Vail Daily column: Traits that lead to business success |

Vail Daily column: Traits that lead to business success

Rich tenBraakVail, CO Colorado

The other day I was going through the mail at the office. You know, the “old school” type that the mailman actually delivers to you. Amid the large stack of stuff (mostly what one would refer to as junk mail) and a few bills, there was a particular piece that caught my eye. So I decided to open it and see what it was about. The name of the piece was “Network” and the article heading that caught my attention was “Piecing Together the Loyalty Puzzle.” The article is an overview and interview of a book by Bo Burlingham called “Small Giants – Companies That Choose to be Great Instead of Big.” While I have not read it, I will be turning its pages in the near future. My present reading is “The Power of Pull: How Small Moves, Smartly Made, Can Set Big Things In Motion,” by Hagel, Brown and Davison.In the article, it describes Small Giants as “a two-year journey by Burlingham to discover and explore some of the truly great companies in the United States. Business that have an innate magnetism, a mojo as Burlingham calls it, that attacks customers, makes employees hyper-loyal and connects the company to its community in very real and tangible ways.” “Small Giants” concentrates on organizations that have as few as 100 employees. They all share the same fundamentals, which relate to growth. Bigger is not always better. And all have the same five common traits:• Vision – that the leaders know what they want out of a business and why and imbue it among the employees; • Community – Not only do they have close ties to the community and give back to the community, but the community shapes the personality of the company itself.• Relationships – the companies cultivate very close personal ties with customers and supplies, not just via the CEOs. Every employee understands the value of relationships.• Employees – Employees come first even before customers. The employees generally have the direct contact to customers, and employees are not inclined to take care of other people if they don’t feel like the company is taking care of them.• Passion – Leaders loving what they do.I find it interesting that as I look out at our business community, it seems that a lot of our merchants seem to also have these same traits and understanding of what success is. To me, it also sounds a lot like the Vail Chamber & Business Association. We have some very committed leaders with passion and vision that help drive our business community while developing and maintaining relationships vital for success.This is also represented in the VCBA mission statement: “The Vail Chamber & Business Association is to responsibly and professionally serve in an advocacy, economic development, and communication capacity for the Vail merchant community that will foster strong collaborative relationationships and revenue development opportunities for its membership.”We do this through a spirit of cooperation, collaboration and communication.If you are not already a member, I encourage you to speak to us and hear about how the VCBA can help and support your business. To find out more about the VCBA and the many programs we are involved in, and the many benefits available to you, stop by our office or our website: Vail Chamber & Business Association is the leading business advocacy group in Vail and is a communications outlet for businesses that want to have a voice in community affairs. If you are interested in finding out more about the Vail Chamber and what it has to offer, please contact us at 970-477-0075 or e-mail Based in Vail Village, our office is located in the transportation center and our doors are open Monday through Friday from 9 AM to 5 PM. Stop by and say hello!Richard tenBraak is executive director of the Vail Chamber & Business Association

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