02
Nov
15

You, Your Salon/Spa Business And The Path To Greatness

greatness2There is a huge difference between having the desire for success and actually achieving your definition of it. Desire is a longing for something; success is an outcome. Greatness is something else entirely. Success, based on your interpretation, is earned, while greatness is bestowed. Greatness is how your peers and the world around you define your success and that of your company.

What does greatness looks like? For a company to enter the coveted realm of greatness, its values, thinking and actions must synchronize to create an unyielding gravitational pull that draws it through levels of success to greatness. The only thing that can disrupt this gravitational pull is a compromise in the company’s values, thinking and/or actions.

Let’s explore what this gravitational pull looks like in a successful company versus a great company. Yes, there is a huge gap between success and greatness.

  • Doing many things right: It has a leader (or leaders) capable of inspiring performance and consistency. It demonstrates steady sales, financial discipline and profitability. It has functional levels of authority. It delivers on its brand promise, giving it impressive customer loyalty. Employees have opportunities for growth, giving the company a reputation as an attractive place to work. The company is regarded by its peers as a worthy competitor in its marketplace or industry.
  • Values and purpose driven: A company that lives in the greatness realm certainly does all of the above, but there are distinct differences. More than any other single factor, great companies are both values and purpose driven. This instills the highest degree of trust throughout the company, because intentions are clear. Values, purpose and trust create a rock-solid foundation to support a dynamic and empowering culture. The company culture is transparent – no hidden agendas exist.
  • Cherish your mojo: Even in the most competitive of industries and marketplaces, a great company stands out, not only as a brand leader but in the manner in which it conducts business internally with its employees and externally with its customers. It innovates faster than the competition. It does things so differently and consistently well that it wows its customers and leaves the competition asking, “How do they do that?”
  • Capacity to embrace change: Another mark of a great company is its ability to adapt, respond and change as the world it functions in evolves. Call it optimal leadership, innovation or a superbly accurate ability to predict the future, but great companies always seem to already be where the competition wants to be. Again, competitors ask, “How do they do that?”
  • Successful but not great: A company can be successful, even though its leadership is a bit inconsistent, some of its systems are weak, follow-through is sometimes spotty and performance is average. It will work through challenges and find a way to grow and prosper. But a successful company will never rise to greatness as long as it continues to ignore or tolerate its propensity to be average.
  • Average ‘anything’ warning lights: In fact, average anything barely stands a chance of gaining a foothold. Why is this? A great company’s values, beliefs and standards simply won’t allow it. Average anything is quickly identified and cut out. It’s no different from the values, beliefs and commitment of a world-class athlete to do everything it takes to win, including relentless training, to do it better than anyone else.
  • Enduring greatness: Successful companies come and go; great companies have the capacity to endure. But to endure, great companies can never falter, even for a moment. Compromise of values, beliefs or trust is the beginning of a fall from greatness unless resolutely and completely restored. Yes, many great companies will fall from greatness and remain successful, but the magic will be gone and is unlikely to return. For greatness to endure, no-compromise leadership is not optional. It is an ongoing process. The leader of a great company must continually review the practices of the company. Companies that coast along will not achieve greatness.

In his book Small Giants: Companies that Chose to be Great Rather than Big, Bo Burlingham profiled 10 diverse companies, from a document storage and retrieval company to a delicatessen. Burlingham sought out successful companies that had the opportunity to go big but chose greatness instead. They resisted the temptation to expand beyond what the owners felt was right for their companies. Simply put, they chose to nourish and protect their greatness.

The path to greatness begins with one question … how good do you want to be? If your answer is to be the best, you chose a road less traveled, a road that will test your determination to create something worthy of admiration. Only a few go the distance; you can be one of them. Small giant or big giant, it doesn’t matter. Go for greatness.

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Please share your thoughts with me about today’s Monday Morning Wake-Up. Click below to comment.

Pass this e-mail on to your business colleagues, managers and friends. They will appreciate it.

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