The Soft Stuff and The Hard Stuff

 The Soft Stuff is The Hard Stuff 

“What in the world is he talking about now,” you might be asking right now, after reading the title of this article.  “The soft stuff is the hard stuff.”  What does that mean?

Sometimes in business people talk about being nice to people as a soft thing . . . and that you should not spend too much time doing this because you need to get on with the hard stuff of making more money, being more productive, getting the costs down, enforcing the rules, keeping the labor in line, keeping the place cleaned up, and all of that other so-called hard stuff in our business.

Taking the time to be available for your team members might be classified as soft stuff, and it is kind of hard to measure what impact it has on the business anyway.

  • Making your team members feel special,
  • Treating them as individuals,
  • Showing complete and unconditional respect to them, 
  • Spending time developing them and educating them, and
  • Knowing their roles could be in that soft category . . . if you let it slip into that category in your mind and actions.

You could talk yourself into thinking that you don’t have time to do that soft stuff with all of the hard stuff you are faced with every day.

The fact of the matter is that if you don’t do the so-called soft stuff exceptionally well, you will never achieve the potential payout in the hard-stuff category.

At the end of the day I have learned—and it did take me a while to learn this—THE SOFT STUFF IS REALLY THE HARD STUFF.

If we all spent more time figuring out how to do the so-called soft stuff really well:  We would not have much hard stuff to do . . . because when you do the soft stuff well, your team will take care of the hard stuff . . . because they know exactly how to do it, and they will do it if they want to do it . . . and they will want to do it if you do the SOFT stuff well.  Now you know the rest of the story.

If you are having trouble getting both the hard stuff and the soft stuff done in your life, then pick up a copy of my book Creating Magic where you will find the formula for achieving both. In the economy we are in you are going to have to do both very well to get the best results possible.

Happy holidays to everyone….Lee

  1. I shared this last week with a client project team – a diverse group building a facility overseas. When the foreign-born project manager suggested that the team get training in cross-cultural interactions, many of the team members were skeptical. I explained that if a colleague working cross-culturally makes that suggestion, there might be a reason. Then I added, “The soft stuff really is the hard stuff, and if you get the soft stuff right, the hard stuff isn’t that hard after all.” Thanks, Lee.

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