Who do you compete with? We are always competing against someone else. We are always trying to be better than someone else. Companies are the same way, focusing on better quality, more features, or better service. What if we showed up to work every day to be better than ourselves? To make our business the best that it can be?
It starts with leadership. Great leaders are able to inspire people to act, to go beyond what they thought was possible. Those leaders who are able to inspire give people a sense of purpose or belonging that has little to do with any external incentive or benefit to be gained. Those who truly lead are able to create a following of people who act not because they were swayed, but because they were inspired.
Have a purpose. People and companies with a strong sense of why they do what they do are able to inspire others. Those employees are more productive and innovative, and the feeling they bring to work attracts other people eager to work there as well. When people inside the company know why they come to work, people outside the company are vastly more likely to understand why the company is special.
Shout it from the rooftops. What a company says and does are the means by which the company speaks. Too many companies put a disproportionate amount of weight on their products or services simply because those are the things that bring in money. Though products may drive sales, they alone cannot create loyalty. The goal of business should not be to do business with anyone who simply wants what you have. It should be to focus on the people who believe what you believe. Be clear about who you are, what you deliver and who you serve.
Inspiration comes with consistency. With consistency people will see and hear, without a shadow of doubt, what you believe. The only way people will know what you believe is by things you say and do, and if you´re not consistent in the things you say and do, no one will know what you believe. All organizations start with why they do what they do, but only the great ones keep their why clear year after year. Those who forget why they were founded show up to the race every day to outdo someone else instead of to outdo themselves.
Inspired employees are motivated to deliver for your customers. Great companies do not hire skilled people and motivate them; they hire already motivated people and inspire them. People are either motivated or they are not. Unless you give motivated people something to believe in, something bigger than their job to work toward they will motivate themselves to find a new job and you´ll be stuck with whoever is left.
So, are you the best in the business? Are you comparing yourself and your company to others or to your vision for the future? Whether for your personal goals or your business strategy, remember to focus on consistency, achieve loyalty through inspiration, and inevitably the belief in why you do what you do will shine through.