Starbucks has almost become a synonym of coffee. Howard Schultz not only built an admirable company but also paved the ground for coffee culture inspired by timeless values. Each alphabet of the word STARBUCKS mean a great deal to Howard Schultz, the visionary entrepreneur, who built the organization from scratch. Through his Successful book “Onward” and in the Spirit of sharing Knowledge he tells us a Unique story of Coffee Brand in his own words involving Tenacity, Resilience, and Accomplishment.
S – Success
- If not checked, success has a way of covering up small failures, and when many of us at Starbucks became swept up in the company’s success, it had unintended effects. We ignored, or maybe we just failed to notice, shortcomings.
T – Tenacity
- I believed that Starbucks had an enormous potential to return to greatness, that the company had yet to be as good as it was going to be. I believed in the power of the brand, in our founding mission, and most of all, in our people.
A – Accomplishment
- I’ve come to think that I am at my best as a leader when Starbucks is being challenged or fighting for survival. I’m comfortable with, and in a way, enjoy the rugged, steep ascent. That is my nature. And while I would not want to constantly battle against the odds, the raw feeling of accomplishing something that others did not think possible, or leading people beyond where they thought they could go, is extremely gratifying.
R – Resilience
- One reason I believed that the Starbucks brand would be resilient was because our founding values still resonated, perhaps now more than ever as anxiety and distrust seeped into the popular zeitgeist, and not just in the United States. In addition to our values, Starbucks’ core product would also continue to be relevant. Coffee will never lose its romance. It will always bring people together and be part of conversations in every language, even as the conversations change. Coffee will forever connect.
B – Brand
- Our ongoing challenge is to creatively nurture coffee’s essence, keeping it personal despite our size. I do not want Starbucks to be defined solely by its thousands of stores or millions of customers. More than our scale, the brand can and should be defined by the quality of its coffee as well as its value. Community. Connection. Respect. Dignity. Humor. Humanity. Accountability. It is our mission to make sure the world sees us through those lenses.
U – Uniqueness
- Unlike other retailers that sold coffee, the equity of Starbucks’ brand was steeped in the unique experience customers have from the moment they walk into a store. The aroma. The sense of community. The familial relationships customers establish with their local baristas. And the pride they feel knowing that their purchases support our high standards and socially responsible partners. Reinvigorating the Starbucks Experience could provide the meaningful differentiation that would separate us from competitors.
C – Coffee
- Roasting coffee beans is a delicate process requiring a thoughtful, exacting balancing act of time and temperature. Any coffee producer that truly cares about quality has a toasting philosophy, and at Starbucks our philosophy is to roast every bean to its peak of flavor in a manner that extracts its maximum potential. This means Starbucks roasts beans for longer than most commercial roasters for a so-called Full City roasts that pulls out the beans’ honest richness, flavor, and acidity, or brightness. Our professional roasters are constantly refining our roasting process. Over the years, they have customized our machines and developed proprietary software to help control and replicate their techniques. We take tremendous pride in knowing that no one in the coffee business has more control over the roasting process than Starbucks. Like roasting, blending specialty coffee is also an art form, and our blenders’ culinary talents are akin to those of master chefs. Most coffee companies mix different types of beans together as a way to mask inferior coffee, but Starbucks has always used blending as an opportunity to elevate coffees from parts of the world. Sometimes, in order to capture each bean’s peak flavor, we won’t even roast different beans together; only after roasting do we combine them. And when beans from multiple regions are blended just right, they create a unique symphony of flavor that does not exist by itself.
K – Knowledge
- Entrepreneurs are builders, and the lens through which I view Starbucks and the marketplace is somewhat different from what it would be if I were a professionally schooled manager. Such a lens has, however, its strengths and weaknesses. On the plus side, founders know every brick in the foundation. We know what inspired the company and what was required to create it. That knowledge, that history brings with it a high level of passion to do whatever it takes to succeed, as well as intuition about what is right and what is wrong. But sometimes we are too close to a situation. Entrepreneurs can be blinded by emotion, by our love of what we have built, unable to see it fresh and with the eyes of a more objective outside.
S – Spirit
- If the barista only goes through the motions, if he or she does not care and produces an inferior espresso that is too weak or too bitter, then Starbucks has lost the essence of what we set out to do 40 years ago: inspire the human spirit.
