My wife and I had the privilege of visiting Kennedy Space Center this week (see above).
We were reminded that it took a special kind of person to head into space. Then it struck me: it also takes a special kind of person to own a company and fly it through success to significance – or as we at American Business Advisors say, Building Cash Cows® and Improving Quality of Life®.
So how do you know that as an astronaut or a business owner you are on track? Over the next few weeks we will discuss three keys to know that you have the “right stuff” to pilot your business to success.
1. Our company has a purpose.
The first key is to have a company purpose. Many owners we talk with can point to a banner or a plaque on the wall or a page on their website that states their company’s purpose (often accompanied by their vision, values, and mission statement). But how do you know whether this purpose is a dynamic, living purpose that provides motivation to everyone associated with your firm?
One way is to see how it influences your culture—the sum total of your leaders’ and stakeholders’ words, actions, and decisions.
Another way is to see if company results can be traced back to that purpose.
President John F. Kennedy set an ambitious purpose for the U.S. space program on September 12, 1962 at Rice University.
The mission was not to create a successful manned program to orbit the earth—the Mercury program. Nor was it to send two men into space—the Gemini program. It was to send men to the moon and back by the end of the decade, and to overcome every obstacle in the way of that purpose.
Our nation lived up to that purpose by landing on the moon July 20, 1969.
Your business doesn’t exist to create great products or services—although it no doubt does. Nor does your business exist to create happy customers—although it might.
So consider: why does your business exist?
Want to learn more about why your raison d’être matters? Listen to “A Tale of Two Companies:
For more fun, view the trailer for “The Right Stuff” (1983):
A sneak peek to our next two posts: “Our Company has a plan.”
2. Does your company have a plan?
A plan is more than a weekend retreat or an annual plan.
3. Does your company have power?
There’s a powerful dance between people power and financial power. With the right balance between these two, you’ll be able to “Dance with the Stars.”