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4 Secrets Of Strong Companies
By Curt Tueffert   Printer Friendly Version

In October of 2000, a Sugar Land, Texas company gathered their leadership team for a 2-day meeting away from the office. They reflected on the results of 2000 and began charting their course for 2001. The task was to solidify the leadership team on their core principles and then deliver this to the other 250 employees nationwide. Many companies think about gathering their teams and planning for the next year; few really take the time and do the task.

To be a strong company in today's economy, you must rise above the lure of technology to be your secret weapon. The Internet is a requirement to compete, not the single tool in your box. Technology can be used as an enabling method, yet the core of the business runs deeper.

This Texas company has the right keys, the secrets to succeed. Take a few minutes to measure your company and your team against these four secrets. Where you agree, continue to build, where you are lacking, gather your leaders and start right now to make the required adjustments.

  1. Passion. Webster's dictionary defines passion as the object of any strong desire or fondness. Passion is synonymous with enthusiasm, eagerness in the pursuit of something. Strong companies have passion for their success in their market niche, in their employees and in their resources. The pursuit of the goal, target or objective is with earnest drive and energy. To have passion, the strong company must have a strong pulse or heartbeat. You can see this emotion lived on faces of the employees. You can see the buzz, the energy, and the enthusiasm for their contribution to the cause. Does your company have this?
  2. Focus. When things are out of focus, all you get is a blur. Take the time to make the proper adjustments and the picture is clear. In business, focus is a key secret based on what you have committed to focus on. Are you focusing on reducing costs? Are you focusing on increasing sales? Are you crystal clear as to what it will take to retain your best employees? Why does one team win and one fail on the scorecard; focus. When it requires you to center, to become one large team, single minded in purpose and in action, you are focused. The results astound the skeptics and the competition. Is your company focused?
  3. Teamwork. The third secret of strong companies requires a releasing of control. Strong successful companies empower their whole team to make decisions, take responsibility, learn from the mistakes, and celebrate the victories. No two employees are exactly the same, so the outcomes of your teams might be unpredictable, unless you are communicating the first 2 secrets of strong companies; Passion and Focus. Are you creating teams of employees to solve problems? Are you creating teams to develop solutions? This calls for the relinquishing of control from the few and distributing the risk and reward to the team. By developing your teams (leadership, sales, operations, warehouse, cost control, marketing, employee retention, etc.) you build additional leaders ready and able to provide Passion and Focus to their role and tasks. Does your company provide an environment for teamwork to grow and reproduce?
  4. Fun. If I came to your workplace, what would I hear and see. Will I hear laughter in the halls, celebration in the offices and cubicles? Will I see posters, banners, signs of encouragement and building each other up? We tend to take ourselves so seriously that we push for change and results at the expense of fun. Southwest Airlines is a company that gains favor from Wallstreet and Main Street. Their employees and customers consider Southwest a place where fun is viewed as a mandatory option for the workplace. The results speak for themselves. They are flooded with resumes and their employee turnover is lower than average for their industry. They compete in a market tight with competition and yet succeed with a laugh and a smile. Does your company smile at the end of the day?

Strong companies get strong by first starting out weak and building themselves up. Sound business practice and leadership is the cornerstone for these companies. They all know that Passion, Focus, Teamwork, and Fun have made the strengthening process easier and quicker to replicate.

I challenge you to review your 2001 Business Plan and see where you have added Passion, Focus, Teamwork, and Fun. If you've neglected these 4 secrets of strong companies, it is not too late to add them to the top of the list.

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