as a company. Set clear expectations for them, train and coach them, and then hold them accountable for the results.

5. Empower the right people.
While the word empowerment is widely over-used in the business world, it’s still very important. If you empower people with ability, you’ll see results. But don’t try to micromanage them or second-guess their decisions.

In my opinion, business has gotten too soft. We are scared to offend the very people that would benefit from a brush with reality. The best thing you can do for people living in denial is shake them up and stop them from becoming utter failures. Your people are supposed to worry about keeping you (the boss) happy. Now I’m not saying be disrespectful and ugly to people. The best thing you can do for them is give honest feedback, stretch them, hold them accountable, and assist them with improving their skills.


Dave Ferguson is the owner of Synergy Coaching and Consulting Group, LLC, a Business Coaching, Consulting, and Training firm, dedicated to helping business owners, managers, and employees get more out of their business and personal lives. Dave can be reached at 704-907-0171 or

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