Pursuit leads to attainment. What you pursue will determine the trails you travel, and ultimately, what you do or don’t achieve. Having a mindset focused on pursuit is so critical to successful companies that lacking this one quality can sentence a company to mediocrity. If you want a great company, create a company dedicated to pursuit.
Courage – “Courage is being scared to death and saddling up anyway.”
Courage allows companies to evolve, change and innovate in the pursuit of perfection. To cultivate courage, we need to reward risk-taking individuals who look for new and innovative ways to accomplish traditional tasks.
If we punish people who have the courage to be agents of change, to embrace new ideas and take on new challenges, we undermine the essence of courage we want to instill in the organization.
I never punish a person for trying; it is the not trying that I find discouraging. An executive I know turned down a new-business opportunity and the incremental revenue that would come with it because he was unwilling to figure out how to operationalize the new activity. This is a foreign concept to me. Without courage to change, the company faces apathy and even obsolescence.
Leadership – “When your out ahead and leading the herd, it’s a good idea to stop, look back and make sure the herd is still with you.”
The company’s leadership defines the culture. A lousy place to work drives away high performers. A great place to work attracts and retains the very best.
Leadership’s every action—or inaction—sends cultural messages. How leaders dress sends signals about how formal the workplace is. The people that leaders talk and listen to reflect who and what is important. How leaders treat mistakes (learning experience vs. failure) sends signals about risk-taking.
Successful leaders are profoundly sensitive to how their decisions affect the staff and the signal that a decision sends. If you are attempting to build an organization that “employees love,” then all decisions should aim to build an irrevocable bond of trust with the staff.
Character – “A cowboy never betrays a trust.”
Loyalty, respect, self-discipline: These traits cascade down through the organization and reflect the character of its leadership. Don’t underestimate the power of character.
In the words of Bulldog Drummed CEO Shawn Apr, corporate culture and the company’s people matter more than machinery, products or real estate. People invent and build. People support and serve clients. People either create or undermine value, cultivate or kill relationships, drive or reduce success. There is no comparison to being in the hearts and hands of energized, informed and motivated people.
The morals that guided the American cowboy are as relevant today as they were over 100 years ago. They provide a blueprint for the qualities and characteristics that we want in today’s leaders and companies.
So, for a great corporate culture, cowboy up!
Paul Kramer is the President of Hyper Marketing Inc. Mr. Kramer became President of Hyper Marketing in January 2012 after the merger of digital marketing company SolutionSet MediaWhiz Partnership and D.L. Ryan Cos., the largest independent promotion and shopper marketing firm in the U.S.—of which he was President and COO. At Hyper Marketing, now the largest independent marketing services network in the U.S., Paul works closely with the CEO, and guides all aspects of business strategy and development, mergers and acquisitions, human resources and finance.