Business lessons from reading Let My People Go Surfing, Part 3

In this multi-part series, I will talk about my lessons learned from reading Yvon Chouinard’s Let My People Go Surfing- The Education of a Reluctant Businessman, and how they transfer to software and general business principles that we can all take back to our organizations.

Part 3
To kick off my final part of this blog series, here is one of my favorite quotes from the book: “We want the kind of employee who will question the wisdom of something he regards as a bad decision. We do want someone who, once they buy into a decision and believe in what they are doing, will work like demons to produce something of the highest possible quality”. Here are some other things I learned from the last part of the book.

Make Decisions from Consensus, not Compromise
A lot of people talk about compromise in the business world. It happens quite a bit and can be a good thing but, in all reality, both parties have most likely gotten their feelings hurt and feel robbed, because they met in the middle. Consensus takes longer to come to but, in the end, will be stronger for the organization and build the foundation for creating something amazing.

Leaders Head the Charge and then Trust
No matter how great your organization’s CEO or President is, there is no way for She or He to get all the work done on their own. They need to be able to rally support and take risks but, at the end of the day, they have to give the reigns over to their staff and trust they will make it happen. Doing this will allow the organization to be more efficient and also help team members be bought into what they are doing.

Lead an Examined Life
Whether for your personal life or professional career, knowing what you do in true detail is fulfilling and good for all those involved. Knowing the details also helps us to know how our actions affect others and what we can do to help the world even through small changes in our daily lives.

Clean Up Your Act
Now that you lead an examined life, you can know ways to clean up your act. This doesn’t have to be environmental but even knowing that the Starbucks worker that takes your order each morning likes to be spoken too in a quieter voice, or they will get stressed out, is a small change you can make that will help others be happy. We can all make these changes and become more considerate individuals.

The Health of Our Planet is the Bottom Line
We all want to be rich and have enough to make good lives for ourselves and others. Unfortunately, in this day and age, this desire seems to come at the cost of screwing over our planet. We must learn to examine our actions and find ways to remain successful but in a more sustainable way; both socially and environmentally. Once we have done this at home, if we can convince others to join the good fight, we can change the world and save our species from being a small blip on the cosmic radar.

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