I have just spent a day visiting two of the companies that I am involved with.  In one company I led the team through a substantial turnaround before appointing a new CEO and stepping back into the role of executive chairman. The CEO has developed and led the new team and taken the business forward achieving exceptional goals and extraordinary results.

In the other company, I was approached to become an early stage investor. I liked the way the CEO presented his ambition, the business model was different to anything in the market and their vision for what they wanted to achieve was exciting. So, I invested in the company and now provide advice to the leadership team when asked.

Two very different situations but very similar in other ways. Initially it was like climbing a mountain – we knew where the summit was but had no idea of the type of challenges we might face reaching it. Regardless, we were prepared for a hard climb and we set off with determination.

Both businesses are now around 5 years old and both have thrived.  I’ve thoroughly enjoyed seeing them grow and succeed. It has been a pleasure to support the maturing strategy and the growth and development of the team. The businesses have each done remarkably well. They’re now jointly worth more than £500 million.  But that’s not the clever bit!

The clever bit is that they’ve built a world class company rather than chase numbers. And they’ve done that by:

  • Having a clear vision of success.
  • Understanding exactly where they want to go.
  • Being prepared to be agile and innovative as they face challenges.
  • Having clear values in the business.
  • Making sure they really live by the values they speak about.
  • Ensuring everyone in the company understands how they play a part.
  • Never giving up – no matter how tough the climb.

This is what makes a world class organisation. Absolute focus on the priorities, determination to succeed, shared goals and an inspirational culture.

If you can focus on getting better then bigger will come. Don’t chase the money; have fun building a great business, enjoy every challenge and opportunity, take pride in the positive legacy you are building.

Remember, nobody forced you to climb the mountain, so enjoy the journey. The view from the top will be incredible.

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