In his October 4, 2015, NY Times column “Corner Office” Adam Bryant presented his interview with Gary B. Smith, CEO of the Ciena Corporation: “Gary Smith of Ciena: Build a Culture on Trust and Respect.” In it Smith shares some of his history, his early influences and how his views changed with experience. In last week’s blog I wrote about how Smith’s management philosophy of creating an environment that people could be successful in is important to the success of family businesses.
This week’s blog: “It’s all about people.” This is another important management principle, one that Smith says he learned early in his career, but that took time for him to truly grasp. “…if you get that right,” he says, “the other stuff will get addressed.”
In family businesses the people are all stakeholders–leaders, family members, team members, staff. The “other stuff:” smoothly running business operations, processes and procedures depends on careful attention to building and maintaining a culture of mutual trust and respect.
For me this means putting relationships first and business transactions second. It’s a philosophy for building a family-business legacy.
If you have thoughts or questions about building relationships of trust and respect within your family and family business, contact me through my website.
This is the second of three important management principles I pinpointed while reading Adam Bryant‘s interview with Gary B. Smith. I’ll share my thoughts on the third: “Differences and Consensus” in next week’s blog post.