What we can learn from growth leaders

Only 13% of companies are able to sustain modest levels of growth while the rest of us everyday companies struggle to grow 3-5%. Why? What do leaders of growth companies get that we don’t? After interviewing dozens of leaders of high performance organizations from large companies like Dan Cathy of Chick-fil-A, to regional businesses like Danny O’Neill of the Roasterie, five key principles emerged. We will share one a week. So get ready to learn from the best!

Leadership Vision – The Secret to Leadership Success

Sure, we all check the box. Vision. Done. We make it an annual review and it says something nice like “be the industry leader” or “be the best in customer service”. What does that MEAN? What does that LOOK LIKE? Do you really have a vision or just a nice statement reflecting wishful thinking?

John F Kennedy’s Vision for NASA

John F. Kennedy transformed the space program with 13 words, “Before this decade is out, land a man on the moon, and return him safely to earth.” It was measurable, a big idea with great clarity, and it evoked passion. To read more about why it was so effective, read this article about NASA’s Strategy. Companies that sustain growth have a clear vision that guides everything they do.

Terry Dunn’s Vision for Acquisitions

If you want to transform a company, have a vision you believe in” – Terry Dunn. Terry Dunn, CEO of JE Dunn, grew the company from $150 million in 1990 to almost $3 billion by 2008 through acquisitions. He became CEO in 1989 and convinced the company that acquisitions would not only expand the company but also give them an opportunity to give back to the community at an even more significant level. Giving back was a founding principle of the company since Dunn’s grandfather returned money to the federal government on construction projects he took on during the WWII era out of respect for veterans.

Bill Taylor’s Vision for Fast Company

Bill Taylor, co-founder of Fast Company magazine, said the vision for the magazine was to showcase the top 5-10% of businesses and their practices in order to encourage others to “aim higher, think bigger.” His passion was helping others accomplish more than they thought possible.

Your Vision

Does your company have a vision? Is it written? Does it communicate a direction that your strategy is meant to implement? If your vision statement is more of a platitude that a direction, make it a priority this week to guide your company in identifying a real vision, one that succinctly states the direction you want your company to take.

What’s Next

Your vision statement is the direction you want the company to go, and once that is clear, your strategy is the way you plan to implement that vision. If you want some help assessing your vision, give me a call!

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