Tradition says there are three ways to grow a company’s profits: Fire up the sales team with empty promises, cut costs and downsize, or cook the books. But what if there’s a better way—a way that nine amazingly profitable and well-run companies are already embracing?
Jason Jennings and his research team screened more than 100,000 American companies to find nine that rarely end up on magazine covers, yet have increased revenues and profits by ten percent or more for ten consecutive years. Then they interviewed the leaders, workers, and customers of these quiet superstars to find the secrets of their astoundingly consistent and profitable growth.
What they have in common is a culture—a community—based on a shockingly simple precept: Think big, but act small. It works for retailers like PETCO, Cabela’s, and O’Reilly Automotive, manufacturers like Medline Industries, service companies like Sonic Drive-In, private educational companies like Strayer, industrial giants like Koch Enterprises, and software companies like SAS.
These companies think big ideas about solving customers’ problems, making better products, and creating value. And yet they never stop acting like start-ups—staying humble, treating every employee like the owner, and teaching managers to get their hands dirty.