Season 1: Finding and keeping great people

Duke Stump Chief Brand Officer at Newlab

Positive energy is the bedrock of any dynamic brand

Male and female professionals standing and smiling with their computer gadgets

In business, the quality of your energy defines your culture and influences everything you do. People are your greatest asset, and trust is your greatest gift. Yet your energy sets the tone. It’s the lens through which you see things. Energy is a binding force. It can bring great power and momentum—and just as easily, a lack of energy can really take the wind out of your sails.

For more than three decades I’ve helped build diverse and soulful brands around the globe. At the beating heart of each was a vibrant culture. A culture shaped by people empowered to challenge convention, and each other. To seek out new ideas. Important and meaningful work are intrinsic to this environment.

Where the focus goes, the energy flows

Great brand cultures are best when they are fluid and organic, vital and alive, bubbling with possibility and positive energy. As a leader, it’s your role to provide the spark and to be the beacon. To set the tone and tempo. In an environment where pressure, mistakes and threats are the one constant, how you respond is critical.

So, remember, your approach and attitude really count. Because in turn, they become the blueprint for how your team respond.

duke stump

Culture is your heartbeat, people are your pulse

In my experience, the best company cultures have that kinetic energy with trust and freedom at their core. This energy transmits way beyond the walls of the business, and like moths to a flame, it can attract great people. They want to play a part. They too want to make a difference. So, build a company that’s alive. It will attract the best talent.

Energy is a vital force for good

How you and your team stay inspired, and conversely, what happens when desperation and fear take hold, ultimately affects your culture and your outcomes. When I was working at a subsidiary of Nike, we were floundering—losing revenue and obsessing about our competitors (comparison is indeed the thief of joy)—until a new CEO came in. Within 18 months we became one of Nike’s best turnaround stories. We had 300 people in that subsidiary and only let go of one person. The energy changed. We began to live in possibility, asking questions like, “What does it look like to be a category leader?” The CEO’s energy, attitude and mindset paved the way.

As a leader, it’s your responsibility to manifest and maintain good energy, positive flow and clarity within your team. It’ll help you make a difference, every day. From here you can take your team to the edge. The place where the best ideas are found.