"It's my responsibility to enable," Richard Kennedy on letting employees flourish
The 2019 EY Entrepreneur Of The Year winner spoke about the importance of maintaining the right company culture.
Even when all signs point to it being a massive mistake, entrepreneurs will back their idea all the way. That's a big part in what separates them from the rest, and what drives them to be the solution to whatever gap in the market they've spotted.
Now imagine you have a team of people not only willing to stand behind the company in a similar fashion, but also drive it in new directions. According to 2019 EY Entrepreneur Of The Year winner Richard Kennedy, this approach is something he instills across the board.
Speaking to The Architects of Business host Sonya Lennon fresh after receiving the award, the Devenish CEO said:
"In terms of the growth of the business, the thing that we were most focused on was ensuring that there was an entrepreneurial spirit within the company
"I do appreciate that the title of this is Entrepreneur Of The Year but if there isn’t an entrepreneurial spirit and you don’t have entrepreneurs around us then one entrepreneur in a company will never, ever… He’ll wither and die, or she’ll wither and die, because you don’t have the spirit or culture in the business.
"You just stall"
While a company may be created by just the one mind, Richard said there's only so far that one person can take it. Every member of the team can offer the chance to move things along, it's just a case of letting them do it:
"So my job, to me, and the people who look to me for leadership in Devenish expect me, and I feel it’s my responsibility to enable, to allow them to express and to flourish in that entrepreneurial spirit.
"If we shut it down or slow it down or undermine it… You just stall."
It's not every day you hear such a straightforward definition of leadership, but maybe it really is as simple as allowing the right culture to naturally develop. Just as concise is his view on entrepreneurship:
"That to me is the entrepreneurial spirit – working out what people need, how you deliver it, and how you make a few pound out of it."
If every member of the Devenish team has such a strong understanding of entrepreneurship, it's no wonder they plan on reaching a €400 million turnover in the next three years.