Management by Ski Lift


One of my clients utilizes the Management by Skilift style of management.

What this means is that every time they have to make an important decision, or every time they are stuck with something, they go skiing.

Why? Because they have found out that this way of running the company makes them much more successful (they have grown double digits over the last year) and they enjoy work and each other more.

As an indirect result of making well being so important, they’ve attracted some of the best talent in a fiercely competitive market.

What the leadership of this company deeply understands, is that in their work (they manage assets for wealthy families) they need to be at their absolute best at every moment because every mistake could mean losing lots of money for their clients.

When one of the co-workers doesn’t have a good day they tell him“Go home for the day, take the day off, relax. And if you don’t feel good tomorrow, take that day off too.You are of very limited use to us and yourself right now, so please take some time to gain perspective”

What they get is that stressed, pressured people make lots of mistakes, don’t see reality clearly and aren’t of much of a value to the company. This can have a big impact on client relationships, trades that they make and the overall impact on the culture and“feel” of the workplace.

Every time I share this story at a keynote or seminar I get someone to say “we can’t go skiing all the time and we certainly would not send people home, that would cost us a fortune”. And he’s right! It certainly would be considered heresy in most companies to even propose this idea.

The only problem with the statement, although valid at first, is that there’s a huge hidden cost in not doing it.

These costs are hidden, there’s no KPI that measures “costs of stressed people”.

I can guarantee you that if you want to safe money as a company and become much more successful, while also having the overal well being of your employees skyrocketing, the state of mind of your people is the one you want to start with.

State of mind is the biggest untapped resource in any company.