There are a few characteristics in life and work that simply can’t be taught. These characteristics are within us and grow over time to become a part of who we are. The Entrepreneurial spirit is one of these special characteristics. Individuals who push themselves, build things from nothing, and aren’t discouraged easily demonstrate the entrepreneurial spirit. These are the people that companies want to hire and leaders should surround themselves with.

Businesses in every industry can learn to harness the entrepreneurial spirit to their advantage. Every sector needs creative people in order to stay relevant and competitive in the marketplace. So how can companies utilize this spirit to best improve their business?

It begins by hiring the right people. Leaders such as recruiters must avoid bias while hiring. Furthermore, when interviewing prospective employees they should think of what that individual can bring to the company, not if they would be a good “fit”. Of course, there should be a certain rubric; people need to be qualified and have the correct skill sets. However, they should also bring something unique to the organization. Hire individuals with fresh perspectives and new ideas, who aren’t afraid to rock the boat.

When people think of entrepreneurship they often think of startups. Visions of college graduates, sitting around a folding table in someone’s garage often come to mind. While a startup may be the quintessential business form of entrepreneurship, there is much more to it than that. At a successful startup, everyone is involved in the process of decision making. The lack of collaboration that takes place at many Fortune500 companies is problematic and is how the term “sleepy business” was created. The marketing professionals never talk with the engineers, and the tech team never speaks to the customer service agents, etcetera. Although these companies may be successful, they often struggle with employee engagement, satisfaction, and retention. Collaboration is key!

So how do leaders harness the power of the entrepreneurial spirit? Avoid scheduling meetings that could be emails. Instead, make brainstorming sessions a normal part of the workweek. Get people from different departments together and allow them to work together without the worry of criticism or retaliation. Everyone should be able to speak their mind, present their ideas, and share their thoughts. Too often organizations don’t take advantage of the great minds that they’ve hired, simply using them to fill a role. Instead, use collaboration tools and promote innovation as much as possible

Most successful businesses were founded by people with true entrepreneurial spirits. Unfortunately, many people aren’t even aware that they possess these important characteristics. In closing, being an entrepreneur means tuning into your passion, always questioning how things could be improved,  and taking calculated risks.

This blog was originally published on Carlos Osvaldo Cortez’s website.