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Timo Boldt: Getting the right employees and motivating them is key to startup success

Written by Timo Boldt on Thursday, 14 March 2019. Posted in Leadership, People

Gousto CEO and founder talks about how hiring the right people and empowering them will yield amazing results

Timo Boldt: Getting the right employees and motivating them is key to startup success

Photo credit: Gousto

Leading a high growth business guarantees constant change and your priorities evolve over the years. The one principle that should remain the same is a focus on hiring insanely talented people – the single most important driver of success.

In the past seven years, Gousto has grown from a four person team working out of my living room to a 500-strong business. From the very first employee I hired in 2012, I’ve always been people obsessed. Yet as we’ve expanded, I’ve had to step away from the process and empower my team to hire to the same standards.

A good team focuses on greatness for customers and therefore success for a business, so hiring fast should never mean compromising on great talent. So how do you take a step away from the day to day as a leader, but still retain a heavy focus on culture? How do you empower your team to recruit wisely? 

The solution: establish core values to hire against – define what’s important and what you expect of others. Then sew it across your business so everyone knows the expectation. 

This is why we have three core values at Gousto that we live by: dream, deliver and care. 

We believe that today’s good is tomorrow’s mediocre. That’s why we are always dreaming and looking for ways to improve. Whether it’s improving the team, improving our product or improving ourselves - we don’t rest on our laurels. 

We never say “can”, we say “how can we?” We are always challenging ourselves to do bigger and better things and we don’t let boundaries get in the way of our ambition. We always have the humility to listen, the conviction to respectfully disagree and - once the decision has been made – the enthusiasm to commit wholeheartedly to the outcome. 

We focus on delivering impact. We understand where we can add the most value and obsess about making improvements, every day. This is because we know that having high standards makes it easier to spot problems and that success comes from taking ownership and seeing it through. 

Like many other small businesses, we’re working in a rapidly evolving industry, we know that if we don’t do something now, others will get there first. So we’re proud to be impatient for change. We also understand that we are all responsible for Gousto’s success and that we can only achieve big things by working collaboratively. We respect different people’s skills, experiences and care about each other’s point of view. 

From day one, we’ve championed people and culture at Gousto. Each one of us feels privileged to work with one another and we admire all of our driven, tenacious and intelligent team. We're on a mission to get the UK cooking and enjoying healthy home-cooked food, by delivering millions of ingredients and tasty recipes to busy families.

Together we’re building an amazing product that has positive impact on millions of customers and the environment. It’s all thanks to our people. The same thing should apply to your venture. 

About the Author

Timo Boldt

Timo Boldt

A passion for food led Timo Boldt to found Gousto, the meal-kit business, back in 2012. And when he’s not trying to find a sustainable approach to cooking, he champions gender equality and tech.

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