My third conclusion is that the process which leads to sustained success is the very same for high performing and poor performing businesses. The process of growth is neither a matter of chance nor an insoluble mystery. It is a universal process common to all companies, all countries and all individuals. It is not merely a question of money, great technology, an expansive market, dedicated people, right business strategy or supportive business environment.
When I asked Intel’s Corporate Vice President of Finance the single most important reason for the company’s phenomenal success over decades, the first word he spoke in reply was, “Energy. It’s the energy that makes the difference here.” Companies are living organisms just like plants, people and societies. And the survival, growth, development and evolution of organisms depend on the energy they are able to generate and express in work. The professor at a leading business school once scoffed at this statement when I was addressing a large audience of entrepreneurs. “What is this nebulous magical thing you call energy?” I replied, “It’s kind of funny that you ask me that. I have spoken with thousands of successful entrepreneurs and business executives. Not a single one of them ever asked me that question.” That’s because every successful individual – whether in sales and marketing, politics, education, R&D, scientific research, athletics or the performing arts – knows from personal experience that high energy is the fuel for high accomplishment.
The first thing I look for or rather sense when I go into a company is the energy level of the people and the work environment. It’s a reliable index of corporate performance. A Slovenian bank executive recently told me how his financial analysts had cautioned him against extending loans to a company with a weak balance sheet. But when the executive visited the company, he was almost bowled over by the level of energy, enthusiasm and dynamism he found. He knew at once that this was a company worth supporting and his instincts were fully justified by its performance.Download Article 1K Club