Close this search box.
Close this search box.

6 Secrets to Building a Company for the Long-Term

The most innovative CEOs look to build their companies for the long-term. To have a company that will last 100 years, you must be obsessive about your culture, your reputation and promoting from within.

Building a business that lasts requires having a well-defined company culture. Many business leaders don’t focus enough on developing their business culture. A defined company culture can improve employee engagement and increase your bottom line. Consider John Scumniotales, CEO and president of software corporation Verdiem. According to Seattle Business magazine, after Scumniotales redefined his company’s culture in 2011, he found that employee morale was at an all-time high, and each employee felt a greater sense of accountability. Their sales have increased and their team has been able to develop and improve products at a faster rate. Their customer satisfaction rate is up and their revenues increased by 30% compared to the previous year.

Here are 6 secrets to giving your company more staying power.

1) Don’t just develop your mission statement, communicate it throughout your entire organization and make sure everyone understands it. A vision that is internally adopted will empower employees to drive your company forward. Get everyone on board to achieve your goals.

2) Collaboration is essential. An environment that invites collaborative efforts allows everyone to be hands-on, and to have a stake in the business. Cisco executive, and co-author of ‘The Collaboration Imperative’, Carl Wiese, says that establishing programs that develop your team and allows each individual’s talents and temperaments to shine is important. Breaking your employees out of their strident managerial/employee roles and allowing for collaboration is a great way to hear new ideas and look at the business from different angles.

3) Be self-disruptive. Take risks to ensure your product or service stays relevant to meet the constantly changing needs and desires of today’s customers. Push yourself and your team to change course as needed to stay up-to-date. As Cynthia Tidwell, the president and CEO of Royal Neighbors told Inc. magazine, “If you always do what you’ve always done, you are not going to reach your potential.”

4) Be willing to ask for help. As your company grows, you will be faced with making hard, and sometimes fast, decisions. Over time, the challenges also become bigger. Remember that although the CEO is at the top, he or she does not need to be alone. Develop your mindset to always seek out help. Look for those who can teach you, and don’t be afraid to ask for advice. This is where CEO kitchen cabinets and peer groups come in very handy. React quickly; don’t let pride hold you back.

5) Own and lead your culture. Your company’s culture comes from you and it’s one of the most important things you can develop, says Lars Dalgaard, former board member at SAP, said in an Andreessan Horowitz podcast. Your culture defines how you want your company to do business, and how you want your staff to behave toward customers and each other. Decide on meaningful and relatable values. Write them down. Post them everywhere.

6) Review your board annually. Look to those who really care about your company and want to help you but who can still be 100% independent. Choosing outsiders can help you develop new strategies and see new angles.

Implementing these 6 tips can help you grow—personally and professionally—to a higher level and help your company stay in the game for the long term.v


  • Get the CEO Briefing

    Sign up today to get weekly access to the latest issues affecting CEOs in every industry
  • upcoming events


    Strategic Planning Workshop

    1:00 - 5:00 pm

    Over 70% of Executives Surveyed Agree: Many Strategic Planning Efforts Lack Systematic Approach Tips for Enhancing Your Strategic Planning Process

    Executives expressed frustration with their current strategic planning process. Issues include:

    1. Lack of systematic approach (70%)
    2. Laundry lists without prioritization (68%)
    3. Decisions based on personalities rather than facts and information (65%)


    Steve Rutan and Denise Harrison have put together an afternoon workshop that will provide the tools you need to address these concerns.  They have worked with hundreds of executives to develop a systematic approach that will enable your team to make better decisions during strategic planning.  Steve and Denise will walk you through exercises for prioritizing your lists and steps that will reset and reinvigorate your process.  This will be a hands-on workshop that will enable you to think about your business as you use the tools that are being presented.  If you are ready for a Strategic Planning tune-up, select this workshop in your registration form.  The additional fee of $695 will be added to your total.

    To sign up, select this option in your registration form. Additional fee of $695 will be added to your total.

    New York, NY: ​​​Chief Executive's Corporate Citizenship Awards 2017

    Women in Leadership Seminar and Peer Discussion

    2:00 - 5:00 pm

    Female leaders face the same issues all leaders do, but they often face additional challenges too. In this peer session, we will facilitate a discussion of best practices and how to overcome common barriers to help women leaders be more effective within and outside their organizations. 

    Limited space available.

    To sign up, select this option in your registration form. Additional fee of $495 will be added to your total.

    Golf Outing

    10:30 - 5:00 pm
    General’s Retreat at Hermitage Golf Course
    Sponsored by UBS

    General’s Retreat, built in 1986 with architect Gary Roger Baird, has been voted the “Best Golf Course in Nashville” and is a “must play” when visiting the Nashville, Tennessee area. With the beautiful setting along the Cumberland River, golfers of all capabilities will thoroughly enjoy the golf, scenery and hospitality.

    The golf outing fee includes transportation to and from the hotel, greens/cart fees, use of practice facilities, and boxed lunch. The bus will leave the hotel at 10:30 am for a noon shotgun start and return to the hotel after the cocktail reception following the completion of the round.

    To sign up, select this option in your registration form. Additional fee of $295 will be added to your total.