The average startup faces a number of challenges in the effort to grow into a sustainable enterprise. The average CEO finds him or herself making colossal decisions on a daily basis during the first few years of business. One of those key decisions revolves around people. A study of the most successful enterprises reveals the importance of hiring the right people.
One question I get often is how I’ve managed to build a company that leverages the skills and talents of such amazing people. I have outstanding coaches and managers involved in my company on a variety of levels. These team members are smart, capable, driven, and a joy to work with.
From employees to partners to vendors, I’ve found and worked with some exceptional people. Most young CEOs assume that the only way to get great talent is to wait until their company has traditional means of exchange. A catch 22 of sorts faces the CEO: You need tons of money to get great people, but you need great people to make tons of money. Today I’m sharing the three most important things I’ve done to attract and keep great people.
Clearly Communicate Your Why
Everyone who has ever worked closely with me understands my vision. They know why I do what I do and how passionate I am about the intersection of art and commerce. When your why is big enough, it resonates with the right people. Smart people want to be a part of movements and companies that reflect their values. Be clear about your highest vision and communicate it with passion and enthusiasm.
Help Them Achieve Their Goals
The first question I ask a prospective employee or partner is, “What are your long term goals?” Most CEOs do not spend enough time really understanding their employees and partners. It’s impossible to effectively relate to another person without developing an organic understand of how they think and what drives them. I want to learn about what makes my team members tick and what their dreams are. Developing this understanding allows me to extend an offer or suggestion that aligns with their personal goals and our collective goals. The easiest and fastest way to get what you want from people is to help them get what they want.
Get Creative with Your Offer
Money, as explained by Daniel Pink, is not necessarily the best motivator. If you talk with long-time employees of large and small companies, they often point to intangible factors as an explanation for why they stick around. Praise, valued input, and weekly parties are just some of the things I’ve heard employees cite as meaningful elements of their work experience. Consider alternatives ways you can compensate and reward those you work with. From bartering to equity, there are a variety of ways you can add value to a partner or employee. Get creative with what you offer and be flexible in how you approach compensation.
Leverage is one of the most important things a young CEO can build. Use the tips to attract the best and brightest to grow your company.
Lisa Nicole Bell is an award winning filmmaker, author, and serial entrepreneur. She’s the CEO of Inspired Life Media Group where she and her team create “media with a message™”. Learn more about Lisa and her current projects at www.lisanicolebell.com
Category: Startup Advice