Pillar: a very strong person or thing that provides essential support for something; a supporting or integral member or part.
There are several ingredients and elements to success and achieving one’s business dreams. Of these ingredients, 6 are the most fundamental and are far more key to success than any other ingredient.
We call these the 6 Pillars, because they are the foundation of all success, and they support all other ingredients and technology. These 6 Pillars by themselves will produce a good level of success, even without any other ingredient.
Without the 6 Pillars, all the technology in the world won’t produce success. The first priorities of any business should be to get in these 6 fundamentals before any new or upgraded technologies are considered.
Pillar #1 – Leadership
Exceptional Leadership is the driving force, the engine, the power, behind all successful ventures. This is true in all aspects of life, not only in business. Leadership is the first and most important Pillar and ingredient to success. Without a strong, effective and purpose-driven leader creating the vision and driving the business, nothing much happens. The leadership of any organization establishes the purpose, the vision, corporate culture and attitudes of the organization. The leadership team determines how the company conducts business and services its clients or customers.
The 17 Core Qualities of Exceptional Leaders gives the most important qualities and characteristics of successful and effective leaders.
Pillar #2 – People
The second Pillar of success is the organization’s people – hiring, retaining and developing good people who do a great job and contribute to the success of the business.
A business could provide a fantastic product or service to its clients and customers; but without a team of competent, intelligent, caring and hard-working people, such a business will struggle and most likely fail.
The right people are the greatest asset, resource and wealth of any business. And the right, effective training and development programs bring out the inner power and great capabilities that most people have deep down – empowering them to be their best and contribute to the business’s success.
Pillar #3 – Excellent Product or Service to Clients, Customers or Patients
Every business produces a product or service for its customers and clients, which should align with and achieve that business’s purpose. The success of that business then depends on how many products and services it sells to people, how many satisfied customers/clients the business has created, and how many new customers are referred to the business by existing, satisfied clients (in addition to new clients generated from marketing).
A business that
- satisfies a need or desire or demand with an excellent product or service that people want and are happy with;
- sells those products or services to lots of people;
- gives these customers great, 5-Star service;
- communicates with clients very well at all levels;
- resolves any problems quickly and competently; and
- improves the very quality of life for its customers/clients with all of the above,
will create loyal, repeat clients who refer others. In this way, a business grows like wildfire – as long as the other fundamentals are in place.
An average product, average service and average communication will result in a mediocre or struggling group.
Pillar #4 – Communication
Communication is the the single most important skill, ability and action in any organization. This is true for each individual in the company, and for the company as a whole. The power of good, effective communication cannot be overstated. This means direct communication between two or more live people – not automated messaging systems.
If you want to be a great leader and create success, then there is no choice but to become superb in the skill of communication.
Communication is far and away the most important and powerful skill, ability and tool to success for people and businesses – success in all of life as well as in any organization. Communication is the common and most powerful thread that runs throughout every job position in an organization, every system the organization follows, and every successful action the organization takes. Communication is the glue that holds an organization together. The quality of communication determines how strong or weak the glue is.
No matter how well or poorly a business is doing, improving communication skills and abilities would have an enormous positive impact on all areas of the business – to include revenues and profits. We have proven this for over 25 years in our own businesses and those of our clients.
Pillar #5 – Marketing
You could have the greatest product or service ever invented, but if no one knows about it, then the business goes bankrupt.
Marketing is far more important in today’s world than it ever was. Marketing is also far more complex than ever.
There is so much competition, so many advances in technology almost daily, so much other marketing going on, so many social media and other distractions – so much noise in the world – that effective marketing and branding is necessary to make any business cut through all this, stand out and get positive attention and interest. Every business has competition. In today’s economic environment, there is no such thing as having a monopoly or a market all to oneself. This environment demands effective marketing and branding. In an ideal world, the only thing any business would need is a great product that works well and people liked. In an ideal world, this alone would generate all the success needed.
We do not live in such a world.
Branding has become a vital requirement today, and is actually the first step of effective marketing. David Brier is one such branding expert, he is superb. I’ve known David for 25 years, and he is the best person I know for branding. After branding, there are the questions of how to market your brand – what channels and media to use, how to write effective marketing messages and campaigns, and all the creative aspects of capturing the attention of a business’s target audience.
Pillar #6 – Organization
Organization in this context means how the people in a business are organized and structured as a team.
Organization and structure appear to have fallen somewhat out of favor in this modern age. At the very least, organization and structure are not given much attention or importance.
It is necessary in today’s environment for businesses to get more agile, and be able to innovate. But there is a growing misconception that being agile and innovative means there is less need for structure and organization. In fact, however, the organization and structure of a business determine how efficient each individual is, how efficient is the group as a whole, and how productive is the group.
My concept of organization and structure is not an old-school, rigid organization chart; nor does it mean a lack of flexibility, agility or empowerment of its people. My concept of ideal organization is the optimum blend of structure while totally embracing agility and innovation, and while empowering people to be as creative as they can be and contribute their ideas and abilities to the business. Just the right amount of structure and organization is needed to make sure everyone is coordinated, knows their jobs and are working together as one team. But within that structure, people have a great deal of freedom to create and contribute.
Imagine a sports team of all-stars, but with no or poor coaches. Even though the individual players are the best in their sport, without the right amount of structure and coaching they will lose most of their games to better-coached teams.
Good organization and structure contributes directly to the revenues, profitability and financial health of the business. There is a very precise formula for determining the ideal and optimum organization structure for each type of business and industry. We are very expert in this area, and have produced excellent results in many businesses applying our organizational formula.
Good people badly organized will experience confusions, inefficiencies, high stress, conflict and chaos. Optimum organization and structure prevent these adverse conditions, and provide the amount of coordination needed to ensure everyone is working as one team toward the same goals. Good people will also leave a disorganized business because of the high stress and strains such disorganization causes.
The ideal is to have good, productive, hard-working people, who are then well-organized so as to maximize individual and group efficiencies. This not only increases profitability, it also makes it far easier to manage and grow the business.
The organizational end result we create for our own businesses and those of our clients is a powerful group consisting only of competent, hard-working, creative and productive people who are organized into a united, efficient and well-coordinated team, with everyone working toward the company goals and purposes.
If a leader-manager produces such an organization, then success and prosperity are guaranteed for one and all. The organization would achieve its purposes and goals, and each person in the group would be rewarded both financially and professionally.
Joe – Another post that contains actionable advice that can help someone struggling with a startup business to focus on the keys to success and an established business to evaluate weaknesses and refocus on the things that keep the business solid. Great job.
Thank you again, Len.