Appreciate People (and they will help you grow)

Build people. Build value. Build business.

This is not a mere tagline or clever marketing claim. It is my passion and the cornerstone of my business!

After decades of frustration from working for other people in positions they created to ‘meet their needs’ only to be let go once priorities had changed; I realized how unappreciated the vast majority of us are.

The truth is that the vast majority of people want to be active contributors. We want to invest our mind, body, heart and spirit into meaningful work and appreciative leaders. Instead we are given demands of compliance at the lowest common level and are often recognized as only a small fraction of our abilities

  • We invest our time into learning multiple disciplines or get trained to cover other departments, but are often abused with extra workloads at disproportionate rates.
  • We invest passion into ideas that might improve the company performance, but are often abused with diminishing benefits and mass layoffs as our companies are ‘managed in and out of financial stability’.
  • We invest personal relationships and favors to secure lucrative sales contracts, but are often abused with non-solicitation agreements after an unanticipated termination.

By looking at the dreadfully low engagement rates of employees, I know that this is almost a universal problem. Businesses wanting to grow in this always-connected 21st Century need to find ways to appreciate the multitude of gifts that people bring each and every day. Overcoming these frustrations will tap into a new type of fuel that will thrust our businesses to new heights.

How much does it cost to show genuine appreciation, or to treat our people like the intelligent, passionate, creative, and caring human beings that we are?

That question was a key topic at a recent workshop led by my associate Derrick Jack. He provided the audience with this powerful information coming directly from research conducted by Gallup Organization.

30X improved results are commonplace when we embrace the following two ideas:
1) Commit to building on the strengths of an individual, and
2) Make them excited about their future.

While this speaks to every level of management in organizations; it also speaks to parents, teachers, peers, and friends as we each have the ability to incorporate these powerful ideas into each other’s lives.

The beauty of this approach is revealed when EVERYONE in the organization embraces it. I have witnessed these two simple concepts having the following impact:

  • Decrease employee turnover (almost immediately)
  • Increase quality and quantity of employee contributions
  • Increase quality and quantity of talent applications
  • Increase customer loyalty
  • Decrease service calls, warranty claims, returns, and other costs of customer service
  • Increase customer testimonials and endorsements
  • Increase new customer referrals (current customers recommending new ones)
  • Decrease in sales, promotions, and market manipulations while increasing sales revenues.

After seeing this in action with a few clients, I was truly inspired to fully invest in the approach and not make it a prominent aspect of my business, but to teach it to clients as a tool to genuinely grow their business from the inside out.

I invite you to share your thoughts or stories on this topic in the discussion area.


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david r frick is a business artist and the founder of SuccessVentures – a consulting firm focused on helping owners and entrepreneurs create opportunities for transformational growth.
More info is available at or by following social feeds here and twitter (@drfrick)

A New Perspective on Business Growth


Most entrepreneurs and business executives are essentially following the knowledge and ‘best practices’ of the day and repeating the things that worked in the past. The problem is that what happened in the past has absolutely zero bearing on what will happen in the future.

We need a new paradigm that fits with today’s business climate!

So I offer my approach. It was developed from years of practical applications, observations of others, as well as some of my own mistakes learning opportunities. In many ways, it is a reversal of the previous paradigm.

Your fundamental purpose is the few things that you excitedly dedicate 3-4 decades of your life to exploring. Your story is simply how you discover this purpose and how you live it on a daily basis.

There is no need to be flashy, overly clever, or perfectly wordsmithed. The point is to connect with other humans and fuelling their passions. Over time, it will naturally refine itself and continue to bring new insights. As we connect more to our purpose and story, we become increasingly more proficient at communicating and relating it to others.

2. Your purpose and story serve as your point of connection to building A COHESIVE TEAM.
The thing about great teams is that they continue to find ways to improve and work together more effectively. Guided by and connected to a central purpose (rather than personal desires or profit), decisions have a clear structure – even the decision to attract/select the best talent or replace existing systems.

Skills are all learned – by attending a workshop, reading a book, watching a couple videos, etc. If one person can learn them, almost anyone else (who is interested) can as well. Experience is merely the expression of skills we learn practiced over time. Passions and beliefs, on the other hand, are much more personal and powerful as they determine the way we learn new skills and build experience.

Let go of the checklist of minimum requirements. Replace it with a human approach to building your teams around people who are passionate about your purpose. In talking with qualified investors; I am learning that they often make decisions to support cohesive teams more than they do great products/ideas.

But we are not ready for that just yet.

3. We still need to build AN AUDIENCE.
Which is fairly easy because all of your audiences will already care about your purpose, they will connect with your story, and relate with your team. How does this happen?

