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Put your people first and watch your business fly 

Season 1: Finding and keeping great people

Duke Stump Chief Brand Officer at Newlab

Put your people first and watch your business fly 

No matter your industry or field of expertise, your product will always reflect the essence of your core values. Great businesses know that. That’s why cultivating a positive and empowered internal culture is at the heart of all important brands. They intuitively understand that through bringing care and attention to what matters most—what happens on the inside—a deeper connection and sense of meaning are created on the outside.

In many ways, it sounds obvious. For example, how we nourish our bodies, minds, and souls—from the food we eat to the adventures we seek—influences the vitality of who we are as people. Every detail matters. How we feel and approach our world each day is a direct result of all these inputs.

Businesses are no different. And yet, because in business we have a duty, a need, to deliver and produce—services, products, results—so often we neglect to care for what truly matters: what happens on the inside. We’re simply too busy trying to create resonance and be relevant on the outside that we forget to nourish our roots.

Your people are your most important asset

A defining moment in my career came when I met the iconic founder of Patagonia, Yvon Chouinard. He told me his main focus isn’t targets, but people. The wellbeing of his people. That’s it. He places his trust in people. He believes that through care and compassion and by empowering his people, they’ll take care of everything else.

It’s fair to say he’s right.

Build it, and they will come

When I think about how businesses are best set to attract and retain good people, there’s so much value to be had from this idea of looking after what’s on the inside. Not only will it help you to create a positive workplace and productive workforce, but the originality and quality of your output will be obvious to others. They’ll sense the magic in your work, and the best people will naturally be drawn towards it.

Culture is caring

Too often the origin of words is lost, yet their roots reveal great truth. The word culture comes from the Latin word cultus. It means to care, to cultivate. I find that so interesting. It speaks of the secret behind any great brand and business—and that’s to care about its people.

Have faith; when you put your people first, you create the conditions for a vibrant and dynamic working culture. And that will only help your business become a force for good.

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