Creating a Sustainable Environment

All things are growing or dying

No living thing ever reaches a stage of development where they no longer change. They are either growing or they are dying. Staying alive takes energy and it takes having the right environment and the correct intake.

Your business is the same. It is either growing or going away. There are no resting places in business. Growing and sustaining a business takes two things:

 Leadership, and


Leadership and Management


Leadership is determining what the “First Things” are. It is the vision function that guides the company in the direction of growth. It determines what the needs are and how to meet them. It creates and changes the environment when it is needed for survival.

Other Focused Environment

Focusing just on yourself is deadly. Leadership must always focus first on the customer’s experience and then on the employees. Sam Walton is noted for saying that the customer is the only person who can fire everyone. Leadership must begin with acknowledging that how they serve the customer ultimately determines the ability of the company to sustain and grow. They must always know how things are going with their customer base.

Where to begin

 Begin with the outcome in mind.

 Accept what you don’t have control over.

 Identify proactive people.

 Create an environment where people know what they do makes a difference.

 It’s not about you. It’s about the organization.

 Do not yield control – you are the captain and the business will go where you direct.


Management is making sure that “First Things” are first. Management is the day-to-day hands on the pulse of the company. It manages the vision and direction of the company. It creates the working environment that determines the customer experience. It creates outcomes that allow the performance to be measured and then it monitors those outcomes. Above all else, it must create an environment that allows the staff to function at their highest level. On a daily basis management would monitor:

 What’s working?

 Where are we coming up short?

 What resources do we need to improve performance?

 How are the staff performing?

Keeping the Main Thing the Main Thing

I had a manager once that told me this: “The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing.” The main thing could be as simple as we get the part to the customer on time and as described every time. To do this every manager needs great employees and needs to know how to motivate each employee.

I suggest you start here:

It Is Never About You

– Don’t start with you. Instead start with the employee. Listen to what the employees work life is like. Have empathy

– Build on the strengths of each individual on the team. Make the team greater than the sum of the individual strengths.

Develop Trust. It Is Easier To Grow and To Solve Conflict When There Is Trust

 Trust is the highest form of human motivation.

 Integrity is the trust we place in ourselves.

 It’s not about you. It’s about the organization.

Seek Win/Win Situations

 Create mutually beneficial outcomes.

 Reward win/win behavior among employees. Do not reward win/lose behavior.

Win/Win Agreements

 Desired Results – what is to be done?

 Guidelines – specify the principles and policies under which the work is to be done.

 Resources – human, technical and organizational

 Accountability – standards of performance

 Consequences – what happens as a result of performance?

A Couple of Things

1. Accept failure.  If you don’t you will never be successful. You don’t have to like it, but you do have to understand it and build from it. We would never have had electricity, flights, internet, etc., if those involved in their creation had quit because they failed.

2. Good people are your most valuable asset. Never stop looking for good people and never stop investing in good people. They are gold.

 Robert Counts     Chad Counts    Johnny Logel


Robert Counts,; 512-693-6915

Chad Counts,; 512-963-4626