Leadership expert Jim Collins is famous for his book Good to Great, which should be on the shelves of all entrepreneurs.
But I was struck by a recent interview he gave where he defined what a “great” company is. Financial returns are key, as is longevity. But what Collins really highlighted was the It’s a Wonderful Life effect.
“To be great, a company also has to make a distinctive impact. I define that by a test: If your company disappeared, would it leave a gaping hole that could not easily be filled by any other enterprise on the planet?”
Now, I know what you are thinking. I’m running a start-up, not Apple. But Collins argues that size doesn’t matter.
“A restaurant could have such great relationships with customers — such a great community presence and such great food — that, if it went away, people would feel a gaping hole, and no one could easily come in and fill it.”
That’s a brilliant idea and a great aspiration. You don’t need to be the biggest company in the world, but you should want to make such an impact that you would be missed if you are gone.
That impact might be due to the innovation behind your product or service, or it might be because of the way you connect with customers. It might be for lots of reasons, but the key question is: Why would they miss your business?
Get it done – today!