PEOPLE OFTEN COMPLAIN that companies only worry about the current quarter, or even the current week.

I don’t care if you’re a one-person business, or a billion dollar mega-corporation. You care that the business is going to survive. For years, decades, even forever.

As a leader, your role is to plan for that future, to lay the groundwork and structure for enduring success. So don’t complain about the shortsightedness of the stock market, or the regulators, or your boss. It doesn’t help.

The business basics for long term success are straightforward.

  • Deliver what customers are willing to pay for, now and in the future.
  • Treat customers in a way that they’ll come back and send others to you.
  • Lead the way that employees need, now and in the future.
  • Treat employees in a way that they’ll stick around, be highly productive, and deliver the results you need.
  • Create and maintain enduring partnerships which add true value to everyone.

You get the idea: start with what you need today, then project that forward. What will your customers need five years from now? I have no idea, and you may not either. But you CAN create processes to keep the organization attuned to the ever-changing customer need.  At all levels.

Likewise, you don’t know that employees will need the same thing in five years. So you invest in time-tested leadership practices and creating a culture which reinforces the values the company needs.

So what are YOU doing to lay the groundwork for enduring success?