We talk a lot about "unveiling greatness." So much so that "unveil your greatness" seems to have become our official slogan. You'll see the phrase written on our office walls and throughout our company website. We love the phrase so much because it represents at least two of our core beliefs. One, that each and every company has something great waiting to be unveiled. Two, that we can help them to unveil it.
I believe there are 8 ways in which any company can begin to unveil their greatness starting today.
1 - Identify your brand personality
Everyone has a personality, and so do companies and brands. Is your company personality more laid-back and friendly, or more corporate and professional? is it more cutting edge or established, fun or serious? Identifying your company personality is one of the key ways to gain insight into how others perceive you, how to make the most appropriate decisions, and how best to communicate with others.
2 - Be authentic
Being authentic as a company means being honest about things like the true nature of your brand personality. Who you are, how others see you, and how you desperately want to be seen can be very different things at times, and can lead companies down a dangerous path of inauthenticity. Only authentic companies have an ability to become great ones, and simply learning to embrace authenticity in small ways can lead to long-term unveiling of greatness.
3 - Think about your company culture.
Just starting to think about company culture will lead to small insights and awareness that can help to unveil greatness. A lot of big companies feel they are too burdened down with pressing business goals and day to day organizational issues to put any real thought or attention into something as seemingly insignificant as company culture. But company culture is a lot like brand personality—it's forming and defining itself whether you participate in it or not. That culture will either strengthen your greatness or weaken it. And once it's formed it's difficult to change. Simply taking the time to acknowledge this, will eventually initiate actions that can help to unveil your greatness.
4 - Be willing to make some changes
I wanted to title this one as "reinvent yourself" but then felt it was a little too drastic. You don't need to reinvent your company in order to unveil greatness, but you do need to be willing to make some changes. For example, when I did my own personality exploration, I realized that although I'm more fun and friendly—as opposed to serious and corporate—I'm also more upscale than "accessible to all." In order to communicate this, I needed to make some changes in the way people perceived me. So I updated my wardrobe. As a company, you might need to update your own digital wardrobe or the way you communicate with employees and customers. Being willing to make those kinds of changes is what will lead to your unveiling.
5 - Be patient
It's difficult to see the value in patients when the business world seems to move faster and faster and the pressures to perform become greater and greater. But no great company became that way overnight, and many more mistakes and blunders have been made by moving too quickly than by taking the time to do things right—with consciences and integrity. Patience can mean taking the necessary time to slow down, take a step back, and reassess what you've been doing all these years. Patience can also mean making changes and then giving those changes the time they need to actually unveil the greatness they have to offer.
6 - Take accountability
Taking accountability is about being honest about those things you aren't actually great at. Not every company can be great at innovation, and not every company needs to be. Some companies have great products with crummy names that cover up and hide their true greatness. Being able to say "we did this wrong" or "you know, this isn't that great and everyone actually knows it" is really one of the most powerful ways any company can begin to authentically unveil their greatness.
7 - Ask others to ask others what they think of you
Yes, that's correct. If you want to unveil your greatness you need to know what others think of the things you've been doing. I know if I ask my friends what they think of me, they are likely to say many kind things—because they are my friends and they love me. Internally survey employees and you're likely to get a lot of lip service. Companies get better feedback when they use outside people to do the asking because it creates a greater sense of comfort and helps eliminate the fear of being reprimanded for any less-than-glorious feedback.
8 - Believe in the power of belief
If you don't believe you can eventually do something, then you'll never even try. And if you don't try, then you'll never do. I could never do handstands until I started to believe that it was possible. That possibility led to trying, and the trying to doing. Companies that want to unveil their greatness simply need to start with a belief that greatness can indeed be unveiled, over time, with continuous effort.
Authentic greatness is already in you, your people and your company. By building awareness and taking action—like reading this article—the unveiling will be put into a motion that will build momentum and strength simply by continuing to give it time and attention.