#142 – The Human Impact of Business Decisions

Leaders must remember that their decisions impact people’s lives. Because leaders may be several steps removed from the results of decisions they make, the human impacts can sometimes be overlooked. Here are two stories, literally close to home for me personally, that illustrate two very different approaches taken by decision-makers.

Case A: A school decides to put in a solar energy system to save money on utilities and become more environmentally sustainable – great! Not so great was the fact they did not communicate with their neighbors about the project nor that it would involve cutting down a beautiful stand of mature redwood trees that also served as a sound and visual barrier on the school’s property line.

Case B: A winery purchased a long-standing apple orchard in a semi-residential area and is converting it to a vineyard. The president of the winery and his wife made a personal visit to each of the adjacent property owners to introduce themselves, explain what to expect and when, and answer any questions.

Food for Thought ~

Leaders constantly make decision after decision, and the sheer volume of decision-making can sometimes result in becoming inured to the impacts of their decisions. Whether this reflects self-protection or a lack of compassion, it’s a strategic and humanistic miscalculation. Wise leaders consciously work to maintain their connection with the human side of decision equations. Great leaders are also great humanitarians. Anything less is an administrator, not a leader.

Question for the day ~

When have you been on the receiving end of “just a business decision” that impacted you or your company? What decisions have you made, or are currently making, for which you need to consider the human impacts?

Let’s each do our part to bring more humanity to our corner of the world.