Who are your role models?

In business, it’s important to strive for ways of bettering what you do, whether the focus is on your personal development, an improved service offering or training a member of staff.

The first step at getting better at anything, though, is to recognise that you’re not perfect and that you can learn from others. Taking the lead from those who are in a similar line of business or have a similar ethos might seem the more obvious route. However, lessons and advice can also be picked up from other less direct sources.

It’s beneficial to identify examples of companies or business leaders from whom you can learn something. No doubt a few will immediately spring to mind; some might be in the local area, others may be on a more national or international stage. Here are a few companies that have been held up as being exemplary, with particular strengths in certain areas – there are bound to be some characteristics or cultural behaviours here to inspire your business:

Culture change: Ford Motor Company

Having turned around Boeing’s fortunes, Alan Mullaly arrived at Ford and found a company that had siloed, with political infighting in the top echelons of the business. Establishing a collaborative set of working protocols, all of which required compliance from top executives, Alan instituted a top-down culture change in Ford’s leadership. Those executives who couldn’t, or wouldn’t, comply with the new protocols left the company, freeing it up to grow a more successful corporate culture. As a result of this sea change in behaviour, Ford’s fortunes have shifted and it now has a firmer footing in the future.

Environmental ethos: Interface Carpets

Global carpet tile manufacturer, Interface, has gone far further than just stating its green credentials. They take environmental concerns extremely seriously. So much so, that Interface’s founder, Ray Anderson, put the company in 1994 on a 20-year course to a zero environmental footprint. This was to be achieved through using recyclable or renewable energy. What Anderson has achieved in the last two decades is a company acknowledged for its long-term environmental ethics. Interface’s sustainable business and zero tolerance goal has had a positive impact on the company’s financial health.

Management culture: WL Gore

Long defined as the company which makes Gore-Tex, a core component in protective outdoor clothing, WL Gore doesn’t have an everyday type of management structure. Its flat organisational hierarchy means that all employees are called ‘associates’. With no chains of command, leaders rather than bosses head up teams, and associates choose to follow leaders, rather than bosses being assigned to them. What this results in is a company where direct communication is encouraged between colleagues and everyone is accountable to their team members. This unusual organisational structure has contributed significantly to employee satisfaction levels and lower turnover rates.

Take a look at your business: who are your corporate role models? How can they inspire you to be better at what you do?

Thanks to Neil Crofts’ Magic Monday blog for our inspiration!

Call us on 01865 881056 or email us at info@leaderslab.co.uk if this strikes a chord with you.