Interview by Dr Marina Nani
There are some evidence that back in 6th century BC, Thales of Miletus , a Greek philosopher discovered lodestone in Anatolia and, as a result, the place was called Magnezia. Due to its unique structure, this mineral is actually a permanent magnet. Perhaps is not always easy to spot the similarities between entrepreneurss and lodestone, unless you have been working for decades with people who attract success, wealth and become a magnet for even more opportunities yourself.
When looking at ancient times, the difference between history and legend is not always easy to spot. But in many ways, people who lived back then were more connected with nature than our modern homo sapiens and they had no choice but to make the best of everything. In many ways, back then, perhaps they knew they have it all, way before we become creatures comfort of some sort, and most importantly they had to focus on what they have instead of what they don’t have. Returning to our metaphor, how easy, or how hard can be to be for an entrepreneur to become a permanent magnet for clients, money, and continuous success? What is the secret of turning your big idea into a better reality?
If you were with me at The Authors Awards at BAFTA’S last year, you will remember this extraordinary woman, who lives on the edge of Loch Leven in bonnie Scotland with her husband William, children Charlotte & Cammy and dogs Molly & Millie. It is difficult to forget this magnetic woman who went on stage and, in front of few hundred peple, simply said: “Get Out of your Own Way”
Lead with Purpose
Dr Wendy Sneddon RVN, MSc, FInstLM, AssocCIPD, Lead with Purpose.
Award-winning author, Founder of the Lodestone Lounge, an online community supporting entrepreneurs with business skills, creator of GEMS (Great Employee Management system), Wendy’s focus doesn’t stop at business success. Passionate about ending abuse against both human beings and animals, she is Secretary of The Links Group*, a multi-agency group working to promote Zero Tolerance and connecting agencies in different sectors to work cooperatively to prevent abuse of humans and animals. Wendy has also recently launched the Say Something Foundation, to encourage people to report any concerns they may have about abuse. Her upcoming book is called “Say Something- help end abuse of animals and humans”, a collection of stories from survivors of abuse where they also feared for the life of their pet.
Wendy’s mission is to Lead with Purpose, sharing her skills and knowledge with heart centered entrepreneurs who want to build a successful business. She says “the journey starts with you considering your WHY, what is it that gets you out of bed in the morning? If you are not working in your passion, you wont last long, you wont be as successful and you wont be happy! When you start out on your own you have to do everything. As soon as you can afford to bring in people to fill the gaps that allow you to focus on your passion. Next I want you to create the vision for the future of your business. In ten years time when you are looking back, what is it you want to hear people saying about what you have created? What will you be doing? What are your financial ambitions? How big do you want your business to be? It is really important to get this right, this is the reason people will choose to work with you and this is what your team will focus on. You follow this with your mission (that’s how you are going to do it) and consider what the company values and the culture will be, this helps you to select the right personalities for your business. You can’t effectively recruit employees until you understand all of the above. This attracts them to your business and becomes the blueprint they follow.”
People leave managers not companies
It takes a leap of faith and a lot of confidence to leave the security of well paid job to enter a new territory and the uncertainty that entrepreneurship entails. The statistics on business-failure alone could raise a red flag, but recently you decided to gather your confidence and become a fearless entrepreneur yourself and lead your own business. What drives you?
“Entrepreneurs have great ideas, drive and passion to get things done and succeed, but they lack the skills in leading a team. The business evolves around them, with little or no consideration for organisational development. Entrepreneurs who have taken that leap into self-employment, either because they came up with an amazing idea or because they are fabulous at what they do, have to make the transition into leaders – often without knowing or really understanding what that means. That is a sweeping generalisation – there are many who are natural born leaders!”
Despite the confidence in their vision, and desire to succeed against all odds, entrepreneurs have lots of dark moments when they are struggling inside. They focus on their strengths not on their weakness and, yet, those struggles will not be leave them alone, they must find a solution for each challenge they come across with, and, yes, there are a few along the way! Each Entrepreneur goes through very tough times, and most of the time, it feels like a narrow, black tunnel you have to cross carrying oversized luggage. What is the solution to get on the other side and see the light?
Wendy says: “It all starts with recruiting the right people for your team. A leader needs the tenacity and determination to get through anything. When you have a strong work ethic and you are passionate about what you are donng, you are in the lookout for better ways to get things done. I have worked with many small business owners over the years. Of all the tough challenges they face there is one common struggle – managing people! I have heard it said that people leave managers not companies. I have also found this to be very true. All too often managers are put in positions of responsibility by default rather than being selected for their aptitude. This can work providing the new manager is offered training and support to make the transition, however more often than not there is little support – and so the challenges begin.”
How to attract, recruit and retain a winning team
Your Recent Book “Get out of your way. Step by Step Guide in how to attract recruit and retain a winning team” it’s really designed for entrepreneurs to help them understand what they need to have in place before they bring a team in.
Wendy says: ” Leadership and management are disciplines in themselves, take your management role seriously! There is a lot of information to learn if you want to get it right and build a successful, high performing team. Research shows that business success is down to motivated, engaged teams. There are lots of initiatives to help you to identify how engaged your teams are and these will provide great feedback for you to build a strategy to improve employee engagement.
This book has been written for entrepreneurs who are recruiting their first employee and building their first team. It is ideal for small business owners who can’t afford to employ an HR person and will help you to set up a basic system to attract, recruit and retain great people within your business. These simple steps will ensure you have the correct procedures in place, which if followed will help you successfully recruit a winning team.
It will also help those business owners who are struggling to retain good people, giving them a framework to review their current foundations and identify where they need strengthening.
By the time you have read this book you will understand what foundations you need to have in place to build great teams. You will know what systems you require to recruit and select great people, and how to keep them!”
Come and join Dr Wendy Sneddon on the red carpet in London