Retaining top talent is a key metric for successful businesses, and for good reason. As a leader, you might not be able to stop your top talent leaving, but my story might help understand some of the motivation behind it.
I’m in the business of transforming lives – the lives of employees, managers and HR professionals. The ability to make such an obvious difference is a privilege but, of course, it wasn’t always like that.
You see … I used to be a Finance Director of a technology business. It was a different way of making a difference, ensuring the business survived and thrived financially and commercially. There was little focus on the emotional health of the business amongst the compliance, legislation and technical standards. And that’s not to say we didn’t care. We did. We were awarded and commended for Investors In People, but we didn’t leverage our care, and left so much potential untapped. That made it harder for everyone, and left me unsatisfied.
In my free time, I received a Distinction for Personal Performance Coaching and read a small library of leadership, management and business books. I applied what I could and, after a successful Management Buy Out of our company, I set up my own business.
Ten years on, our business is thriving. I’d be lying if I said it was easy. It’s the hardest thing I’ve ever done, and the best. We choose what we do and who we do it for. The failures and challenges are entirely our responsibility to manage, and the successes are ours to savour and share. We work with ambitious and big-hearted leaders and HR Professionals, in organisations of all sizes. Our clients include Merlin Entertainments, Waitrose, family businesses and independent coaches. Most are award-winning and all care deeply about both their customers and their team members.
I’d be lying if I said it was easy. It’s the hardest thing I’ve ever done, and the best.
Fundamental to our success has been finding a fantastic product –
Motivational Maps (created by James Sale). In pragmatic terms, this product leverages our most precious resource – time. In emotional terms, it leverages the value we add for our clients because it resonates so deeply and quickly. In business terms, it allows us to be passionate about what we do, love who we work with and have a successful business.
Also fundamental to our success is the need to be customer-centric. We’re not a huge brand with a huge marketing budget that can persuade people they need us. Nor do we provide must-have products and services – like accounting. Instead we have to be aware of our customers’ needs, wants and the challenges and opportunities they’re likely to face – often before they are. We have to deliver both welcome and unwelcome feedback, and so our ability to demonstrate credibility, build trust and long-term relationships is essential. In short – we’ve never worked harder, more innovatively, for longer hours. And we’ve never been as deeply satisfied.
In short – we’ve never worked harder, more innovatively, for longer hours.
And we’ve never been as deeply satisfied.
This life keeps us on our toes, and the ‘game’ never gets boring. It also provides so many examples we can share with our clients and their employees. And that’s one of the ways we transform lives – by walking our talk, by demonstrating it’s possible and by inspiring others to believe in themselves, challenging them, laughing with them and sometimes crying with them. Transforming lives, transforming businesses, transforming communities.