“The generous leaders who share the credit and the profits with their team will attract and retain the highest-quality, dedicated team players.” – Misti Burmeister

I stood on the corner of a busy street in Towson, Maryland, listening as Greg shared about his experience with a previous employer.

“These guys start technology companies, sell them, and then just leave everyone to fend for themselves,” Greg told me and my friend Kathy. “The last guy I worked for literally sent out an e-mail after selling his company, asking us what fancy car he should buy. Bonuses for his employees would have been nice.”

Kathy nodded and said, “That happens in this industry all the time. I’ve been lucky. The guys who started the last company I worked for had an experience like that, so they didn’t repeat the same mistakes. In fact, we got bonuses every time our product hit new levels of success.”

Curious, I asked Kathy about the bad experience that made her previous employers so generous. Apparently the day their former boss sold his company, he called the office from his car phone (this was back in the 80s, when car phones were a luxury) and fired everyone.

As Greg and Kathy complained about not only the companies they’d worked for, but also the people who ran them, I couldn’t help but wonder if these leaders know the kind of stories being told about them.

Kathy’s positive words about her previous employer were both inspiring and captivating. I won’t soon forget their names or the companies they built. Likewise, I won’t forget the stories Greg shared or the specific names.

Which leader do you think will attract and retain the highest-quality, dedicated team players in their next venture? The self-absorbed man who had the audacity to boast about his greediness, or the generous leaders who shared the credit (and the profits) with their team? I certainly know which one I’d want to work for – and which one I’d warn people to avoid.

Join the Conversation: What kind of stories do you want shared about you as a result of your decisions?

Keeping it simple,

Misti Burmeister, best-selling author of From Boomers to Bloggers: Success Strategies Across GenerationsHidden Heroes and Power Suck.

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