In the 2006 movie “300,” King Leonidas and a small army of 300 mostly Spartan men fight against King Xerxes and the massive army of the Persian Empire in the battle of Thermopylae of 480 BC. Toward the end of the movie, the Spartans were betrayed and surrounded by the Persian army, which would ultimately result in their defeat. Before the final altercation, King Leonidas says to his betrayer, “May you live forever!”
While the phrase seems to have been used in a number of different cultures, referring to being blessed by the gods of that culture to receive immortality, another perspective of this has to do with leaving a legacy. You see, millions of people fought and died throughout time. Those that we know about, we know through history books. Essentially, their legacy will live forever – whether for good or for bad. King Leonidas and the traitor share this legacy. When we read or watch a movie about them, if we connect with them, some part of their legacy – the way they lived and died – impacts our lives.
Alternatively, there were millions whose stories we will never hear. There are people, cities, towns, settlements whose existence we will never know about…they were blotted off the face of the earth.
While we as business leaders serve our clients, should we be thinking about our legacy? Shouldn’t people remember how we faced a bad economy head on, got up every single day and did what it took to run our businesses? Shouldn’t our work be archived in the annals of the internet for all time? Shouldn’t we build businesses that live forever? Absolutely.
A friend of mine asked me why I help business leaders build extraordinary businesses. The answer is simple: by building businesses that are extraordinary, we are building businesses that:
- Possess a Natural Drive to be Industry Leaders
- Develop Game-Changing Positioning, Products and Services
- Positively Impact Their Communities
- Implement Profitable Business Practices
- Leave a Lasting Legacy
These are businesses that have the flexibility and staying power to make it through any economy. They can be “small armies” that stand up to the corporate giants of the world. They are built to last.
What makes them extraordinary is the simple fact that the business is planned to be that way. Many times, as business leaders, we simple put ideas “out to the universe,” so to speak, and hope that they will bring in more clients, more revenue and more profits. When it works once or twice, we feel that we are experts and don’t ask the questions that need to be asked, such as,
What made this successful?
Why did it work?
If I do it again, how can we do this better so that people will want to come back, again and bring their friends?
As business leaders, we cannot afford to be short-sighted and impatient. We must continually be seeking, watching, waiting and creating the best opportunities for our businesses. The law of the jungle, “eat or be eaten” applies to the business world, as well. We must live forever. We must be extraordinary.
Aepiphanni Business Consulting: The Business Strategy People is an Operations Management and Business Strategy Consulting Firm dedicated to serving the needs of small to medium sized business leaders. We specialize in helping leaders create extraordinary businesses.
We welcome clients in the personal and professional services industries, including Creative and Design Services, Software & IT Services, Professional Services and Specialty Consumer Services. As always, we welcome your comments, thoughts, questions and suggestions.
If you are seeking a business assessment, or have further questions about creating your strategy or developing your vision, please give me, Rick Meekins, a call at 678-265-3908, or email us at [email protected].