As a follow-up to our June 12, 2012, newsletter, entitled Levels of Leaders: Is he or she a leader?, we wanted to talk about entrepreneurs. I have two clients who just get it. When I first met each of them, I asked the following question: What was your first business? They both smiled and enjoyed telling me how, when they were in their early teens, they would go down to the corner store to purchase candy and then resell it to their classmates. This past summer we were in Guatemala, staying at a mission house. After a week of building houses for widows, my work boots were pretty dirty. The locals told me there was a young man (actually a young boy) who could clean them up for me. At the designated time, he arrived at the house and gave me a great shine. As he was working on my boots, I couldn’t help but think, “This guy is a 10-year-old businessman.”
So what’s the point? Our posts on April 3 and April 10 encouraged you to “hire owners.” As you build your teams, look for clues to each individual’s personality and attributes and strive to develop associates who have entrepreneurial skills. Some of them may leave to start their own companies, but if you treat them right, most will stay.