When presented baldly it can seem self-evident, but it is remarkable how few managers really adhere to the approach that when you treat people well, with respect, and give them some responsibility, they are more likely to perform better. This is the core of people-centered—or human-centered—leadership, and it works.
A swathe of academic and consultancy literature supports this proposition. The Fortune 100 Best Companies to Work For outperforms the longitudinal average performance of quoted U.S. businesses by nearly 4% a year over two decades. That is a remarkable return.
Barry-Wehmiller Industries—a conglomerate led by the champion of “Truly Human Leadership,” Bob Chapman, that purchases underperforming and dysfunctional businesses and turns them around with their people-focused approach—reports a CAGR of 18% since its first acquisition in 1987, compared to the S&Ps corresponding average of 10% over the same period.