This month I visited Konstanz in Germany to attend the Small Giants International Summit. What an awesome event! One of the best opportunities I’ve had to meet some inspirational business leaders, share ideas and exchange experiences.
The Small Giants community is all about bringing together people who are determined to be the best at what they do. People who have a sense of purpose and who choose to pursue goals that are not always linked to revenue or expansion.
At the summit we had 55 attendees from 12 different countries, we shared some of our greatest challenges, discussed critical decisions needing immediate attention and looked back on some our most difficult experiences. The overall intimacy of the conference and general family atmosphere helped create friendships that I am sure will endure for many years to come.
I got involved in the community 18 months ago when I read the book Small Giants – Companies that Choose to be Great Instead of Big by Bo Burlingham. It was such a great book that I started looking for other people with the same kind of thinking and came across the Small Giants Community.
Small Giants is a community of small business leaders, created by Paul Spiegelman (author of Why is Everyone Smiling?), who define success as more than just their financial bottom lines, but also by their contributions to their communities, dedication to great customer service and the creation and preservation of workplace cultures of excellence.
So, what makes a Small Giant? Well here are the six factors that Small Giants have in common:
- The Vision or Leader Factor – They have a very clear idea of who they are, what they want out of their business and why;
- The Community Factor – they are rooted in the communities in which they operate;
- The Customer / Supplier Factor – they have a personal tie or connection to their suppliers and customers;
- The Employee Factor – the customer comes second, employees come first. You first have to engage your employees. They are the front lines of service. If your employees are unhappy, your customers won’t be treated well;
- The Passion Factor – the owner/leaders are in love with their companies and what they do;
- The Missing (Margin) Factor – all companies had a sound business model. Volume and revenue are not everything.
If you are interested in reading Bo’s book check out the Small Giants Book website.