To learn more about how SMEI can help you with marketing visit www.smei.org
2017 was the year of streaming video, artificial intelligence and the 280 character count on Twitter. What will 2018 bring for marketers? Read on for our Marketing Trends 2018.
Website Design Trends
We know that Google is going to continue to emphasize the importance of mobile in 2018 so expect to see function taking precedence over form with a focus on usability and minimalist site navigation and content proliferating. It’s going to be interesting to see how marketers balance with minimalism and mobile.
In 2018, expect to see more valuable content related to buyer intent rather than simply content for the sake of putting something out there.
Watch out for more animation (logos in particular) and websites that incorporate GIFs in 2018 too – hopefully, they’re less cheesy than their Flash predecessors. Artificial Intelligence is going to be everywhere in 2018 too as enhancements make Chatbots get better and better at answering questions and simulating conversations with website visitors.
Search Engine Optimisation in 2018
Voice search will be used more and more which means you need to hone your long tail keywords, i.e. keyword phrases that are hyper-specific to what you are selling. Keyword research will continue to evolve and there will be a shift in the coming year to focus more on semantic search, buyer intent and topics, rather than specific keywords. SEOs will spend more time on getting their site show up at the right time when people are actually considering a purchase, rather than having the site show up to attract particular personas.
Get ready to watch videos embedded directly in email campaigns as more and more email apps support embedded video.
Watch for more sophistication in list segmentation too. Segmenting campaigns so that specific audiences receive emails that contain content tailored to their unique perspective will drive engagement and ROI on your campaigns.
Social Media Forecast
2017 was the year of streaming video on social media; LinkedIn and Twitter followed Facebook Live’s lead and began supporting live streaming video content. In 2018 watch out for growing adoption of these technologies and more creative live streams.
We will also see the increased adoption of short-lived content, content that’s only available for a short period of time before it disappears, – like Instagram stories and Snapchat. Marketers must start developing strategies to maximize the reach and impact of ephemeral content as well as considering tactics to get this content noticed.
On platforms like Instagram and Facebook, only a tiny percentage of followers actually see the content you share on your page. To get noticed in 2018, you will need to invest in ads on these platforms. Consider video ads to spice things up a little.
How Marketing Strategies will Evolve in 2018
This is going to be the year we’re going to start calling our discipline marketing again (rather than digital). Marketing in 2018 will encompass all aspects of the marketing mix, both online and off and marketers will use the means most likely to help them attract their target audience.
Consider this, there are 65 million business pages on Facebook, 90% of businesses use social media. These are substantial numbers, but for marketers this means that it is becoming increasingly difficult, not to mention more expensive, to get noticed. If you want to attract your target audience’s attention in 2018, then widen your horizons and consider sending them a direct mail piece (depending on the audience) in a nice coloured envelope with handwritten wording. It will likely be the only physical mail the recipient gets that day (or maybe that week or month!), they’re going to open it, and if your copy is effective they will act on it!
Looking Forward – Marketing Trends for 2018
2018 is going to be an interesting year; technological advancements will continue to speed up. To be effective as marketers, it’s going to be important not simply to jump on the bandwagon of the next big thing but to consider options strategically and with your target audience in mind (rather than from a product or service-centric perspective). Video popularity has been growing year over year and won’t stop. Cisco predicted that video would account for 80% of internet traffic by 2020. So if you do nothing else, consider how you might incorporate video into your marketing approach in 2018.
Learn more about what 2018 will bring for marketers.
Hiring professionals often wonder what type of people to hire or promote in the sales department. Hiring a wrong person can not only be costly for the organisation but also demotivating to some people. Well, knowing a bit of psychology may help.
In the early 1920s Carl Gustav Jung, the father of Analytical Psychology, who studied people’s personality made a distinction between introverts and extroverts. According to this broad classification, extroverts draw energy externally, and introverts extract it from within. Companies who capitalized on this theory have used concepts such as open-plan offices, recharge areas and “group work”. They cater for and increase the productivity of both personality types. Lying in between the two ends of the spectrum, extrovert and introvert, is a broad range of personality types. They are collectively called ambivert, a word coined by a psychologist named Hans Eysenck in 1947. Truth of the matter is that a vast majority of people are ambiverts who fall somewhere along this continuum. Ever since its introduction, this word has entered into the lexicon of the psychiatrists and psychologists and has gained immense popularity.
