It is highly unlikely that any entrepreneur woke up one morning and said, today would be a great day to start a business. It’s much more likely that every entrepreneur first sought to either solve a problem or serve a calling. Most are dissatisfied with the status quo and are highly driven to change it. They want their lives to make a difference, to have a purpose and they want to help others, not just now but also in the future. Most want to build a legacy. Sometimes it may be just for their family while others want to change or improve society.
While this attitude is admirable. The road to success, however that success is defined, can be perilous, costly, filled with frustration and sacrifice and comes with no assurance that the desired result will be realized. Nevertheless, for those who do choose to become entrepreneurs, their passion becomes their mission and once committed their life and many others are destined to change… either for better or worse.
But great achievements never come without a great leader and a great culture. These people and the culture they create often lead to stellar performing organizations. The leader is the force that creates and motivates others when tangible rewards like money and benefits are limited or nonexistent. A powerful leader can build a competent team that has vision and purpose that is supported by a strong culture. The team is the engine that propels the company forward, its purpose is the fuel and the culture is the lubrication that enables them to perform optimally based on a set of common principles and values. So with so much power behind them, it’s important that entrepreneurs select the right road and direction. If they do, it will be the highway to success and if they don’t, it will be the road to failure and squandered opportunity.
Businesses are not people but they are composed of people so it is not unnatural they are characterized as having a soul and character. This is the emotional attachment your employees feel when they come to work and how your customers feel when they do business with your company and interact with those employees. Entrepreneurs who are smart enough to develop a strong culture should do everything possible to nurture it. When you do you’ll have the makings of a successful business with a growing and optimistic future.
While entrepreneurs should be visionaries, they shouldn’t be expected to have all the right answers at all times. Ready to read more? Check out part II in Franklin Wolfson’s mini-series: Company Culture.