They are looking for you much in the same way you found this article.

Your purpose, story, and team give people something to follow. Do it well enough and they will not only grant you permission to communicate with them; they will also help you communicate with others.

Provide them with tools to share among friends and let them have a voice in some of the decisions to be made. Use the initial audience to build a powerful community where people freely discuss good and bad aspects of your company.

Aside from vendors, employees, contractors, and the like; it would ruin the authenticity if your audience (customers, raving fans, loyalists, and so forth) were compensated for their efforts.

It is only after we get through some fundamental work on our purpose, team, and audience that we get to move into the next phase.

This is the thing that we actually get to ‘sell’ to people. The product or idea is the thing (could be something tactile as well as SAAS, platform, language, or even a free subscription) that people use to describe the experience of associating with your business.

While it is important to serve needs of your audience(s); remember the previous work you invested time to produce. Stay true to your purpose and passions. It will actually form stronger connections than merely serving their wants and desires. Here are two of my favorite lines from Henry Ford about how much to listen to customers’ initial wants.

When asked; people said they wanted faster horses.

They can have it any color they’d like, as long as it is black. 

When you focus on clearly communicating your story, building your team and attracting an engaged audience, you will be more likely to see the transformational growth moment sooner, and with less headache.

If you connect what you read, please feel free to like, comment, and share with others who might also benefit or enjoy.


* * * * *
david r frick is a business artist and the founder of SuccessVentures; 
a consulting firm focused on helping owners and entrepreneurs 
create opportunities for transformational growth. 
More info is 
available at or by following social feeds here and twitter (@drfrick)

Blazing New Trails

People are the key to a 21st Century business. They are not a mere resource that needs to be managed. They are the most valuable asset to an organization and the driving force behind growing businesses. The job of an entrepreneur or leader is to build systems, opportunities, and situations that allow your people to contribute their best to you and be an active part of your journey.

Here are four categories to help focus and align operations with your Compelling Purpose to effectively grow over the coming decades.

Think of talents as the recurring thoughts, feelings, or behaviors each of us have and choose to apply. While we are born with these tendencies; they absolutely grow with us throughout our lives and careers.

Our talents need different types of scenarios and situations to show their value. This makes it simple to understand how when we engage in tasks that fit within our specific talents, we are energized. And when we engage in tasks that do not fit within our talents, we are drained.

21st Century businesses will shift from seeking people with ‘proper experience’ to do a range of tasks; to finding people with ‘ideal talents’ who will be energized by the tasks you need done. It is already happening as the trends of outsourcing, or temporary contracting.

We define collaboration as the process of working together to achieve mutually agreed best results. It is not about negotiation where sides concede aspects of their desired outcome. It is about working together to create something better than anyone could have done by himself or herself.

The idea of collaboration is only possible within the framework of one shared purpose, vision, and language. It is further made easy with an understanding of each other’s talents, and the fact that everyone has value to contribute. In collaboration, each individual’s strengths are seen as ‘opportunities to contribute to others’ while weaknesses are ‘opportunities for others to contribute‘. Collaboration allows each participant to contribute his or her strengths for the betterment of the organization.

21st Century businesses need to not only master the art of collaboration, but be able to do so across distance, time, various media, and through complex combinations of roles and positions.

Relationship With Conflict
The complexity and pressure of collaboration will often bring about differing or opposing ideas, opinions, and expectations known as conflict. This is something to be embraced rather than avoided. It is in collaborating through the very conflict that we get the most powerful ideas and solutions.

21st Century businesses will discover ways to leverage conflict in positive ways wherever it happens; be it external, internal, or even away from the office.

As soon as you implement systems that create adequate fuel for talent and collaborate together through a healthy relationship with conflict; great things are bound to happen! Responding precisely to these successes in the right way, at the right time, and for the right reason will actually build the momentum towards bigger and better successes.

Keep in mind that individuals are motivated differently than they are satisfied. Quite often something that highly motivates one person might hardly satisfy (or even de-motivate) others. More importantly, motivation is of little impact when people are not yet fully satisfied.

21st Century businesses need to devise systems to assure that celebrations are done in ways that honor, satisfy, and motivate both individuals and groups to continue contributing their talents and ideas.

For as much emphasis we have on ‘fast-growth’ companies; starting a business is about traveling a long distance. It is NOT a journey to be taken solo! The advantages of teamwork have been around for centuries and that they will continue to be relevant for centuries to come.

Your business venture will directly benefit from the encouragement, protection, sharing of tasks/labor, diverse areas of expertise, and more that are contributed by the people you invite to join your endeavor.

How are you working with the dynamic contributions of your team?