Ambiverts, the in-betweeners
An ambivert who falls smack in the middle make the most excellent salespeople. To that end, to an extent, all salespeople are ambiverts by nature. A true ambivert doesn’t incline too much in either direction. Because they are neither extrovert nor introvert, they can easily adjust their approach to different types of people depending on the circumstances, allowing them to connect most effectively. Perhaps the back-slapping salesperson in yonder years although appearing to be an extrovert may have truly been an ambivert and became successful by knowing when to lean toward which side of the personality spectrum. Superior salespeople who are serious about improving their performance consciously try to gain insights about their tendencies and preferences and match their approach to the situation.
Advantages of being ambiverts
The personality traits of those people on either end of the spectrum remain stable throughout their lives. Extroverts tend to stay extroverts with a domineering attitude and introverts are inclined to stay calm and hypersensitive for most of their lives. It is hard, if not impossible, to change their personality traits naturally. There are no absolute right or wrong personality types. But so-called born salespeople project a façade of extroversion when meeting with new clients and turn to being introverts in times of introspection. This temperament is what is known as ambiversion. It is this adaptive nature that stands in good stead with sales people.
Salespeople inherently being ambiverts have some professional advantages over extrovert or introvert types. Have a look at some of their behavioural patterns.
- More balanced, or nuanced personalities and wear many hats at work
- Move between being solitary at home or being social at work or vice versa
- Loves the stimulation that comes from teamwork as equally as private work
- Speak up and listen carefully with ease while working with people
- Have a right balance of contrasting skills making them dynamic salespeople
- Connect with a wider range of individuals because of their adaptability
- Are flexible to adapt to any social situations and formal settings
- Nimble making the right amount of hem efficient salespeople for prospecting new clients
- Find it annoying to be an introvert for too long and hence love outdoor sales
- Do get burnt out when stuck being an extrovert out of necessity
- Don’t allow their emotional side to get too carried away and tend to hide it
- Make robust salespeople who can handle rejection from clients with poise
Anyone can become a salesperson
A pure extrovert or introvert is in the minority, and a vast majority of people belong to the wider range of the spectrum, in other words, are ambiverts. That being the case almost anyone has the potential to work in sales. However, to excel in the sales career, it is important to understand one’s real personality and to assess which side of the spectrum the character traits lean. Such self-awareness can be beneficial. A good salesperson is someone who exhibits qualities of both extroversion and introversion. If one’s job is congruent with this temperament, it unleashes vast stores of energy and creates stellar sales performance. The ambiversion nature in a salesperson has enough introversion and the right amount of extroversion in them that they are comfortable in both the situations and find them both satisfying and rewarding.
Ambiverts are better at closing deals
For some reason, there is a belief that extroverts make good sales leaders. Adam Grant, the associate professor at Wharton School, has proved them wrong based on 35 separate studies. According to the studies, there was no statistical relationship between extroversion and income. In fact, ambiversion turned out to be the most proper attitude of high-performing salespeople. Interestingly A-achievers belong to this category too. Sales career requires professionals to be working with different kinds of clients under different circumstances. If a seller efficiently leverages the ambiversion temperament they can be assertive as well as empathetic enough, both at the same time in good measure, to persuade clients to close deals effectively without coming across as too pushy.
Are you an ambivert?
Many personality tests such as Jung typology, Myers-Briggs, Big 5, etc. can be utilized by hiring managers to gauge the personality of the shortlisted job candidates. Although each human being is complex more often there is a natural tendency for people to fall in one or the other types. Sales people who would like to obtain a good grasp of their selves to manage their interaction with potential clients better can also use these tests. It sure can lead to higher sales performance and brighter career prospects.
To learn more about becoming an SMEI Certified Sales Professional, please visit our website.
Images are an excellent addition to any website or blog post. They are key to successful social media – posting images on your social networks helps your posts get shared and liked more.
However, not all images on the internet are okay to use (in fact most are not).
There are laws that allow people to claim rights to their images. Using any image that you find on the internet can get you in big trouble and leave you with a hefty fine!
Image Copyright Laws
We live in a world where images are so easy to find with just a click of a button but we can’t use any image that shows up in search results since there is a cost for ownership of most images. It’s important to be aware of copyright laws in your country to ensure you don’t get fined for using content that you don’t have the right to use.
In Canada, any image taken by any device (camera, smartphone, etc.) is subject to copyright. This means that if someone takes a photo, it is their photo and anyone else that would like to use it has to seek permission from the photographer. The photographer is not required to register their work to have it copyrighted – when the photo is saved (onto a smartphone or camera roll) it is automatically subject to copyright and protected under copyright laws. Therefore, it is essential that we learn to keep these laws in mind because if you get caught using an image that belongs to someone else, you could be fined!
