Outrageously Unsuccessful Companies

Outrageously Unsuccessful Companies don’t set out to crash and fail.  But they land up failing because they don’t have a clear vision of what success looks like and therefore what it will take to get them in that shape by the time they get to the finish line.

I have a favorite company in my local geography that in my humble opinion has achieved monumental success because they recruit with the tag line of “Join Our Outrageously Talented Team.”  How could you go wrong if the marching orders are to seek out the very best talent the market has to offer?  And can you imagine the engagement and the empowerment you are giving to every single employee if they understand that to be working here means that I am outrageously talented?

As a recruiting tool, folks that are “outrageously talented” are seeking this company out to join them, so they are attracting some of the top talent across the country because of this mindset.  Their vision and mission statements are just as positive and motivating, so the company has a target to hit, and everyone can understand how they individually make things happen.

Now while vision, mission and motivation are all part of the process, so is living up to those principles.  While it is vital to set a good target, it is just as important that you follow through with everyday actions to support the goal.  Can you imagine if this company started to hired one untalented person after another what would happen?

Years ago my home town did a face lift on the front of the downtown stores to create the illusion of new and modern.  This is a city well over a century old, so when it came time for these upgrades it was thought that new facades would be the most cost-effective way to update the city look.  And while it did look better, when a year later it was hit with a 5.5 earthquake, not only did the facades fall off, but so did the old structures.

Companies like to create facades, and it is ever-present in companies that compete with the same products and services.  They will spend bucks on new marketing materials and websites in the hopes of looking like a professional operation.  Some will create impressive bios of senior managers that look initially as a team of solid highly experienced professionals.

I was contacted by one of these companies recently as a potential client of theirs.  I was encouraged to review their website and financials and recognized four of their senior leaders from past work experience.  While I was initially impressed with what I saw online, the slick professional photos and marketing design, I fell out of love when I began to read.  The four people I knew had impressive written bios.  Now the fact that most of it was made up and the fabrication was worthy of an Oscar for the marketing department, I realized if this was a lie, what else was a lie?  I reviewed the financials and realized that the numbers were being marketed differently in their materials to look better than reality.  Not a lie, just a façade.

This company will land up being “Outrageously Unsuccessful” because they lack the talent to pull it off, and have too much ego to change.



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