Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility

How to Motivate Employees According to Selim Bassoul

By Motley Fool Staff – Updated Sep 18, 2019 at 4:06PM

You’re reading a free article with opinions that may differ from The Motley Fool’s Premium Investing Services. Become a Motley Fool member today to get instant access to our top analyst recommendations, in-depth research, investing resources, and more. Learn More

Employees want empowerment. Selim Bassoul explains how you give them a voice.

Selim Bassoul took Middleby (MIDD 0.09%), a sleepy cooking-equipment maker, and turned it into a powerhouse company that has put up multibagger returns for investors.

Bassoul is no longer CEO at Middleby, but he is a thought leader in the industry. During a recent visit to the office, he sat down with Motley Fool CEO and Co-founder Tom Gardner to talk about the difference between good companies and bad companies, and how to get the most out of the people that work for you.

A full transcript follows the video. 

Tom Gardner: Selim, in your opinion, what's the easiest way to distinguish between a good company and a bad company?

Selim Bassoul: Well, the difference between a good and a bad company is not about who has the better offices or better machinery or even better perks, it's about who has a great corporate cultures. Employees are vying for empowerment for a shared vision. So Antoine de Saint-Exupery, a French writer said, "When you want to build a ship, don't ask your men to gather wood, but tell them about the yearning of the open seas and discovering new worlds out there."

Gardner: And a lot of companies, when they try and get to that high level purpose, their mission, their vision, they hire consultants, the hire agencies to help them come up with the wording, and figure out how to communicate it. What's the shortcut for a great leadership team to really empower everyone that works in that organization behind a shared vision?

Bassoul: I think communication is the key. You want to motivate your employees, and I would rather have motivated employees working in a shack than de-motivated group of people working in beautiful environment. I always take some motivated employees. And in order to communicate that message there is only one question I ask every time. How would you do differently if that company belonged to you? And I asked that question all the time, and then it makes us all stakeholders.

Gardner: You ask any employee that you're meeting with, how would you manage this company differently if it was yours, if you owned it and you were running it?

Bassoul: Correct.

Tom Gardner owns shares of Middleby. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Middleby. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

Invest Smarter with The Motley Fool

Join Over 1 Million Premium Members Receiving…

  • New Stock Picks Each Month
  • Detailed Analysis of Companies
  • Model Portfolios
  • Live Streaming During Market Hours
  • And Much More
Get Started Now

Stocks Mentioned

The Middleby Corporation Stock Quote
The Middleby Corporation
$123.99 (0.09%) $0.11

*Average returns of all recommendations since inception. Cost basis and return based on previous market day close.

Related Articles

Motley Fool Returns

Motley Fool Stock Advisor

Market-beating stocks from our award-winning analyst team.

Stock Advisor Returns
S&P 500 Returns

Calculated by average return of all stock recommendations since inception of the Stock Advisor service in February of 2002. Returns as of 09/28/2022.

Discounted offers are only available to new members. Stock Advisor list price is $199 per year.

Premium Investing Services

Invest better with The Motley Fool. Get stock recommendations, portfolio guidance, and more from The Motley Fool's premium services.