There’s a line in the Bruce Springsteen classic song “Badlands” that goes: “Poor man wanna be rich/Rich man wanna be king/And a king ain’t satisfied/’Til he rules everything.”
Never being satisfied is a nice attitude, but sometimes it comes in the form of greed. That’s my interpretation of what “The Boss” is trying to say here.
The lyrics came to mind when reading our cover story this month. It’s about a company in St. Louis (I know, New Jersey would have been perfect) that’s experienced some modest growth after making some changes.
But it’s clear from the story that growth and profit aren’t first on the priority list. The company’s owners and decision makers aren’t looking to have mammoth growth. They are perfectly happy with slow and calculated growth, as long as it means the culture is still strong and they are taking on the right jobs.
They don’t want to “rule everything,” and business owners sometimes lose that focus.
Yes, you run a business to make money, but if that becomes your main focus at the expense of some other aspects of running a company, that can get you in trouble.
“Our culture is about putting the people first,” says Silas Dill, Ideal’s director of operations. “I think everybody watches the numbers with profit and all that…but at the end of the day you can’t just focus on the numbers. It’s the people who get you those numbers, so we try to put our focus on the little things we can do for them.”
Say that again: “It’s the people who get you those numbers.”
Don’t lose sight of that next time when you have a big decision to make, especially one with a lot of dollar signs in front of it. Get too focused on the dollars and you can end up on “bad” land.
Explore the November 2022 Issue
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