This chapter points out the importance of valuing all key stakeholders to a business. When leaders make one stakeholder group the only one they value, they often deliver results that serve that group well, but also often create undesired consequences involving other stakeholder groups. In this chapter, I underscore why the workforce has been traditionally undervalued as a stakeholder group and the consequences of that in terms of engagement and responsiveness in times of change. Undervalued people never become partners! Further, while I argue that a balanced stakeholder perspective is essential, I also introduce a “Circle of Growth®” argument that suggests a reasonable order to serving all stakeholders: people → customers → business. This notion provides a starting point for creating the kind of business where people are able and willing to serve their customers, who in turn deliver the business and financial results that all business leaders wish to produce. There are two Simple Truths covered in this chapter.
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