1.5 Develop a culture of Excitement and Growth
“A business with a positive and exciting culture is a great place to work and also of great attraction to potential investors. Having a clear and inspiring personal vision is essential for anyone and more particularly for business owners”
At this point you should have a point of difference in terms your product or solution. You have identified your target market clearly and concisely, you know their requirements and you have a unique process that deals with them in an outstanding manner. That is great, however one thing that will really stand you head and shoulders above the competition is to have something that you and your business stand for. What is the change that you are going to make in the world? It is important to remember that building a successful business for financial gain is not that inspiring for others.
Being a business owner is a huge opportunity to leave a great legacy and also to help others achieve their dreams and aspirations. If you study almost any great business, you they mostly have programs to develop their staff and community programs to help the community in some way. Many business owners get stuck in the first phase of business which is a more selfish phase and is about the personal freedoms that we quite often get into business for.
If you survive this phase and really want to start building a great business the second phase should be about how you are going to help your staff achieve. This is also a phase for self expression – it is where you should have more flexibility and can be working more in your own area of excellence. You have knowledge, experience and passion, and business is an opportunity to tap into all of these and really shine.
The third phase of business is where you can really use your business as leverage to create change. Bill Gates is a great example of this, his company has made him extremely wealthy and he is now able to use this wealth to make a significant difference in the world.
There is a story from Simon Sinek, that discusses this subject in a bit more detail. He tells us of a time when he was invited to a club in New York that was a monthly gathering of very wealthy business owners. These people were all multi-millionaires and some billionaires and they were asked two questions; the first one was “Are you successful?” The answer was yes – of course we are successful, we are all millionaires and multi-millionaires, so yes we are successful”. The second question that was asked was “Do you FEEL successful?” This time, in most cases the answer was no. It turns out that these business owners were left with a hollow unfulfilled feeling after their financial and material success. It was an anti-climax and they felt that there must be more to life than this. Of course there is, however it is a process and one that you can achieve by firstly having a desire and secondly by continual and ambitious goal setting. Eventually goals and working towards them become like food for your brain.
When you have a strong business vision coupled with a strong personal vision you already have some uniqueness.
This chapter builds on previous chapters on goal setting and sets the path for creating a culture of growth and excitement. This is one of the five essential keys of business value.
The first four steps of this process were about clarifying and developing goals and strategies to achieve those goals. This final step further develops these goals and strategies and also adds in a number of steps related to getting the team excited and working with you towards the vision.
Here are some points to consider in this process:
- Goals continually evolve and grow. It is important to remember that the most successful people have written goals and they revisit and update them frequently.
- The attitude of the leader can impact staff – either positively or negatively and it is important that as a leader you have a great vision or goal that you are excited about.
- Having a clearly defined strategy that people can follow is a key ingredient to a motivated team
- Clearly defined roles and systems will keep staff productive
- Having a challenging environment that provides opportunity for growth is considered to be more important than money
- Incentives for a job well done can be a great way of boosting morale and enthusiasm. It is important to ensure they are fair and inclusive.
- People can produce more in teams and having team projects so people get to know each other and work well together is important
- Owning a business is a great opportunity to give back to the community in some way. Having staff involved in community projects is also a great way to build a team spirit
- Having a strong vision for your life and your business is essential to keep you motivated and excited as you face the inevitable challenges you will face in life and business