Talent is more than just the people you’re going to hire. I’m David Brown.

Going Further than Just Talented Employees

When you think about how you’re going to grow your business, fundamentally, the people you put around you, not just your employees, are essential to the growth and opportunity your business will have to succeed. I can tell you numerous stories of great entrepreneurs who focus all day on the company that they were building and the people that they were working with, but didn’t think about the impact that the investors were going to have on them, or they didn’t think about the impact that their customers would drive through the culture they were trying to develop. As a result, these companies, moving very quickly, ultimately would suffer because of misaligned relationships with their investors, or because they weren’t necessarily in alignment with the customers that they were working for.

Looking For Talented Investors Who Share Your Vision

Therefore, the way you approach talent needs to look at not only the people that are coming into the company, but the relationships you have with the people who fundamentally build the company with you. You need to make sure about your investors, if they’re strategic or not strategic, are thinking about your best interests. They should not just be your resource for money — they should also be selling the shares, the fundamental vision and opportunities for company, and they fundamentally are thinking about the ways that you can connect and accelerate your businesses.

Choose Your Business Partners Carefully

Likewise, when you’re thinking about your business partners, I would say the idea that all revenue is good revenue has some merit, but it can also be detrimental if any client becomes too much a part of your own growth or too much a part of your revenue stream and you do not have good alignment. At that point it’s very easy, just the same as a strategic investor could become troublesome if you do not align the incentives appropriately, because at that point you’re beholden and you can actually become vulnerable as a business to what they need.

Good Partnerships Produce Prosperity

So in conclusion, the relationship you develop with anyone who touches your company is fundamental. Culture is not just your relationship with your employees; it’s your relationship with your investors and the relationship with your customers. It’s the relationship that your employees would have with your customers, and the relationships that your employees have with the investors or the investors have with your customers.

The interplay of all of these forces is fundamental to the growth and opportunity of your business, and it pays great dividends to really think carefully and wisely about how those interplay as you continue to develop your team in all fronts.