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Passion, People and Principles

New Business Strategy Podcast Episode: “Practice What You Preach”

post # 146 — July 31, 2006 — a General, Strategy post

This week’s podcast episode, entitled Practice What You Preach, explores just what it is that the most successful businesses do to achieve doubled margins and doubled growth rates – appoint managers who know how to excite, enthuse and energize their people.

The podcast includes a discussion of statistical findings which yield:

  • 9 Characteristics where Successful Businesses most outperform others
  • 9 Most Important Factors for predicting financial performance

You can listen to this week’s seminar with the player shown just above this paragraph or download this episode. You can also subscribe to the podcast through my new Business Masterclass podcast page, or with iTunes, Yahoo! Podcasts or Podcast Alley .

paperback edition cover of David Maister's book, 'Practice What You Preach'

Practice What You Preach

Regular readers will have already realized that the Practice What You Preach podcast is based on my 2001 book of the same name. In the book I present the results of a study of the factors that drive financial success. Surveying 139 offices of 29 firms in 15 countries in many different lines of business, I asked a simple question: are employee attitudes correlated with financial success? The answer, as the book shows, is an unequivocal “yes!”

The podcast also draws from ideas I discuss in these 3 articles:

and these 3 previous conversations on my blog:

I’d really love to get some reactions to the podcast episode. Did you like it? Did the findings of my study match your experience?


Eric C Jaffe said:

Wow, I continue to draw parallels between the professional services firm and church. The principles outlined in your book are in many ways timeless and obviously based on the statistical data accross companies, they can work in many different settings.

Happy Workers does make a company more profitable. It’s contagious. Just look at non-profits. Passion surrounding a vision generally drives the organization. There is generally not a cash profit motive. Like a professional services firm, relationships are everything. Wow your clients, wow your congregants, and it shows you care for them. People are looking to do business with people who care for and about them. People who have their best interest at heart.

It’s the same with internal clients. If professional services firm don’t create a culture of caring, congeniality, and professionalism from the lawyer/cpa level down to the staff, then ultimately in my opinion the firm will under perform.

posted on August 1, 2006

David (Maister) said:

Yes, Eric. The parallels are increasingly clear to me as well.

Even for those who are not believers, the concepts of “belief,” “purpose” and “community” are crucial if we are to understand successful secular organizations.

posted on August 1, 2006