How To Find Great Free Images
There are many ways to find images that are free and can enhance your content.
1. Create your own images: Grab your camera or even your smartphone to capture some images! This allows you to be in full control of what the image will loook like and leaves tons of room for customization. Also, having your own images ensures that the content is original and authentic.
2. Find royalty-free images on Google: When you search on Google, make sure you’ve clicked the “labelled for reuse” button! This allows you to reuse the image. See below:
3. Use Creative Commons to search multiple platforms to find free images: This site allows you to search for images easily and helps you find free images from various platforms. Check out this blog post on Creative Commons for more information.
4. Find royalty-free images online: Using sites such as allthefreestock.com allows you to search for various free images, videos, music and icons that are royalty-free.
5. Tools such as Canva: Canva allows you to edit your images and it basically works as an easy-to-use graphic design platform. It also has a massive repository of free images along with fairly inexpensive images (approximately $1 for a high-quality image).
6. Buy images: There are sites that allow you to purchase high-quality images. Sites such as iStock allow you to buy images for as little as $12 per image. You can also get a subscription for $40 per month that gets you 10 images per month.
7. Hire a photographer – sometimes only the highest quality images will do. Hire someone who knows how to set up and take the perfect pictures to showcase your brand.
If you’re ever in doubt, you can always check where that image appears online through TinEye. You simply upload your image or paste a URL of the image and this tool does a reverse search to find out where that image appears online.
Objection #1: I plan to wait until fall
- I understand that you need more time to think. What are your reasons for and your reasons against buying now?
- We very rarely hear that. Why would you delay making this important decision?
- Perhaps, I can help. I am aware that this is an important decision for you. What do you think you will gain if you buy in the fall, and what are you going to lose by waiting?
- Are you saying that you wouldn’t be able to use the product right now? No. They why wait until fall? Why not start benefiting today?
- What will change then? Probably nothing. Your need might even be greater. If we can solve your problems today, why delay?
- What will change then? Probably nothing, except our prices might be higher. Why not buy today, and take advantage of the low price?
- You impress me as a very proactive businessperson. You make bigger decisions than this every day. Why are you hesitating now?
- You remind me of Mr. ____ in ____. He planned to wait several more months before buying our equipment. Unfortunately, his company didn’t have the luxury of waiting. During those months, they lost their competitive edge. The competition had new machinery and they didn’t. They lost a lot of business. I would hate to see anything like that happen to you. Why not buy today and get ahead of the competition?
- If your kid needed medical care, would you put it off? Of course, not! Well, why delay on this purchase decision? Aren’t we in a similar position? Your company needs this machinery very badly. Let’s get it in place now, so that you correct this productivity problem now.
- Are you in the habit of putting off important decisions? Isn’t it time you broke that habit?
- Do you promise me you will definitely buy in the fall? Good! I will call you in the middle of the summer so that we can set it up!
- You will buy in the fall? So, what you are telling me is that you definitely want it, right? Well, let’s fill out the paperwork today. We can arrange to have it shipped to you this fall, okay?
- You want to wait until this fall? Is it just a matter of money? If that is all it is, we can arrange to have it shipped today, and we won’t start billing you until this fall. Okay?
Objection #2 We tried something like it, but it didn’t work
- What happened? (Get specific information on the customer’s complaints about the other product. The show specifically how your product is different.)
- Our product has been on the market for five years. That other product was new and untested. You won’t have to worry about our product’s reliability. We guarantee it unconditionally!
- (Prospect’s name), have you ever eaten fast food that didn’t agree with you? One that gave you indigestion? We all have. Yet, you didn’t give up eating just because that one meal upset you. You said you’ve tried something that didn’t work. I respect your experience, but please, do not compare your five-star meal with fast food!
- I’m sorry you had a bad experience. I know how you feel. I have disappointed myself with many purchases. I can assure you that what we’re offering is as different as night and day from that other product. We guarantee it. Let me explain exactly how we are different.
- Let me show you these letters from satisfied customers. See for yourself how we go about producing and backing up what we make. Did you ever see letters of praise like this for that other product?
- Was it really the product that didn’t work or was it the service you didn’t get? We are known for having the best service in the industry. Isn’t that important to you?
