The castles of medieval Europe, the temples of ancient Greece, the Great Wall of China, the pyramids of ancient Egypt – these structures from all over the world captivate us with their awe-inspiring majesty, some centuries after they were constructed. These magnificent structures include cathedrals, bridges, pyramids, towers and more. The one element that these amazing creations have in common is that they all rest on a solid foundation. And the integrity of every foundation depends on its four cornerstones.
*Are your four cornerstones stable and strong enough to support your business for centuries to come?
*Do you need to spend a little time shoring them up to support the foundation of the business you want to build for the future?
The Four Cornerstones
The foundation of a great business is only as strong as its four cornerstones. Often businesses are thought of as single entities that must do one thing well to succeed. Just as a building with only one cornerstone would collapse, a business cannot succeed with only one cornerstone, no matter how strong. There must be four elements in a business’ foundation: Me, We, Do and Be.
The Me Cornerstone
Building the Me cornerstone of a business means building knowledge and wisdom. This includes listening, learning and carefully choosing the direction your business is going to go. It is important to take time to reflect on the mission of the company and develop a workable plan for each day. The signs of a strong Me cornerstone are that everyone in the company is continually learning, they know why they are doing the work that they are doing and they see their contribution as a service to a greater cause.
The We Cornerstone
When you are building the We cornerstone, you are building relationships. It is in this section that the business develops culturally, sociologically and influentially. This means showing appreciation to staff, vendors and customers who make the business run. A strong We cornerstone is obvious when your team is energetic and creative and embraces each member’s unique style.
The Do Cornerstone
While developing the Do cornerstone, you build productivity. It includes the physical, financial and environmental aspects of the business. The Do cornerstone means adding value to the company, customers and clients, and producing quality products and services. A strong Do cornerstone is evident by staying healthy, adding value, managing a budget and maintaining a neat and organized space.
The Be Cornerstone
The Be cornerstone is where you build the future of your business. This is where you develop goals, manage your time and document achievements. It is with this cornerstone that you contribute to building something bigger than yourself and your day-to-day work. A strong Be cornerstone includes clearly stated goals, timely execution of those goals and a keen sense of why and what was done in between to get there.
You must find a balance among these four essential cornerstones to build a successful and sustainable business.
- Do not get stuck in the Me cornerstone, only acting based on your own thoughts and feelings.
- Do not get stuck in the We cornerstone, letting your business become a social gathering without producing or contributing to anything greater than survival of the business.
- Do not get stuck in the Do cornerstone, focusing on productivity at the expense of wisdom, connection, and legacy.
- Do not get stuck in the Be cornerstone, accomplishing little besides attempting to preserve your own legacy.
For success in the long run, all four cornerstones must be solidly in place to support the foundation of a great business. The slow and arduous process of building each of the Me, We, Do and Be cornerstones is not glorious and often goes unnoticed, but it will support, balance and solidify the foundation of your business, upon which you can build a stable, healthy and prosperous future.