Over the past 40-plus years, I've had the delightful opportunity--and sometimes not quite so delightful--to work with and transform the lives and companies of literally tens of thousands of small business owners throughout the world.
In doing so, I introduce them to a seemingly unique paradigm, or point of view, about why most small companies--and big companies, too--don't work, and what to do about it.
I say "seemingly" because what I have taught my millions of readers, and my tens of thousands of business clients, isn't truly unique, once you dig down into it.
It's the coin of the realm for anyone who truly understands what goes wrong and why in most companies on the face of this planet.
What goes wrong is simple: there's nothing right about most of them.
And, if there's nothing right about most of them, then how can they help but go wrong?
What do I mean by "right"?
I mean righteous.
Which means: "Virtuous, fine and genuine."
Like Disneyland is.
Or like Apple was. (It still might be, but the jury's still out on that one).
Or like Walmart is.
And, despite what most would say, like McDonald's is.
Now, understand, what I mean when I say that isn't that I believe in what Disneyland or Apple or Walmart or McDonald's sells.
That's not where the word righteous comes in.
Instead, it's how congruent the entire enterprise is with what it committed itself to accomplish from the very beginning.
Congruent is an important word here.
If we look at most companies today, they are not in congruence with what their founders committed themselves and their businesses to do and become at the outset--if they had made any such commitment at all.
Far from it.
Which essentially says, incongruence is the seedbed of unrighteous outcomes.
Isn't that what's true about most small companies, large companies, states, countries, etc.?
Mostly incongruence reveals itself as chaos.
Which, as you all know only too well, is what everybody ends up arguing about: the chaos.
Unfortunately, we end up arguing about the politics of it, not the truth of it.
Because, when you get right down to it, there's nothing to argue about at all.
Other than our lack of consistency, our lack of righteousness, our lack of congruence with the noble and righteous outcomes we intended to produce.
Which leads everyone within the system to posture and point and protest that they aren't being treated fairly or well enough.
When exactly the opposite is true.
As the old saying goes, the fish stinks from the head down.
In a republic, the fish are us, not them.
Which goes on to say that in each and every case--whether a business, or a city, or a state, or a country--it isn't the fault of the institution at all.
It's that none of us have taken personal responsibility for our own role in the enterprise.
Our own outcomes, our own willingness to take what a couple of great U.S. Navy Seals wrote about in their recent book, EXTREME OWNERSHIP -which says that if it's broke, you and I own it!
At least with McDonald's, when they say it's a Big Mac, it IS a Big Mac--In over 35,000 stores worldwide!
Ray Kroc made sure that they did.
At least at Disneyland when they tell me it's Mickey, it IS Mickey, and no other mouse by any other name will do.
Walt Disney made sure that they did.
So, what's your Big Mac?
And, what's your Mickey?
Because you own it! Whatever it is.