The legendary Bo Burlingham, Inc. magazine's editor-at-large landed in the New York-New Jersey-Connecticut region last week with his recipe for entrepreneurial greatness. In each of our whistle-stop events in the region, Bo paved the way to a higher entrepreneurial plateau with his five "Small Giant" principles, drawn from his book of the same name.
First, great companies are run by people who are clear about who they are.
Second, great companies have a connection to the community in which they do business.
Third, great companies have intimate relationships with their customers. They talk to them, care about them and empathize with them.
Fourth, great companies treat their employees very, very well. They understand that a well-trained workforce leads to happy clients.
Fifth, great companies--and their owners--have a passion for what they do.
Bo introduced a sixth aspect of great companies--one he said he "would put in the book if I were writing it now." Great companies must have sound business models and good gross margins. In other words, before you can be a great business, you must run a smart business.
You may not know it but Bo's entrepreneurial profiles have made up many of the iconic stories inside Inc. magazine for 27 years. From Norm Brodsky to Ari Weinzweig, each of them exemplifies Bo's six-point model of greatness.
On any given Monday, it's easy to get caught up in the day-to-day of our businesses. Bo reminds us that entrepreneurship is not just a job, it's a calling. Thank you, Bo, for sharing your best ideas with the great entrepreneurial community of greater New York.
LEWIS SCHIFF is the executive director of the Inc. Business Owners Council. His latest book is Business Brilliant: Surprising Lessons From the Greatest Self-Made Business Icons.
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