Beliefs are incredibly powerful. Groups with similar beliefs go to war, move mountains, cure diseases, or create profitable companies. Individually, our beliefs can cause us to follow the recommendations of experts or listen to ‘alternative facts’ that we receive from like-minded strangers. Wherever the information comes from, once believed, it often hardens like cement.
When beliefs – good or bad – are aligned in your business they can lead to success or bankruptcy. So, what are the dominant beliefs held by your employees? Are they propelling your business forward or holding it back? These beliefs could sound like:
- This is a lousy place to work
- People are lazy
- Employees take advantage of you if you let them
- When the boss retires, this business will fall apart
These are not facts they are beliefs. If these beliefs dominate the thinking of your employees and managers, what impact will that have on your business? Now compare with beliefs like:
- I love my job, I can’t imagine working anywhere else
- People are naturally motivated if you have the right people in the right jobs. Hire them, train them, and then get out of their way
- We have great people working here – I trust them to do a good job
- When the owner retires, I’d love to take over; the business practically runs itself
These aren’t facts either but beliefs: “we become what we think about.”
Beliefs underpin our attitudes toward others. Attitudes support our behaviour and our behaviour affects our results. Consider the impact on hiring good people, training costs, turnover, productivity, the number of people who (normally) show up for the Christmas party, profitability and the price you get for your business when you sell it.
The good news: it starts at the top. YOUR beliefs, attitudes, behaviours and results colour everyone else’s. Take stock of your own beliefs and consider the consequences on others. Or survey your people and you’ll see that they reflect your beliefs. Remember that while beliefs aren’t facts, they influence others as if they were. If you don’t like your results, change your beliefs.
 Napoleon Hill, Think and Grow Rich