- That’s unfortunate and I can understand how you feel. Do you really think that this single experience will prevent you from looking at new and better opportunities?
- We have all been hurt at some time, haven’t we? I am sure you have been hurt in love, right? Has that turned you off to all relationships? I hope not. I respect the fact that you have been hurt. I promise you that will not happen here. We take outstanding care of our customers.
- Are we comparing apples with apples or apples with oranges? Please do not compare us with that other company! We are totally different. May I show you how we differ, and the many benefits we offer you?
- Our product may look similar on the surface to ____’s product, but is only a superficial resemblance. I am sure you have heard that saying, “don’t judge a book by its cover,” right? Well, it is really true in this case! Can I open the book and show you the ways in which we are different and far superior?
- We are really the Rolls Royce of the industry. Is it really fair to compare us to a Hyundai? Can I tell you more about what makes us the Rolls Royce?
- How would you feel if your company’s products were compared to the worst products in your industry? Well, that is exactly the position you have just put me in. What would you do if you were in my position? May I please give you some information as to why we are far, far superior to that other company?
- When did you try it? You know, great strides have been made in our industry since then! The products we offer today are light years ahead of what you experienced back then! Why not take a new look at what is available today?
- You know, comparing our products today with what that other company offered back then is like comparing a Model T with a Ferrari! Is that really a fair comparison? Don’t you owe it to yourself to take a closer look at what is available and how it can benefit your company?
- You know, comparing our products today with what that other company offered back then is like comparing a 1990 computer with a 2017 computer. Today’s computers are much more powerful, aren’t they? And, they cost less! We are in exactly the same position! Our products are far superior to what you experienced in the past, and they cost less money! Don’t you owe it to your company to take a closer look at what today’s technology offers?
Objection #3 Your competitor’s product is better
- You’re kidding? (Act surprised.)
- Better in what way? (Have customer list features he/she likes in the other product; then show how yours has the same or better features.)
- I’d be interested in hearing your unbiased opinion on the two products.
- Obviously, you’ve had a chance to look at their product. What did you see that impressed you?
- Are you referring to quality, service, features, or the value of the product after five years of use?
- Everyone has a unique way of presenting their product. We let the product speak for itself. I’m positive that you will quickly see that there is a difference between promotional promises and actual facts. Can I tell you what some of those differences are?
- I would agree that there are some differences in design; however, what counts in the future is the quality of the service. What advantage is there in having a slightly better figure on the spec sheet when you need same-day service – and they won’t give it to you? We will guarantee you same-day service. How much is that worth to you?
- Will all the features you see in our competitor’s product, there is one they can never have: our commitment to service. We have more units in operations, more highly trained service engineers, and a better response record than anybody in the industry.
- I’m amazed that you would say that. We have a reputation as the best in the industry. What, specifically, do you think is better in my competitor’s product?
- Our competitor’s product appears to be better? Appearances can be deceiving. Let’s take a look beneath the surface to see what you are really getting. Okay?
- Who told you that? Have you talked to people who own the two products, or have you only been listening to advertising? I am sure that if you talk to owners, you will find that our product is far better respected than our competitor’s
- Some of our happiest customers are people who used to own that other company’s product! Here, let me give you some phone numbers. Call them up. Let me tell you why are product is so far superior to the competitor’s product!
- Better compared to what? All of their major design features are “borrowed” from us. That’s merely a copycat product. (State with disdain.) Our technology is two years ahead of theirs. Shouldn’t you take a closer look at what we are offering?
- It is true they may have some features we don’t have. But please look at the price difference. Their product costs much more up front and their service calls are twice as expensive as ours. Over the course of five years, you could pay twice as much for their product as compared to ours. And they both do the same job! Why not do your company a favor and same it some hard-earned money! You don’t need a gold-plated solution to this problem. Buy our product!
To learn more about earning the right to call yourself a professional, visit our website.
(Adapted from the book “Sales Scripts That Close Every Deal” by Gerhard Gschwandtner, Founder and Publisher of Selling Power)
Hire for potential, retain through training, and charge with autonomy
HR executives recruit candidates based on the accomplishments they see on their resumes. And they fail so miserably because it relies on the flawed assumption that people who have done well in the past would do equally well or better in the future. Accomplishments are previous results. On the other hand, candidates who have been hired without any accomplishments but purely because the CEO or the top management believed in him or her, have proven to succeed so spectacularly. Why? The answer is potential.
