How to Attract and Retain Important People For Your Business

How to Attract and Retain Important People For Your Business

How to Attract and Retain Important People For Your Business

In order to retain your best employees, create a great onboarding process and give them a sense of community.

In talking with many founders and would-be entrepreneurs, it is clear that there is one factor that demonstrably sets the best apart from the rest. That is the clarity they have about the purpose of their endeavours and their ability to communicate it.

It is a sense of shared purpose that excites us as humans and enables us to achieve extraordinary feats. This same purpose will shape our decisions and behaviours when the going gets tough – and it will get tough at times, but above all, a purpose will guide us to the right clients who will help a business thrive.

Unfortunately, when your purpose is not aligned with that of others, relationships become strained, and the result is at best disappointing, but more often, it will eventually be catastrophic. I am sure you can think of instances when this has happened, but if not just imagine the sound generated by a group of musicians lacking a shared understanding of what they are playing. Even the most experimental jazz has a core that holds the piece together.

So having and sharing your purpose is critical in attracting the right people to you (the magnet) and holding you all together (the glue). Think about how you would react if your dentist or financial advisor told you outright that his purpose was "to make money"? Now consider if one said that his aim was to bring modern but affordable dental care to your area, while the other was making sure that you were financially protected and best prepared for your retirement. I bet that your perception of them would change hugely for the better.

Given the importance of purpose, it is disappointing how few individuals (or businesses) can clearly and concisely communicate their purpose verbally, let alone write it down. My old headmaster always said that if you cannot write something down, you don’t understand it well enough, and if you don’t understand it, why should you expect anyone else to? That is so very true!

I know from personal experience that it is not always easy to express your purpose, but how much easier things become when you can. I think some would describe it as finding and entering your flow. Things start feeling easier, and you achieve more. Wouldn’t you like that?

When I was working as a change consultant, my purpose was:

“….to give my clients greater confidence that the complex/transformational business change they desired would be delivered efficiently and effectively!”

while my current efforts are driven by:

“ ….helping founders and owners of early-stage companies build better businesses and be better leaders.”

This piece is entirely consistent with that latter purpose!

It sounds like a simple task to communicate your purpose, but clearly, many people don’t find it so. If you are honest with yourself, can you express your purpose or the purpose of your business clearly? If you are unsure, try these two tests:

  1. Write down your (or your business’s) purpose in less than 30 words;
  2. Ask three people who you think know you (or your business) to tell you what they see as your (or your business’s) purpose.

You might be surprised at what you hear.

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Ian J Sutherland 

Business Change Expert

Ian J Sutherland is a highly skilled director with expertise in governance, partnerships and regulation and almost four decades of experience serving as a powerful catalyst for change for organisations of all sizes and sectors. He thrives on identifying areas for innovation and improvement, forming effective strategies to drive efficiency and create bottom-line results. He has a proven capacity to serve as a bridge between organisations and functions, creating unity and operational coherence. A personable and creative leader, with a unique insight and the ability to see the big picture and provide constructive challenge, he writes on many matters including the delivery of change in today's world and is an opportunistic photographer who seeks to capture images that interest him. He enjoys good beer, good company and good music - not necessarily in that order.

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