We’ve been fortunate to give dozens of talks to business-owner groups on EOS® and the idea of a “Business Operating System.” The talk starts like this:

“I’m going to ask you seven questions. As you hear each one, if your answer is ‘yes,’ please stand up and stay standing.”

We’ve done this for well over 500 business owners, and we’ve never gotten past Question 3 without having everyone in the room on their feet.

Here are those first three questions:

  • Do you wish your business was growing faster?
  • Do you wish it was making more money?
  • Do you wish you were having more fun running it every day?

When we ask owners what they want from their business, these are the things they talk about most often. It might be a little different for you, but this captures a lot of it.

Whatever you want from your business, here are two things we know:

  • The number of owners who are truly getting what they want from their business is incredibly small. Again, 500+ owners, 3 questions, everyone on their feet. So, if your business isn’t growing as fast as you want, isn’t as profitable as you want or isn’t as much fun as you want, please know that just makes you normal.
  • You don’t have to settle for normal. You can choose to be exceptional.

Great companies—the ones that consistently outperform their competitors—follow a remarkably consistent formula. Here’s what they do, and please note that these are the things we asked you about in our Business Self-Assessment:

  • Their core business Strategy (what we do, who we do it for, why they should choose us, how we deliver on it) is strong and puts them on a solid economic footing.
  • They are aligned around a clear, compelling Vision of what kind of business they want to build on top of that strategy.
  • They practice clear, singular Accountability; everyone knows who is accountable for what.
  • They know what critical things have to get done day-in and day-out in order to keep their business running well. They create accountability for those things, get them done routinely and manage by exception.
  • They identify and prioritize the key projects that will turn the business they’re running today into the business they envision; they create accountability for those projects and get them done.
  • They have a culture of openness, honesty, humility, vulnerability and trust; they speak the absolute truth TO each other in the meeting instead of ABOUT each other at the water cooler.
  • They get much more from their people than other companies do by creating an environment that engages their hearts and minds, not just their hands. The hallmark of these companies is that employee turnover is low, even when people could make more money elsewhere.

That’s the formula. It’s what we help business owners bring to life in their companies every day—and it works. When companies start to run this way, they calm down, speed up, grow faster, become more profitable and become great places to work.

In separate posts, we’ll go into each element of the formula in depth. If you’re here because you completed our Self-Assessment Survey, we’ll be sending those posts to you. If not, or if you’d just like to move faster, click here and we’ll get you started on the path to greatness.