Leadership for Private Companies

My good friend, who is also one of my earliest consulting mentors, Richard Fontanie and I were having lunch in the park this week. Lunch consisted of a burger and salad from my favorite restaurant, The Diplomat Steakhouse. You can trust a steak house to make a great burger!

The Diplomat's Burger Supreme - Photo by Phil Symchych
The Diplomat’s Burger Supreme
Photo by Phil Symchych.

The topics of discussion included family, learning from our kids, the importance of a dog in a family, the state of the economy, consulting business models, marketing, and leadership.

During our philosophical lunch discussion, Richard posed this question to me: “What are the top factors for leadership success in the current economy?”

After some serious thought and chewing, I came up with these points that ultimately resulted in “The Four S Leadership Model” for leading private companies to success.

Figure 31.1 The Four S Leadership Model

Figure 31.1 The Four S Leadership Model

  1. Stakeholders: A company does not exist solely to make a profit. It exists to create value for all stakeholders including customers, employees, suppliers, and shareholders. How is your company creating value for your stakeholders?
  2. Speed: Strategy gets real when you implement it. The more quickly you implement, the faster you fail/learn/adjust/succeed. Speed creates value. How quickly are you implementing your strategy?
  3. Scalable: Setting and implementing strategy for where you are now is not very ambitious, and in fact will create problems as you succeed beyond your current capacity. What would your business need to look like to be double in size, or 10X? How can you scale your operations, your finances, and most importantly, your management team, to operate at a higher level?
  4. Social: Beyond your immediate stakeholders are the communities and countries where you operate and reside. How are you adopting new technology to reduce costs, reduce energy consumption, and reduce waste? How are you making the world a better place?

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