Through working for decades with global leaders, building some organisations and learning from many others, we
have developed five key questions for leaders, that can
help them create and grow a business that everyone would want to be a part of, and buy from.
What are you for?
It is essential to keep asking yourself how your enterprise will ultimately enrich society. If there is no enduring purpose, there is no legacy, and the business in the end can only become an empty shell.
Who benefits from the business?
The primary objective is long-term profitability from a robust and well-understood business model about how cash is generated. This also needs to be combined with a different kind of ownership. And that's not just about who holds the shares or has a legal remit. It relates to who feels emotionally invested in the business, and who genuinely feels part of the success. There is a new hunger in the world for authentic engagement and connection, as well as desire for trust and fairness. The ownership model being transparent and the value created visibly shared, has powerful and positive benefits for owners, the wider community, how customers feel about what they buy and employees feel a part of.
Who do you spend time with?
To create a vibrant business, you need to engage with people who are very different from you. Refresh your ecosystem: coaches, advisors, boards, investors, all need to be providing you with a rich range of voices and ideas. Be brave. Include people who will ask awkward questions about what truly matters. The best and in many cases the most constructive and exciting conversations are not always the most comfortable ones.
How open are you?
In today’s world, transparency is vital for a thriving and sustaining business. Thanks to the digital transformation and the rise of social media, there are few remaining secrets. Leaders need to be daring enough to throw open their doors, to show that the way they create value also enriches society. From this comes social licence, approval, growth and more profits for all.
What will you be remembered for?
The leaders of an enterprise can — and should — be the energisers, the holders of the vision and purpose. Such leaders create both the emotional “why”, and logical “how” that will inspire the team and the enterprise’s direction long after they themselves are gone.