One Word Wows

Strategy. Structure. People. Team. Feedback. Leadership. Habits. Focus. Culture. Succession. Ego. Change. These single-word themes are the imperatives for growth in any organization, but especially for the smaller business. As founders, business owners and CEOs wrestle with driving growth and value in their companies, they often find that one of these themes made a significant impact on their future. Simple thought-starters are listed below for each word. Do any resonate with you? Tell us your story today.

Strategy – Owners and senior executives often wince at the need for doing any type of strategic planning, yet without strategy there cannot be execution. Strategy is destination and direction. Tell us how clarifying your company’s strategy – or developing a brand new one – opened opportunities that resulted in growth.

Structure – Structure is really foundation, and without a solid foundation, a business cannot expect to grow.  Structure can involve policies, procedures and a return to the fundamentals. Structure can also mean restructure as in aligning people in the right jobs, adding necessary resources to your team, or “pruning” resources that didn’t meet your expectations. Tell us how a revitalized structure helped your organization.

People – No organization can function without human resources, yet the issue of finding and keeping good talent is on every business owner and executive’s mind these days. Do you have a great “people story” that made a big difference in your organization?

Team – Of course, very related to “people” as above, but with a different twist. Corny as it may sound, team really does mean Together Everyone Achieves More. Key managers and resources need to be aligned and energized around a unified vision in order to propel growth. Developing a great team can be challenging. If team has an impact on your organization’s success, tell us about it.

Feedback – It’s often been said that “feedback is a gift.” Yet, for many business owners and CEOs, purposely and consistently seeking feedback from employees, customers, suppliers and advisors can seem daunting. Tell us how using feedback made a positive impact on your business.

Leadership – Great leaders know that leadership isn’t a title; it’s a way of behaving that results in people actually wanting to follow you. The best leaders also actively work at being good leaders. Companies with great leaders reap tremendous rewards in terms of revenues, profit, and value to their stakeholders. Has leadership helped drive your company’s success? Tell us your story.

Habits – All people have good habits and bad habits.  We all know bad habits are hard to break and good habits are equally difficult to adopt. Successful business owners often learn that one habit change can result in significant positive impact. Did you develop a good one, or shed a bad one, that made a difference in your organization?

Focus – Perhaps the single most important theme in business, “focus” can be very elusive. Especially for founders and entrepreneurs, the very thought of diminishing distraction can be scary. Yet, without a clear leadership focus on a company mission and its execution, employees become frustrated and unproductive. In addition, not establishing a clear focus on a company’s market, its target customers and its messages can spell disaster and lead to decline. How has adopting the “lesson of the laser” helped your company grow?

Succession – For many business owners, thinking about their exit strategy is something they put off as long as they can. Focusing on the day to day is much more comfortable than thinking about bench strength in their management teams and building a succession plan that can insure the company’s future. For family businesses, this can often be especially daunting as the first generation (or the second) is reluctant to give up its leadership reins to the next generation. If you’ve developed a succession strategy that provides a clear future vision, share it with us.

Ego – Healthy egos are important for exuding confidence with employees, customers and other stakeholders. Unhealthy egos, however, can have disastrous results for an organization. Egos can also get in the way of making the right changes for your organization. Egos can also be responsible for holding onto a bad idea (or product, or service, or employee) for too long or straining important relationships. If you or someone in your organization had an “ego makeover” tell us about it.

Change – It’s been said that there cannot be growth without change, yet embracing change can be difficult for business owners and leaders. Not all change needs to be significant in order to have impact, as even a small incremental change in a policy or structure or market focus can reap significant results. What did you change in your business that a made a real difference?

If you have something to share on any of these One Word Wows, comment us below, or if you have a one word contribution, email it to us today at

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