Sep 05

Invest In Your Company’s Most Valuable Asset: Your People.

Bunch on Business by Gordy Bunch

Whether you own a small family business, or are the CEO of a large international corporation, investing in yourself and your staff through personal and professional development, will be the single most important demonstration of leadership you make. The achievements of your team directly correlates to your success as a leader. It might seem obvious, but this area is an often under-estimated aspect of building a strong, profitable business that intends to be around for the long haul.

The cost of not developing your talent far outweighs any investment you would make providing access to classes, training or mentoring programs. Productivity, morale, brand reputation, the company’s profits, to name a few crucial areas, are all at stake.

It is certain, not probable, that valuable time, money and energy is wasted by, and on, poorly or untrained executives, management, and staff. The underdeveloped become “underperformers,” ensuring the leadership never has to take full responsibility for not meeting key objectives. It is also certain that the untrained and underdeveloped cannot produce the full potential results for any initiative in which they are involved. Quality suffers, deadlines are missed, budgets are blown, teams are demotivated, and your star performers leave.

A+ Staff want to work with A+ managers, and A+ managers want to work with A+ executives. A+ executives want to build great companies with other A+ executives. A+ at any level requires ongoing personal and professional development and training, including you. No title or number of years of experience exempts anyone from further development.

Without contemporary skills acquired through ongoing development, people are left to survive on past experience alone, which may no longer be relevant. Would you be willing to have a major medical procedure performed today with a surgeon who stopped training in 1982?

Take an honest look at your current investment and commitment to your people, your company’s future, and the impact of doing too little, or nothing at all. Does everyone have a clearly defined career path that they have had a part in creating? The receptionist? The Executive Assistant? The CFO? Are your executives and management successful in actively recruiting, mentoring, and developing the company’s future leadership? Is everyone encouraged to participate in annual personal and professional development programs that exceed minimum requirements for industry compliance?

Are you leading by example? Everyone will look to you for permission to grow. Many employees will not proactively request training and development for fear it will be a sign of weakness. Make it clear that it is highly encouraged, if not required, to develop oneself further to benefit themselves and the company. Be leery of those who do not see a need for further growth.

Ensuring these practices are in place will cultivate an environment of gratitude, pride, and trust, with everyone being well trained, confident and respected. Your people are your greatest asset or your greatest liability. Your investment in them is an investment in your company. Their future is your future. Be honest with yourself and be ready to take meaningful action. You can’t afford not to.


Richard “Gordy” Bunch is the EY Entrepreneur of the Year® for the Gulf Coast for Products and Services. He is also the founder, president, and CEO of The Woodlands Financial Group based in The Woodlands, Texas. You may submit suggested topics for future business columns to him at, or through the editor of this publication.

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