What We’re Reading Now – People Above Profits, By Dustyn Baulkham

Review By Grant T. Smith


people above profitPeople Above Profits, by Dustyn Baulkham


I was fairly excited about the chance to read this book. As you probably know from reading past reviews, I tend to believe that putting people first (whether clients or staff) is the intelligent way to build growing, sustainable, long-term profits. I want to give Baulkham credit for believing in this goal – his book clearly supports that ambition.


I wish, however, that the book was better written with a more thoughtful approach that would perhaps include both perspective and stronger references to successful experiences.  


I wonder, as I review my notes, whether I am jaded from having read many books on these sorts of topics and thus finding this one simplistic. It is possible that the book is a great place for beginning to explore concepts of investment in staff and investments in clients.


I’d like to take a quick look at some of the highlights of the book, because there were a few.

  • The author tries to focus on what he refers to as the why and seeks to ensure that the good business person is establishing their own personal motivations and their own personal reason for doing what they do. This is laudable.
  • There is a strong focus in the book on leadership, as the author kicks off the chapter called “Leader versus Manager” with the following quote:


“To truly lead is to inspire those around you to be better – you must always lead by example.”


Here we see a good example of him being both on point and fairly simplistic in approach.


  • The third highlight is the chapter called “Coaching”. In this chapter, not for the first time in my career, I received some good refreshers on all the things I don’t do very well. Consequently, over the last couple of weeks, my staff have undoubtedly noticed that I’m asking more questions such as:
    • Is there anything I can do to help make your job easier?
    • How can I help you solve problems by giving you more authority?


Around our office I’m pretty sure the staff can tell when I’m reading a new book by the changes in my approach.


Now those are the highlights.


Beyond that, I found the book uninspiring – it did not bring anything new to the table.


For anyone new to the topic, this might be an acceptable introduction, even if it adds nothing new to the dialogue. It was disappointing that the supporting links to worksheets and templates, which were included in the book, were all inactive. I tried several and none of them worked. The book was published in 2017, how hard can he keep the website open longer than a year?


Now it’s time for summer reading. I’m going to settle down with a novel or two and enjoy a bit of relaxed reading. I hope that you have a great summer, and that you read lots.


Please send me a note if you have a favourite podcast that you might want to recommend, or a favourite book either business or pleasure.