Having top talent in your business is an essential ingredient for unlocking commercial value for your customers and cashflow for your business.
After all, cash flow is the king or queen of your business.
So whether it’s the original founders who felt so inspired to put it all on the line and manifest their ideas to solve a problem, right through to front-line staff who deal with day-to-day challenges and all levels of talent in between, the act of attracting and maintaining top talent is about developing custodians of sustainable cash flow.
The reality is that it is never that easy.
The journey leading to the nirvana of personal and professional achievement is a rollercoaster experience for all, and is often fraught with anxieties around when to bring people into the business, how to source talent, ensuring the right fit for them and the company, losing great talent and having to start all over again… the list goes on!
I truly believe that the art of keeping top talent is revealed when you tap into the entrepreneurial leadership mindset of individuals. I’m not talking about creating entrepreneurs who go on to start their own business (though this is a real possibility to consider), but more about developing a level of thinking that unlocks tangible and sustainable value based upon expressive action.
Let me explain further:
Entrepreneurship Leadership has a fabled reputation of being all about the person who is solving problems in a way that no one else has done, within a commercially-viable and scalable business model – there is some truth to that, from a purely business perspective.
But when it comes to keeping top talent, the real essence of Entrepreneurial Leadership is the ability to enable individuals to have the space to embrace challenges with a sense of creativity, innovation and purpose, the freedom to execute solutions, the support to learn from getting it wrong, and the power to implement the knowledge earned.
Here are three actions you can take:
1. Create safe spaces to embrace their own fears
Fear of failure and fear of success are real things, enveloped within a negative state of mind that affects us all professionally and personally. Psychological safe spaces give individuals the permission to talk more about their fears, and the opportunity to seek support to implement effective strategies to solve them.
By doing so, all parties will soon realise that there is nothing to be fearful of!
2. Help them to create clarified visions of their role, within the collective outcome
Talent is not a role, but a person contributing to something greater than themselves – leaders must create the frame but empower talent to paint their own picture.
You should be able to describe in detail what your vision is as a business, and help every individual to understand how their efforts play a part in that collective vision, and why they are best placed to do so. Make sure their personal and business goals are aligned too.
Equally, they must also be willing to accept the responsibility and accountability of the part they play – real success is about balance, not entitlement.
3. Sharing learnings on the lessons that they don’t want to be taught
Displaying entrepreneurial leadership is an empowering and nurturing way to keep top talent motivated, because it gives individuals an insight to how they can develop and grow as a leader themselves.
More importantly, it gives them wisdom and insight into experiences that they can learn from, without having to go through the direct challenges themselves…yet.
Ultimately, keeping top talent is about enabling individuals to feel that they belong, that they can contribute and that they can gain sustainable value from the journey.
The more you can achieve this, the more value they will create for both your business, and customers that you are all there to serve.