Season 1: Finding and keeping great people

Charlie Gladstone Author and Creative Entrepreneur

How to unlock your team’s talents

An old man and a young man drawing out plans on a table

Building a brilliant team isn’t easy, but it is deeply rewarding. One of the best things in business is seeing a great team in full flow. Magic happens. That energy, the bond. It’s incredibly satisfying. In business, it’s your greatest weapon.

A wealth of insight

I’ve run my own business ventures for well over 30 years now. They are fairly small businesses, employing around 120 people, across events, retail and hospitality. They are all successful. Although, in truth, it took me a little while to figure out what success meant. Financially my businesses more than hold their own, they just haven’t made me rich.

Defining success

But that’s OK. What I am good at is people. I like people, I’m interested in them. I bring out the best in them. And as a result, I’m very good at creating happy, engaged, productive teams. Teams that stick around, often for decades, and that help drive my businesses forward in a positive way – through passion, commitment, hard work and fun.

To me, that’s hugely valuable. That is success. What draws energy to and from a business, in my view, should always be about more than just money.

Shared sense of community

What helps is a sense of shared values, strong culture and common purpose, and where my businesses shine is through the experiences they offer. Take The Good Life Society, the series of camps and festivals we organise each year. They have an energy and community that sets them apart. That is only possible because of my team, and the pride and passion they commit to putting on the best events they can. Our guests feel that, and I know it makes the difference.

Your company’s potential is rooted in its people

Be under no illusions, people are everything. Bad people: bad business. Great people: great business. I know that sounds simple, but attracting brilliant people, the right people, and keeping them with you for the journey, is a dynamic, ever-evolving process – and getting it right is vital.

Of course, there are no guarantees, but in my three decades of experience, I’ve come to realise that building a great team requires deep commitment, flexibility and intelligence. Also, clear structure, goals and gentle leadership. It demands consistency, calmness, kindness, equality – and every ounce of empathy. It means being human first and allowing your team to be human too. So, if you see someone struggling, support them. Show them that you care.

Power to your people

People are everything. In business, at home, on the street, the way you treat people will alter the course of their life and yours. So, treat them well. It’s a wonderful, beneficent power we all have. As a leader, it’s a gift, and when you begin to develop the tools and skills that I will share with you, I promise, that power will help you get the best from everyone.