Pay Attention to the Foundation of Your Business

Did you ever notice that every construction site spends months below ground before any steel or structure rises toward the sky? The Coming Soon signs go up on a site; then it appears that nothing happens, sometimes for months. It’s an illusion of course. The most important work on the project is going on, it’s just not readily visible. Engineers and construction professionals know that a building’s foundation is the most important aspect of the design and build and they spend months on it at the outset. Out of sight, but not out of mind. They know that a beautiful building resting on a pillar of sand is not a winning design.

Your business is exactly like that building, except that your building is always under construction. Every day, you should be devoting time to the foundation of your business: the frontline employees who interact with your customers every single day.

Frontline Employees Are The Foundation

I see so many businesses whose most important employees are the lowest paid and who have the least amount of attention paid to their needs. It’s upside down. Many business “leaders” spend far too much time on the top floor of their building and too little interacting with the foundation of their business.

It’s maddening that some business leaders only appear at board meetings, executive meetings, and high-level strategy sessions, yet assume they have a true sense of what’s going on. Business leaders who only get information about what’s happening on the front lines of their business from directors, managers, and supervisors may not be getting the full picture.

Action Items

To address that lack of clarity, here are action items for this week:

  • Get out into your business.
  • Eat lunch in the cafeteria.
  • Spend a day shadowing a front-line employee and do their job with them for a day.

Recognize that the decisions made in the boardroom don’t always translate well to the frontline. While you may not notice that, your customers will. And your frontline employees most certainly do. Such action items will help you tend to the foundation of your business while you are “constructing” your business daily.

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