Creating Value With What You Have Been Given
Many people read books to improve their business skills and knowledge. One of the most popular books for self-improvement is the Holy Bible. While this blog post is not an attempt to get religious on you, it is an attempt to use a biblical story to illustrate an important principle that managers and sales people can use to increase their revenue and productivity.
The Parable of the talents takes place in a time when money was counted by weight. A shekel, a rather basic unit of money was just over 15 grams. A talent’s worth was just over 75lbs. For our purposes a talents represent a large sum of money, a client, an asset or resources. In the story a rich man gave to one of his servants five talents, to another was given two, and to the last servant was given one by their master. Today sales people are given territories, client lists, responsibility over employees, etc. Managers are put in charge of inventory, equipment, budgets and other things of value within a company.
In the story the rich man left and put the servants in charge of the talents. Each servant went way and did what they thought was best with their talent. The first servant invested his five talents and earned five more. The second servant did the same with his two. The last servant buried his talent in the earth to keep it safe. Soon the rich man returned and asked for an accounting of the talents he had left with the three servants. The first two men had invested their talents and had doubled their money. When they talked to their master (their client, stockholder or person they are accountable to) they returned to him double what they had been given. Their master was pleased and promised them greater stewardship or responsibility in the future. The last servant returned only the money he was given. He was afraid to work with what he was given; it may have been the economy, the competition, or any other reason. When his master saw he had done nothing he was not pleased. He took from this servant the talent he had been given and was sent away. He had lost the trust of the master.
Creating Maximum Value
In our companies today, each individual is given a duty or responsibility to care for resources according to their ability. We have two choices when working with the resources entrusted to us; do we invest them/put them to use to make something better, or do we let them sit, decaying or depreciating? The great purpose in business is to make a profit for ourselves and those we work for. If the company or employee does not try to make the best of what has been entrusted to them, they may lose the client, the stockholder or their job.
To be clear this is not about doing your best and things not working out. This happens to everyone. The lesson in this story and in business is to make the assets and resources we have been given become more than what they were when we received them. It is to magnify, improve and create value for what we have been put in charge of. This is a fundamental principle of business, but one that too many sales people and managers do not practice on a day to day basis. Too many take their customer and products for granted. Too many coast along adding no real value to their clients or companies. Too many have their hand out saying “give me, give me, give me” instead of asking “what more can I do?” or “How can I make this better?”
If you want to improve your business, one of the first things you can do is ask yourself; how can we get more out of the assets and resources we already have? This will help you understand what changes need to made to use your resources more efficiently.
For more information about how to better manage both your assets and your business contact Hansen Group Company at 208-346-1005 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Parable of the talents Matthew 25:15-30.