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Driving Business Growth

By Greg Barnett, PhD

Certain people are born entrepreneurs. They are creative, motivated, think out-of-the-box, challenge the status quo and are not afraid to take risks. These are the people who are willing to give their all in exchange for fulfilling their dream. And when you’re in business growth mode, these are the people you want.

But attracting entrepreneurs requires a different strategy than attracting other talent. You need to sell them not on security, long-term employment and benefits, but rather on potential – being part of a growing business that has the promise for success. And we’re not talking about small success. We’re talking about making millions, creating a legacy, being a part of something huge – and the people who have that potential know who they are.

One caveat though – when you’re ramping up your business, you don’t only want to attract and hire entrepreneurs. You need other talent to balance them out. Just like you don’t want too many cooks in a kitchen, you’ll also need people who are willing to sweat the details, do the prep work, clean up the mess and roll their sleeves up whenever necessary. As much as you need people with big ideas and the vision to make them a reality, you also need people who will keep the kitchen from catching on fire and instead, keep it humming along smoothly.

That’s why it’s important to pay special attention to the talent you currently have and those you want to hire. For instance, if you already have an organization stocked full of entrepreneurial types, then adding another one, no matter how talented they are, isn’t likely to bring you more success, especially if you don’t have people around to help that person execute. While behavioral assessments will help you figure out who’s likely to come in and create the next “big thing,” more companies need to use these tools to understand who they have as a supporting cast so that big ideas and energy can lead to action.

We recommend getting to know your current staff, their true strengths, and how they can best help your company to be successful. Not only will this help you make sure your big entrepreneur types will be productive when you hire them, it’s also a great way to entice them by showing them the team they will have to help big dreams come true.

Greg is the SVP of science at PI.

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