Innovative. Dynamic. Agile. These are the qualities that many business leaders want their companies to embody. But the larger a business grows, the more its employee culture tends to weaken into a complacent group of passengers waiting for someone else to take the driver’s seat. Shake off that stereotype by attracting and retaining employees with an entrepreneurial spark. Here’s how to recognize these talented workers and why they are so valuable.
1. Think Outside the Cubicle
The 2015 Amway Global Entrepreneurship Report indicates entrepreneurs love to learn, take calculated risks and tend to have a non-traditional way of thinking. Employees who aren’t afraid of challenging the status quo may seem risky, but they can often give a company the edge over the competition. For example, the producer of Toy Story and Finding Nemo, John Lasseter, used to work for Walt Disney as a garbage collector and then as an animator. His entrepreneurial idea to use computer software for animation was originally rejected by Disney. When he pitched it to Pixar, they said yes. His bold new plan not only revolutionized the animation industry, it made billions of dollars for Pixar and earned Toy Story an Oscar for special achievement.
Passionate people share a contagious enthusiasm. Their energy invades the whole company and propels it forward. If you can harness the power of the entrepreneurial employee’s passion, their authentic enthusiasm will captivate your customers. “They will be energized by any challenge that stands in their way,” says Matt Ehrlichman, Founder and CEO of the startup Porch. That means that your fourth quarter budget cuts will only incentivize his or her desire to think and act creatively to benefit the company.
Employees with an entrepreneurial spirit are resilient. One of the best characteristics that an entrepreneurial employee can offer is the openness to recognize when they (or the company) are wrong and the sense to make the necessary adjustments, according to Forbes magazine. Horrible things can happen to a company on any given day. The market can take a turn for the worse, a scandal erupts, sales are down, emergencies happen. But the best employees ride out the storm with tenacity and are willing to adapt to changing circumstances in order to accomplish the company’s goals. They are steadfast in their destination but nimble in their approach.
A Gallup study found that highly talented entrepreneurs are much more likely than their peers to make strategic decisions for the overall success of the company. These highly valuable employees articulate their company’s competitive advantage to clients, make pricing and development decisions with their customers in mind, and intentionally plan for growth. Problem-solving that leads to profits will never be easier than within a culture that fosters entrepreneurship.
Every company needs someone who believes in it enough to outlast the critics with grit, determination and positivity. Amazon’s success after the dot-com bust is credited to the positivity of Jeff Bezos, its founder. After Amazon’s shares fell from $100 to $6, Bezos faced his critics with optimism. He pointed to all of Amazon’s positive accomplishments and its future successes. This positive entrepreneurial spirit in the face of stiff opposition helped Amazon.com grow into a $5.7 billion company.by