The Egyptian Revolution … Lessons Learnt

Egypt is living the best days of its history after the great revolution. The beauty of it is we are learning something new every day.  With this spirit in the whole country, every manager should also start applying the lessons learnt from the revolution to achieve the best:

  1. The most important lesson any manager should have learnt is to “LISTEN”.  Listen to your people, know them, and know their needs and demands.  This is the only way to get the best out of them and make them productive. Be one of them, talk to them and listen.  And do not ever ignore their demands because if you do, one day you’ll pay a high price. It is not that you’ll always do what they want but being one of them, they will love you and they will understand when you have to do something different because they know that you are fair.  Mubarak’s biggest mistake was that he kept doing different things than what the people asked for from day one and the result was that people who didn’t join the revolution from the beginning were intimidated and joined and he was forced to leave.
  2. Be fair.  When employees feel that they are treated unjustly, they will rebel sooner or later.  This is true even for the least level in the hierarchy. Don’t underestimate what an office boy can do if he is fed up of being unfairly treated.  And the risk is not only that people for example will rebel and go on strike. You can have an unannounced rebellion, people can agree to come every day to work and never finish what they are supposed to do and work keeps pilling up and then they will show you as incompetent.
  3. Make your people participate in the decision making cycle. When the Egyptians felt that they can participate in deciding what to do next and how to build the Egypt we are longing for, we were amazed by the amount of energy, ideas and effort exerted. If you let your people participate, you will definitely achieve much more than what you were planning for.
  4. Set a clear objective and make sure everyone understands it and then put a clear strategy how to get there.  When all Egyptians had one objective ahead of them, they knew exactly what they wanted and hence they worked so hard to get there.  They were not reluctant even to pay a huge price as their lives for the sake of their country. They weren’t afraid of gun shots and Molotov because they knew that they have to endure and pay the price for the great results ahead.  Same thing if we apply it to a company. If you have a clear objective and a clear strategy people will be encouraged to do their best to get there.  But if they don’t know why they come to work every day you’ll get nothing out of them.  Don’t force your people to work extra hours, just make them understand what you want to achieve and make them part of it.  Make them feel that their efforts are highly needed and appreciated and you’ll be amazed that they will work extra hours whenever needed without being asked to.

Bottom line is: show your employees that you care, and they will strive to make you the best in the market.


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