The Fortune 500 is a well-known list. It has a lot of prestige and clout. Fortune Magazine began the list in 1955 by naming the top-earning companies in the U.S.
Many things have changed since the original list. We must look at how companies are growing and shrinking. This is covered in an article by Tyler Durden from Zero Hedge. This article gave me key insights into why certain brands succeed, and others don’t.
What has changed since 1955?
This question has a million possible answers. Let’s begin with the fact the average life expectancy for a company was 75 years in 1955.
This number had dropped to 15 years by 2015. The modern digital age has made it easier for businesses to fail. It’s much harder now to start a business than when the Fortune 500 first list was published. It isn’t easy to find capital and investors. It isn’t easy to find original ideas and make an impact on an audience.
What is the secret recipe to growing companies instead of shrinking? It could be because they have a great chief executive.
It is undoubtedly related to leadership. Does it just have to do with delivering exceptional products? Yes, it’s essential to return an excellent product, but customers also choose brands because they are purpose-driven and want to do business with them. Is engagement a secret ingredient? That is also important.
Empathy is what each attribute has in joint.
Empathetic leaders have empathy and compassion for their customers and employees. Customers respond better when there are meaningful connections that are fueled by heart. Employees are more engaged when a culture encourages and supports empathy.
The Fortune 500’s Fastest Growing Employee is Empathetic!
Durden’s analysis revealed that XPO Logistics was 2017’s fastest-growing company. It experienced a compound average growth rate of (CAGR) 230 percent.
This growth can be attributed in large part to the acquisitions that were made in 2015. These purchases propelled the company to the top of the 2016 list with $7.6 million in revenue. This company used technology to revolutionize logistics and transportation. How can such a large company have adopted empathy at work?
These compelling facts about their brand lead me to believe that they do.
Their ability to deliver services is defined by technology, assets, and people. This indicates that they recognize the importance of their people in solving problems. They also call their company a company with a service-driven culture. Their business is based on customer relationships. They emphasize relationships rather than just customers.
It is also noteworthy to me the values they chose for their company. The entrepreneurial spirit is one. They have a multibillion-dollar company but never stop asking “what if?” and striving for more.
Respect is another value that they mentioned. This refers to listening to customers and employees as well as partners. Empathy is achieved by listening well.
They also value inclusion and celebrate individuality. They are proud to say they welcome all who have passions and ideas.
The company is in a rapidly changing industry as the way we transport goods has changed. With Brad Jacobs as their new owner, they have grown from a $150 million business to a strategically important company. He expanded the business into contract logistics, last-mile, and less-than-truckload (LTL). The company is now pivoting.
Rumors and murmurs have circulated recently about the company selling some of its business units to focus on the LTL market. This business’s leadership is fearless in taking risks to serve its customers better.
While I don’t know if empathy is a part of XPOs’ success, it is part of their culture.
Is Empathy a Problem for the Biggest Shrinker?
The other side of this equation is Hess, the company that suffered the most significant decline. The revenue of the oil and natural gas company fell by 58 percent. The energy industry is still very lucrative, and Hess has been in business since 1919. Although its stock has performed well, the Wall Street Journal puts that about its stake at a South American oil company. The company’s losses of billions between 2014 and 2018 led to significant selloffs and diversification.
Hess’s CEO is the son and founder of the company. Although it is a public company, the family still runs it. Hess has its company values. Some of them are similar to XPO. It is possible that revenue losses of substantial magnitude were caused by changes in the market, but it is unlikely that they are due to a lack of empathy.
Oil companies aren’t known for evoking warm fuzzy feelings from consumers. My biggest concern is that the company needs to have new perspectives. This is a result of it being run by the Hess family since its beginning. The company’s hierarchy and organizational structure may be too rigid. These are just assumptions, but one thing’s certain: Every company can benefit from empathy.
Empathy is a proven way to increase company performance. Happier employees make the company more successful. Customers feel valued, and profits increase. What are your thoughts on empathy and how it can help a company grow or shrink? Get your copy of What Do Mean People Say? to learn more. Get the visual companion guide and order now. Please visit our services which can help you develop your culture. Please find out how to book me for a presentation to your team about empathy.