A business is only as good as its people. Business owners, in order to meet their company goals, must have people that are highly skilled, customer focused, loyal, and motivated. Fortunate indeed is the company owner who has these types of quality individuals on their team. The challenge then becomes keeping these people on the team. Maybe it is obvious, but I believe a happy, unified, and dedicated workforce results from how each employee is treated by the company leader.
At the end of World War II, General Douglas MacArthur was given responsibility to oversee the occupation of Japan. Remember that Japan had been a bitter enemy whose country was devastated from the effects of the war, even Tokyo, described as a wasteland because of the fire bombs during the war. How did General MacArthur treat this former enemy and its people? You get a hint from the following:
“The Japanese people revered MacArthur and followed him wherever he went. Thousands wrote him letters and he reportedly read each one and, with the help of his staff and translators, replied to all of them (Yockelson, 2011, p. 187).” Years later, on the day General MacArthur left Japan after being relieved of his command in the Korean War by President Truman, it is said that “250,000 Japanese lined the streets to say goodbye to their beloved general. Signs read: “We love You, MacArthur,” “With Deep Regret,” “Sayonara,” and “We are Grateful to the General (Yockelson, 2011, p.204).” How could people so love a man who had been their former enemy? The key is found in the following excerpt from a tribute in the Mainichi newspaper.
“He dealt with the Japanese people not as a conqueror but a great reformer. What he gave us was not material aid and democratic reform alone, but a new way of life, the freedom and dignity of the individual (Yockelson, 2011, p.204).”
Notice he treated them with dignity. People treated with dignity will be loyal and perform at the very highest levels.
*Yockelson, Mitchell, (2011), MACARTHUR