Is it Just Business? Part 1

In Business Leadership by Laura

“It’s not personal, it’s just business.” Have you ever used that line or had it used on you? I have used it and been on the receiving end once or twice and I have to say, it is personal. The first time I heard it come out of my own mouth was in the heat of an angry moment with an employee years ago and the look on his face made me realize in that instant that it truly was personal for him.

I have thought about that phrase for many years and I still don’t understand how it came about. How can anything we do in business not be personal to someone? Yes, the decisions we make as business owners and managers are ones we need to make to keep the business viable but we also need to recognize that every decision we make affects someone, directly or indirectly. That does not mean we should not make the hard decision but it does mean we need to keep the human element in mind and clean up our messes. Or better yet, not make a mess.

As business owners we have to make tough, hard choices every day. What I’ve learned is that communication about the business reasons why choices and decisions are being made goes a long way to minimize the personal problems that arise. People may not agree with what you are doing but they will, on some level, get it. It may take them a bit though but remember how you felt the last time you felt “blindsided” by a decision.

Living in Florida the whole Digital Domain bankruptcy sticks out as prime example of the whole lack of communication it’s just business scenario. It is coming out how management knew they could not sustain the business but they kept hiring people, accepting new projects and then, one day, the doors closed and vendors and employees are in shock and without money owed to them.

I am not saying that this is your business or your situation. I use it as an extreme example of be in integrity with your business and your communications and you can minimize, or in some cases, eliminate the personal conflicts. Part 2 of this series will look at the questions to ask yourself and others as you make choices using Digital Domain and some other corporate snafus as examples.

What do you think about this post? Have you ever been on the receiving or delivering end of its just business? How did you handle it? Would you do anything differently? Do you agree with me or disagree? Let me know. Post your comments below. Feel free to share this and let’s get a conversation going.