ownerEver hear negative comments about your business, team, product or service and think, “They (your employees or colleagues) know better than that. We have a protocol for a reason. If it were their business—their reputation on the line, they’d put forth more effort and make better decisions.”

How do you find employees who act like owners?

On a twenty-minute boat ride from Exuma, a small and rustic island in the Bahamas to the Chat N Chill restaurant and beach on an even smaller island, I overheard a couple sharing about their experience with a tour they’d taken the day before—one we were planning to take in the next day or two.

“The engine broke down twice, we kept getting pummeled with waves and we only got to see half of what we were supposed to,” they shared, and continued with, “It really wouldn’t have been a big deal if they would have just told us what was happening and gave us a drink!”

We were going on a similar excursion and considered finding a different company. Due to timing and availability we took the risk and didn’t cancel.

Turns out, our tour guide was the owner of the company, and so I asked him about the boat that had troubles a couple of days before. After explaining what happened, I mentioned the idea of simply letting his guests know what was happening and offering a tasty beverage.

“That’s our protocol,” he said in a tone that let me know such a suggestion meant something went wrong with his team that day. Not wanting to open that can of worms any further, I diverted our attention to the beauty of the ocean and the islands. “Stunning,” I said as I pointed to the island ahead.

“It’s hard to find good people on this island,” he said, “It’s the reason I’m not buying anymore boats.”

Considering his passion, intrigue, honesty, and style with is his customers (how he grew his business from the beginning), I wondered if he was sitting on a goldmine and didn’t know it.

I wondered what might happen if he took the same approach with growing his team as he did with growing his business. What would happen for his business if he approached his employees with the same kind of care as his treasured customers?

This simple shift in perspective is often the difference between leaders with employees who act like owners and those with employees who couldn’t care less about the reputation of the business.

Positioning yourself to attract the best employees, regardless of industry or location, is directly related to your sincere interest in helping them grow and profit right alongside the business. Approach them as the treasured people they are, and they’ll approach each challenge as a treasured opportunity to further bolster the reputation of the business.

Here’s to your greatness,

Misti Burmeister


P.S. Got a good story of how you used feedback (from a customer, employee, or your leadership team) to get better results? I’d love to hear it! Email directly at Misti@MistiBurmeister.com