Successful Businesses Don’t Really Exist


“Great companies don’t really exist. What we have are great people whom collectively create successful businesses and organizations.” That was the heart of my presentation this week to our entire staff. As I tried to distill Jim Collins’ Good to Great into an hour lecture the bottom line because clear to me.


According to Collins, breakthrough organizations not only have the right people on the “bus” but also have them in the right seats. According to him, that’s one of the most important dynamics, if not the most important, in creating truly successful  businesses.

While it’s easy to talk about “the organization,” I think we easily forget that like a family, a church, a community or any social entity, a business is comprised of first and foremost of people. The more competent and dynamic the team is the more successful the organization becomes. It’s not a complicated concept.

But let’s take a step even further back. Let’s not talk about “people.” Let’s talk about “you.” If your place of employment were to be evaluated through your level of performance, how well would it rate? If the growth of your company could be directly tied to your personal and professional growth in the past year, how would that growth chart look?

It would be disingenuous of us to complain about the state of the organization we work for if we are not willing to put our own growth, performance, attitude and productivity through the same measuring protocol. Regardless of today’s accomplishments, if each individual team member is not growing, then the organization as a whole is not growing. The question then is how am I contributing to creating a successful business?

I challenged myself and my team to answer the question that I will ask you to consider:

What am I doing to become great professionally as well as personally?

  • Great post. Too often the company is thought to be great or the problem when it is actually the people. I have always thought it was responsibility and privilege to be the best at what I do to make the company better. I also think as an employee I must have a drive to become a better person and employee. This I believe is also what God desires of us.

  • What? One comment!?

    Maurilio, this is dynamite stuff. Love your quote at the top. If we want to be problem solvers we need to start w/ the man in the mirror.

  • Maurilio, Just wanted to say how much I enjoyed your presentation and the book, Good to Great. Thank you. I’m glad I’m “on the bus.” 😉 

    • Thank you for the kind words. And I’m glad you’re on the bus with us, Mary.

  • Great challenge, Mario.  Too often as inidividuals we are too good at pointing the finger at others and not doing deep personal reflection on ourselves. 

    • It’s always easy to see fault in others. Self awareness is a powerful thing.

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