Potential is the ability to adapt to increasingly complex roles and environments. After hiring the high potentials, continuously keep them in a stimulating environment under which they thrive through leadership programs. Also, give them decision-making autonomy in their respective areas of leadership. So, the human resources professionals need a complete retraining that will offer an extraordinary opportunity for the company to exploit the human assets. The new skills they require are the following:
- Hiring: How to spot potential
- Retaining: Develop effective leadership-developing programs
- Charging: Help the best get better by giving them autonomy
Let us examine them one by one.
Candidates must have not only the right skills but also the potential to learn new ones. Competency-based appointments are increasingly becoming insufficient. That is because what makes someone successful today in a particular role under certain circumstances might not tomorrow because of the ever-changing competitive environment, the dynamic company strategy and the need to manage and work with a different group of colleagues. What is required is the potential of the candidate to fit into future roles. Unfortunately, a candidate’s potential is much harder to discern than competence. Consider Egon Zehnder who developed and refined an empirically validated model over two decades with a predictive accuracy of 85%. In conclusion, this model predicts potential based on five indicators:
- Motivation: pursuit of challenging goals
- Curiosity: explore new ideas and avenues
- Insight: see connections where others do not
- Engagement: with their work and colleagues
- Determination: overcome setbacks and obstacles
Perhaps the CEOs who took a leap of faith and hired a candidate who did not have any past accomplishments to show for must have subconsciously seen all the above qualities in him or her. They were competent people with potential. Sadly, most organizations have HR professionals who kill off good candidates and endorse bad ones. The best interviewers’ assessments and the right kind of hiring can vastly improve the odds.
So, of what are high potentials made?
The superior level of performance of high potentials is consistent in a variety of circumstances and settings. Moreover, they have a high propensity to grow and succeed faster and more efficiently than their co-workers. They are three distinct qualities in high-achievers. They are broadly categorized as performance, behavior, and X-factors as illustrated in the table below.
|Deliver results strongly – credibly
||Recognize that action counts
||A drive to excel
|Master new types of expertise
||Exhibit behavior that reflects the culture of their companies
||A catalytic learning capability
|Perform with distinction with a broad range of stakeholders
||Demonstrate company values in an exemplary manner
||An enterprising spirit
|Competence not at the expense of someone else
||Be a role model and teacher
After hiring the real high potentials, focus on keeping them not only because of the tendency to fall off voluntarily but also because the talent market is very tight. Make sure that the candidates live up to the high potential spotted in them by offering them future leadership assignments. Companies have targeted leadership development opportunities, job rotations, stretch assignments, and executive programs designed to nurture high-achieving individuals. They push their high-achievers up a straight ladder toward bigger budgets, bigger jobs, and a larger team. These measures have managed to continue their growth but not unleash their ultimate potential. According to a research 40% of internal job moves by “high potentials” have failed because of the following flawed assumptions of senior managers.
- Assumed that high potentials are highly engaged
- Equated current high performance with future potential
- Delegated down the management of top talent
- Shielded rising stars from early derailment
- Expected star employees to share the pain
- Failed to link the stars to corporate strategy
A disciplined approach is needed. Leadership development initiatives should reflect the needs of the rising stars and align with organizational goals. Make sure that the job rotations and relevant stretch assignments they are getting suit their temperaments and aptitudes.
Hiring for potentials and providing them with the proper training is not the end of it. Keeping them in the company without the competitors luring them away is another challenge. There are some proven strategies that management can adopt to keep the top potentials who have attended the leadership program engaged, motivated and driven. They need to reinforce and explicitly express that the “high potential” title is not only an acknowledgment of past accomplishment but also of future potential. Also, give them autonomy in the following four “T” dimensions: Task, Time, Team, Technique
We cannot predict the competencies and skills needed to succeed in the future because of the dynamic nature of geopolitics, business environment, competitive landscape and the tight talent market. It is, therefore, imperative to hire and nurture people with the highest potential and not just those who have proved their abilities in the past. That doesn’t mean forgetting factors like intelligence, experience, specific competencies, performance, and leadership skills. But the implication is that companies should hire competent people with potential. Recognize their competence and potential by enrolling them in an executive development program. And finally, cultivate a sense of ownership in them by giving them autonomy in the decision-making. Thus, hiring for potential, retaining them at every level of the organization, and charging them by giving them independence are the key success factors of the most admired companies in the world.