Let's Get Back to Basics

by Julian Campbell

chalk board We live in a time when change is happening so fast that sometimes we have difficulty keeping up with it. Change in technology, change in systems, change in relationships and so on. Then we start to look for ways to handle the change. We turn to books, workshops, seminars and gurus for new ideas and the answers to how to deal with it all. Then we become disgruntled when we walk away from that seminar saying "I knew all that!" and we did, we just had been practicing it.

We often hear the saying nothing changes if nothing changes and that is certainly true with regard to our actions, but the basic principles of effective communication, leadership and business do not change, they have remained the same for thousands of years. Over the years, the real issue is that many leaders and managers have not applied the basic principles of communication, teambuilding, leadership and business.

When I first undertook my engineering training, drawings were produced on drawing machines from drawing offices that were as large as warehouses, filled with a multitude of these machines. Draftsmen were mainly men wearing white coats and using slide rules and log tables to perform their calculations. Today all of these functions are handled in smaller modern offices using desk top computers. But the basic engineering formulas and principles have not changed, just the processing of them.

Similarly in leadership and business we are faced with changing generations with vastly different lifestyles. CEOs today are stating that their number one challenge is understanding and motivating Generation X and Y. But I would argue that if the doctrine explained by Dale Carnegie in “How to win friends and influence people” written in 1935 but still very relevant today, was closely followed and basic communication principles used, people of any generation can communicate easily, be understood and motivated.

People’s personality has a major bearing on gaining acceptance of ideas and motivating them to action. The impact of barriers to communication, how we can interpret this through body language and other feedback was just as vital in the days of cavemen. The basic principles of business were practiced, very effectively, centuries ago by the Greeks and Romans.

So the real issue to building businesses and relationships is knowing that these basics are the foundation to modern leadership and applying them is the very essence to developing leaders and businesses of today and tomorrow. Business Leadership is basic engineering not rocket science. Let's get back to those basics.

Copyright © Julian Campbell 2007

To read more of Julian's articles, return to the Articles Index

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