During a meeting with a firm recently, I had a Partner tell me that new business was, “falling from the sky”, and that his firm over the years had assembled, “the most talented people compared with any firm in their market”. This partner was incredibly excited and proud of his firm, and after meeting with him and others, it was plain to see it was a great place to work with many opportunities. On the same business trip, and quite literally across the street, another firm described their struggles of growth and profitability that had fallen on the firm over many years. It was an incredible tale of two firms. One had established a growth culture many years ago and was humming along undisturbed by any notion of a staffing crisis, and another firm on the other side of the tracks that was searching for answers
Growth creates a powerful force for attracting and keeping talent. It generates opportunities for talented people to develop new skills, become involved in interesting, challenging work, and progress at a good pace through the multiple stages of their career.
Young, ambitious people, the ones you really want on the team, look out at the landscape of opportunities in front of them, and regularly make decisions as to whether this continues to be the place for them to work. Will I grow my skills here? Will I find new and interesting opportunities? Will I meet new people who can challenge my skills and thinking? When the answers are affirmative, the gravitational pull to switch to an unknown environment is not strong, even when fielding weekly calls from headhunters…and they are. Families are also asking these questions about their loved one’s career path, by the way, so considering their view is important.
The reality is, business growth is earned through the compilation of the work delivered by an entire group of people who are showing up each day to accomplish something. This sense of accomplishment is a big driver for human beings, along with their need for assimilation, camaraderie, and the opportunity to be part of an exciting growth environment. When the firm has success and these needs are being met, the typical net result is job satisfaction. It also signals that there is strong leadership present that invests in people who drive the firm’s culture. Leaders in growth firms are less likely to be spending inordinate amounts of time complaining about their team members while recalling what life was like early in their careers. They are much more focused on how they can find better ways to mentor, grow, and develop their people in today’s climate, which leads to more growth and development of the firm… and the ability for them to comfortably retire.
Continually provide people the opportunity to grow and you will be amazed at how capable they truly are, how contagious their energy and enthusiasm is, and how loyal they can become. In The Rainmaker Academy, we are fortunate to regularly witness and hear about people’s transformation and hear the appreciation in their tone or message that their firm took the time to invest in the development of their skills.
One student recently wrote his trainer and coach to share this success:
“I really appreciate all that you taught the group over our course and wanted you to know that we are keeping up with the principles that we’ve learned. I’ve actually got 3 different $1M+ opportunities with Fortune 500 companies in the pipeline now.”
Rainmaker Academy Graduate.
Obviously, many things need to fall into place for firm growth to occur. An investment and commitment to growth, of and through your people, are good places to start. Today there is great feedback from firms all over the country that report the lack of staff as a key challenge for them, not growth. However, competition for business and people is, and always will be, fierce. Inevitably, firms that grow have great people and great people always seem to show up at high growth firms.
Executive Vice President