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The Three-Legged Stool

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In business, there are basic principles necessary to reach and sustain long-term success. Without adherence to these basic principles, it will be difficult for your business to succeed.

An analogy for those principles would be a three-legged stool. To thrive and grow in today’s business environment, organizations need three “legs:”

1. Loyal, nearly “evangelical” customers

2. Eager, enthusiastic employees

3. A strong organization with continued financial success

Without one of these three legs, the business will eventually fail, just like a three-legged stool with a broken leg.


Let’s start with the customer – one very important leg of the stool. The most consistently successful organizations cultivate customer evangelists and move customers to increasingly larger purchases. Your goal is to create loyal customers who tell their friends about your business. To do this, employees and teams must know how to deliver value to every customer every day.


Great organizations are made up of great leaders, where employees take personal responsibility for the team’s success, their influence on the customer, and their impact on one another. A team is simply a group of leaders, each with different responsibilities.

To create those leaders, you’ll need to build and develop teams of individuals who can deliver value day in and day out.

Ongoing professional development helps each employee understand the need to take personal responsibility for their team’s success, their influence on the customer, and their impact on one another.

Let’s face it, an unhappy employee will never create a happy customer.


With satisfied customers and skilled, dedicated employees, you have two of the three legs of the stool. The final leg is the organization. The best way to ensure ongoing financial success is to support the other two legs. Invest in training and developing managers to arm them with the skills that consistently improve individual and organizational performance. In turn, you will create happy, repeat customers. This will benefit the customers, the employees, and the organization.


Well-managed companies create more value for their customers and, in doing so, create happy customers who are eager to tell all their friends what a great product or service you and your team provide.

As a manager, what are you doing every day to strengthen and reinforce the positive values that keep your team focused on the customer?

Am I consistently helping my people exceed customer expectations?
Am I developing people who work diligently to succeed for the customer, their teammates, themselves, and the organization?

With all three stool legs intact, the organization will thrive and grow.

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