Excerpts from Enseer's
founding speeches (10–12 Sept 2003)
given by Mr Arthur Cunningham
As the leader of Enseer, at the heart of my universe, there are two old fashioned and simple principles that I abide by in business. They are to be ‘Morally Good’ and ‘Financially Successful’. In business it is not enough to be thought of as being good. You actually have to be good! And, the secret to being good is simple: ‘Never compromise integrity to succeed’.
If ever you break this rule, you will weaken the ethos of your business. This will not only hasten the next ‘integrity challenging moment’ in your business, but it will also increase the likelihood of you further compromising your integrity in a bid to succeed.
Ultimately, if this lowering of integrity is allowed to continue, it will snowball until you will face either becoming criminal or folding the business.
Over the last 10 years news broadcasts have been littered with companies that compromised their integrity to the point of becoming criminal. It is not that these companies were run by unqualified people – they were full of highly qualified and skilled business people. Their demise was simply due to the fact that they compromised integrity in a bid to become more profitable.
As I say, “You can have all the talents and qualifications in the world, but if you don’t have the integrity and virtues to balance them, you are nothing but an educated crook.”
However, the more you adhere to doing right at every point in your business, the better you become at doing "REAL" business, and the stronger your business’s ethos will become.
It is by the leader of your business calling for ethical business practices that the management team and staff develop real business skills; and real business skills enable your company to do bigger and better business.
My experience in business flies in the face of the old adage, “Nothing good lasts forever”. On the contrary, I have proven in business that nothing bad lasts forever, and “Only things that are good and true have qualities and attributes to last forever”.
Now for the other half of the equation. “Success”.
I say, “You can have all the integrity and virtues in the world, but if you don’t know how to lead your business and how to continuously make lots of money, you will be nothing but a lovely failure.”
Defining what is ‘Success’ is sometimes the most controversial definition in business. In some businesses it all depends which department you ask. For others, it is just being able to say that they are still in business.
I have even heard one corporation count themselves successful, because they did better than their opposition over the last 12-months.
However, my method of measuring business success is simple: How much have you expanded your business and increased your revenue over any given period of time! Having said that, the trick is ‘how’ to get your business to continuously grow and to have increasing revenue over any given period of time? Or, to put that in very simple terms, you have to know the answer to these two questions at any given point in time:
1. How do you grow now, and grow much more later?
2. How do you make lots of money now, and lots more money later?
My answer is: “Leadership, Leadership, Leadership, it all starts with Good Leadership!” As important as it is to have the right structures, systems and staff in place, nowadays there is increasing responsibilities being placed upon the ‘head leader’ to lead all the other leaders within the business to such success.
In today’s business world, the head leader must be able to lead their organisation to design and run a business system that, on the one hand, is both stable and versatile, and on the other hand is both progressive and aggressive – constantly increasing the flow of its revenue streams.
Therefore, to be a successful leader today, I believe you must be able to combine two very different, but ultimately complementary attributes throughout your ranks: Business ‘Leadership’; with ‘Entrepreneurial’ skills, while remaining at the helm.
In many respects, I equate the dynamics of these attributes to those found in the art of rock-climbing; in that, you hold on firmly with one hand, while you reach out freely with the other. In other words, to be effective in business, you have to:
• Maintain your existing core business momentum and growth within your current markets and regions.
• Design and run new high-speed business ventures (usually I advise either taking your core products into new markets or regions, or running new products within your current market or regions, in order to keep the risk factors low).
The secret here is that these new ventures must start ‘As Small As Possible’ and grow ‘As Fast As Possible’.
. . . . As I mentioned before, throughout the world during the last 10 years we have seen the futility of incorporating unethical and illegal practices in business.
. . . . I also believe that if leaders in the business world don’t take a hard-line against unethical and illegal business practices, we will see worse practices causing greater ills. This will lose the confidence of the public sector, and thus risk losing shareholder’s capital – weakening the stock market and the money markets, hurting our economy to the point where we lose our current standard of living.
I believe that if we are going to advance as a civilisation and increase our global population, we are going to need to raise and strengthen diverse economies throughout the world.
This will not be done by soldiers, nor by politicians, but I believe that it will be done by good and successful businesses. In fact I believe that the quicker we raise diverse economies throughout the world, the quicker the world will resolve many of its bigger problems.
My personal vision for business is based on:
better businesses = better economies;
better economies = better standards of living;
better standards of living = Better businesses.