3 Mindsets that Led Keyser to Be Named One of the Inc. 5000 Fastest-Growing Private Companies

Olivia Garrett Keyser By: Olivia Garrett

It is surreal to be named one of the Inc. 5000 fastest-growing privately-owned companies. A little over six years ago Keyser was launched with the belief that we could and would change the business world through selfless service. Since the launch of Jonathan Keyser’s new book, You Don’t Have to Be Ruthless to Win, we’ve seen thousands of people rally behind and support our mission. To not just be nominated, but to receive prestigious awards like this show that our dedication to serving others is making a real impact in our industry, our community, and the world. As we continue on this path, it’s important for us to be intentional with the seeds that we are sowing.

Keyser is a company based on long term ideals and plans. To keep our mission alive and well, we have to make sure the body of Keyser is healthy. As many business leaders know, one “bad fit” can cause a wildfire of cancerous behavior within everyday operations. To avoid any team catastrophes, you have to be mindful about who you invite into your work-family. At Keyser, we’ve seen success with our team because of our fierce focus on three elements; these elements help us hire the right person, train them to reach new heights, and encourage them to take bold action. These three key points can be applied to your own hiring and retention strategy.

When building Keyser,

We Choose Culture Over Talent

While it’s important to have a strong set of skills to help the business move its goals forward, it’s more important to hire a person that fits your culture. People can be taught new skills, but it’s so much harder to change someone’s beliefs and personality. If you hire someone for their skills, but they simply aren’t a fit for your culture, they could be successful—however, it’s more likely that they won’t want to use your strategy to achieve success. This lack of an aligned mindset could eventually cause them to feel alienated. Intentional or not, when members of the team do not feel supported, that leads to high turnover or worse, they could develop a bad attitude towards your brand and leadership. The less people that believe in the mission, the less effort and self-pride they take in the work they are doing.

We Commit to The Core Principles

First of all, we have wholesome, kick-ass values that are essential to our business. Unlike so many brands, we ACTUALLY live out our core principles on a daily basis and hold each other accountable.

If your goal is to recruit high-caliber, talented people to join your mission, you have to have a mission worth following. As business becomes less and less personal, people are desperate to find a place where they can feel good about their impact on the world. At Keyser, we’ve become a movement, not just a company. The reason I am able to say that is because we take those core values and practice them until it becomes second nature. Those results bleed into our personal lives and thus having a greater effect on the world and lives of those around us.

Put yourself in this scenario, you just hired a new critical team member. How can you make sure they are going to perform within your culture guidelines once they get into the environment? When we hire, we make sure our candidates are aware and agree with our core principles before they ever have a contract in front of them. If we aren’t on the same page on day one, how can you expect to ever regain that alignment? If the candidates know about the cultural expectations from the beginning, they know exactly how to interact with your brand and the rest of your team.

We have a team of supportive, confident, yet humble leaders.

We are a flat company, however, there are people who naturally have a strong influence over the other members of the team. The reason we’re a flat company? At Keyser, everyone can be a leader. It’s a mindset, not a title. We encourage all team members to own their work, take bold action, and rise to new heights. And, we give them the tools and support to do so. For our team, there is no roof to how successful they can be, it’s truly up to them.

For every person who has joined Keyser as an employee, partner, or client, we are thankful for you. It is truly because of you and your belief in the Keyser way that we are able to continue spreading our mission of success through selfless service.