Small Giants

Companies That Choose to Be Great Instead of Big

By Bo Burlingham

6 Readers

Brian

Adel

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Kevin


Dan Ritz Small Giants

Lots of responsibility. We're counting on you. We trust you. And if you screw up, just tell us about it; don't worry about it. We're not encouraging you to screw up, but for heaven's sake, if you do, don't worry. We're in this together, and we don't know what we're doing either, so come on and join in.

Comment ·

Imagine how much you would be willing to try and learn in a situation like that. Imagine how much you would want to help and watch the organization succeed. But, for the most part, bosses imply they know everything and will fire you for making mistakesâ?Š Then wonder why you under perform.

5y

Dan Ritz Small Giants

That sense of community rests on three pillars. The first is integrity the knowledge that the company is what it appears, and claims, to be The second pillar is professionalism the company does what it says it's going to do The third pillar the direct, human connection, the effect of which is to create an emotional bond, based on mutual caring.

Comment ·

Just imagine a group of people you would like to know in real life. People that donâ??t fake it, that donâ??t lie, and actually care about whatâ??s going on. Thatâ??s itâ??thatâ??s all you need. The rest is just details.

5y

Dan Ritz Small Giants

In the end, they agreed that it came down from their commitment to five core values: caring for each other; caring for guests; caring for the community; caring for suppliers; and caring for investors and profitability in descending order of importance.

Comment ·

Itâ??s ironic and funny how some of the most successful companies put making money at the bottom of this list. People notice when you care about them. Probably because not many people do that these daysâ??theyâ??re too worried about moneyâ?Š

5y

Dan Ritz Small Giants

'We wanted to raise the bar,' he said. 'Instead of trying to do it all, we wanted to be the best at a few things. We physically gave up our licenses in other states so we couldn't work there, and we went from taking every job to questioning every job.' That meant getting rid of customers, including some who'd been around the company for a long time.

Comment ·

What do you want to be the best at? Is there anything keeping you from doing your best, and is it worth getting rid of?

5y

Dan Ritz Small Giants

If you want to have the choice, you have to fight for it. All successful businesses face enormous pressure to grow, and they come from everywhere customers, employees, investors, suppliers, competitors you name it. As we shall see, those forces will make the choice for you if you let them, in which case you will lose the opportunity to chart your own course.

Comment ·

Everything is a choice. Most of the time it seems like thereâ??s only one option and itâ??s not up for debateâ??itâ??s still a choice and you better be sure itâ??s taking you where you want to go.

5y

Dan Ritz Small Giants

Not everyone on every team is interested in growing, but the only way to keep a nineteen-year-old restaurant like Union Square Cafe on it's toes is to staff it with people who want to figure out a better way to do everything every day.

Comment ·

A good idea is usually only a good idea for a while. And thereâ??s always someone somewhere who knows how to do it better.

5y

Dan Ritz Small Giants

They're also interested in being great at what they do, creating a great place to work, providing great service to customers, having great relationships with their suppliers, make great contributions to the communities they live and work in, and finding great ways to lead their lives.

Comment ·

Do you think thatâ??s success? Do you think this would lead to a great income eventually? Is being great more important than making money?

5y
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