Confucius says “Develop Your Employees”

Shawnee Love   •  
November 3, 2016

At a family enterprise session this morning, the speaker put this quote on the screen:

“If your plan is for one year, plant rice. If your plan is for ten years, plant trees. If your plan is for one hundred years, educate children. ” ~ Confucius

Confucius was a philosopher and teacher whose focus was on society in general.  His ideas have withstood the test of time and remain relevant today.  Truth is like that though.

The reason I share this quote, is because this truth also applies to the mini societies we know as companies, teams and organizations.

I pull two key things from this quote.

The first is, that your goals determine what your actions need to be.  If you have short term goals, then short term actions are best.  If you have long term goals, not only can your actions take longer to come to fruition, but they will be different.  If you know where you want to go and how long it needs to take to get there, then the road you take, your means of transportation and who and what you take along with you become clear.

The second takeaway for me is the importance of education in any successful long term enterprise.

As an entrepreneur, if you have a hope of building a legacy for your family, you must educate your family and those in your business regarding what the business means to you and why it exists.

As a manager, education of your people is one brilliant way to:

  • An old stone statue of ConfuciusImprove effectiveness and efficiency of your operation,
  • Prepare people to step into your role (critical if you ever want to be promoted to the next level),
  • Enhance the judgment and decision making of your people such that you can focus your attention on more critical issues and even get away without everything grinding to a halt at the first odd situation, and
  • Retain them (because no matter what generation your employees are, they all want the opportunity to be developed and see your investment in their development as a measure of how much you value them).

Educate for long term success.  At least that is what I take out of this quote.  How about you?