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Top 5 Most Respected Company Attributes

June 26, 2012

This week’s Barron’s lists the 100 most respected companies and Apple, IBM, McDonald’s, Amazon.com and Caterpillar were the top five.

 

It is an impressive list and most of the names are easily recognized.  The article listed the top five attributes that inspire respect and in order of ranking, they are:

  • – Strong management
  • – Sound business strategy
  • – Ethical business practices
  • – Competitive edge
  • – Revenue and profit growth

The latter was not rated as highly as the others which indicates that respect comes more from the way business is conducted rather than by the results.

 

This list got me thinking about the many businesses that strive for success but don’t quite make it… Some with the owners looking to external events that caused their failure rather than from within.  The first three are definitely internal; the fourth is what makes the company better in relation to their competition and rises from a strong business raison d’être.

 

Developing a plan and executing it are essential, but I know many business people that start out only with a vague idea of where they want to go, and even less of an idea how to get there.  Ethics should be like air, always there, but it takes a strong will to adhere to the highest standards of morality and good sense under the press of the myriad of daily decisions that need to be made.  Wishes do not translate into a clear product or service differentiation, and the unambiguous communication of that edge is vital.  Profits and revenue growth may not be the highest criteria for respect, but not many businesses will survive without profits and some growth.

 

These surveys are interesting and provide insights into key elements of successful businesses.  I suggest reviewing these attributes and measuring your business or not-for-profit organization against them to see if you need to improve yourself in any of these areas.

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