Business Success Comes By Knowing Where You’re Going
There are a number of concepts and truths in business that are powerful. Actions we take, words we speak, and the strategies we employ all have power to make or break our business. But there are four aspects of business success that matter most.
The Power of Vision
The legendary founder of IBM, Tom Watson, explained once why his company achieved the level of success that it became so well-known for:
“IBM is what it is today for three special reasons. The first reason is that, at the very beginning, I had a very clear picture of what the company would look like when it was finally done. You might say I had a model in my mind of what it would look like when the dream — my vision — was in place.
The second reason was that once I had that picture, I asked myself how a company which looked like that would have to act. I then created a picture of how IBM would act when it was finally done.
The third reason IBM has been so successful was that once I had a picture of how IBM would look when the dream was in place and how such a company would have to act, I realized that, unless we began to act that way from the very beginning, we would never get there.
From the very outset, IBM was fashioned after the template of my vision. And each and every day we attempted to model the company after that template. At the end of each day, we asked ourselves how well we did, discovered the disparity between where we were and where we had committed ourselves to be, and, at the start of the following day, set out to make up for the difference.”
Tom Watson had a vision for what he wanted to create. So did Walt Disney, when he saw Disneyland in the orange groves of California, and Tony Hsieh, the CEO of Zappos.com, who saw the possibilities of delivering over-the-top customer service while selling shoes online.
And each of them wrote out their vision in some form or another. As should you.
Your written vision can become your blueprint for what you want to create, what you define as “business success.” It will help you stay on track towards accomplishing whatever it is you have envisioned for your company and yourself.
But without it, you are very likely to simply go along some organic and random growth path that will take you and your business some place you never imagined.
The Power of Leadership
Secondly, after envisioning a clear and compelling image of your company at, say, three years from now write down your vision. Don’t worry about the quality of the writing – focus on capturing the details and the passion behind your vision.
And once you have done so you can work on refining and finalizing this “vision statement” so that you have something you can then share with your entire staff.
With your vision of business success clearly communicated to everyone in the company you can begin to consistently ask this critical question: How do we need to act every day in order to realize the vision? Asking and answering this question is one of the most important things you will do as an owner and Leader because no one else holds the vision like you do.
And nobody else is charged with consistently communicating it.
The Power of Culture
The third thing Mr. Watson described was how his team acted as if they already worked at the company he wanted to create, in order to realize the vision. They fully embraced his vision and made it their own. In doing so they transformed the culture of their organization.
Your business can go from being a tiny team of disconnected employees, to banding together and acting as if you’re working at the company you want to become.
Creating and building a culture that is guided by a clear and compelling vision, inspired by a Leader’s passion for that vision, and supported by the structure and operational strategy to achieve that vision, is a formula for business success.
So, do you know where you’re going?