Executive Focus: Three More Keys to Growing Your Company the Old-fashioned Way
This is part 2 of a series begun in last week’s edition of Idea Factory.
You can build a sustainable and successful big catalog business without playing accounting games or engaging in financial manipulations. And you can do it without commoditizing and devaluing your employees. Continuing last week’s discussion on how to grow your catalog in an organic and sustainable way without underhanded manipulation, here are three more keys to successful growth.
4. Be a humble, passionate and focused leader. CEOs at high-performance organic growth companies don’t fit the stereotype of the high-flying, bigger than life, charismatic, all-knowing corporate leader. Like the leaders of any major company, they face intense challenges, manage numerous employees, and struggle to maintain their competitive edge. Yet there is something special about organic growth CEOs. These leaders value their employees. There is a sincere respect for line workers, and no wonder: many such leaders began their careers on the factory floor.
Clearly organic growth leaders want their companies to operate as teams. At Best Buy, all executive offices are modest in size — barely big enough for a desk and two chairs — and windowless. The company founder’s office is the one exception. The company reserves windows for team spaces — showing that teams are a higher priority than management. Wal-Mart uses an Open Door program, whereby employees can directly contact the CEO about anything they’re not satisfied with. The top executives of Tiffany & Co. pride themselves on being humble representatives of the company. When asked to describe the Tiffany culture in one word, President Jim Quinn replied, “Humility. There is only one star here and it is Tiffany.”
Organic growth leaders believe the essence of business are the abilities to relate to, communicate with, and engage on a deep cognitive and emotional level with employees and customers. Business is done through and with people. These companies constantly fight the deadly killers of corporate cultures: elitism, hubris, arrogance and complacency.