The People Investment 

I’m a firm believer that people are the most important resource in business. Nothing happens in organizations without the people, and our greatest opportunities and challenges come from people issues. 

The owner or leader is only one person. No matter how efficient and effective he or she is, it will still never match the 10x results a high-functioning, well-oiled team all committed to the same mission and vision can achieve. 

To maximize the return on the people investment, leaders must spend much more time than they think teaching, coaching, guiding, encouraging, and even doing a little “babysitting”. It’s not fun. It’s exhausting! And the investment often ends up costing much more in time and energy than the initial estimate. 

The reward on the other side, though, is often the freedom to step back and not have to work in the business as much. An initial investment of six months, nine months, or even a year into teaching, coaching, and training our people can free leaders from operational dependence for a lifetime. Is that small sacrifice worth it? 

Where does the resistance come from? Some people don’t believe they’re good teachers. Some leaders don’t want to sacrifice the returns they can generate individually in the short term to “duplicate” themselves ten times over for the long term (short-term sacrifice is not easy for us humans…). Some leaders underestimate the amount of time and energy teaching and training will take. Some leaders don’t want to be down in the trenches. 

Ultimately, it’s the most important investment and sacrifice the leader can make. For a business to grow and stop bottlenecking at the leader, the leader must teach, train, and delegate.  

Will the employees do everything perfectly every time? Absolutely not. This is where the 80/20 rule comes in. Don’t worry about the 20% not being done exactly as the leader would, focus on maximizing the quality, return, and results of the 80% majority tasks. 

Invest in people more. The counterintuitive result is the freedom to see them, and our organizations, flourish. 


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Craig A. Escamilla
Craig A. Escamilla
Craig Escamilla helps you find solutions before problems exist. With fifteen years of consulting, teaching, and senior management experience, Craig brings a wealth of practical expertise to helping others work on rather than in their businesses.

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