I had the privilege of speaking with Glenn Burr, the First Officer of Mojo for the Small Giants Community.
What exactly does the “First Officer of Mojo” do, you ask?
Glenn oversees program development, editorial, member management, social media and strategic planning for Small Giants. Glenn enjoys doing whatever he can to make his part of the world a better place.
You can also find him matching wits with his rescue mutt (Romeo), writing, rugby and dabbling in the tuba.
Edoc: What’s the premise that Small Giants was founded on, and why should people tune in to the learn more about it?
GB: When the Community was founded, there wasn’t really any type of collaborative space or champion for business owners that defined their businesses by a consistent set of qualities and values. (Which I’ll mention pretty soon.) You could find some things being done around being a “Great Place to Work” or “Best Place to Work,” but nothing with that underlying foundation you could look at and go, “Yep. I believe in those things and it is how I run my business. How can I build relationships with people like me?”
We wanted to help those businesses that did have that foundation find and support each other across industry, geographic and cultural lines so that they could enjoy experiences and practices not typically available to them.
Edoc: Great. Since we are bringing the community to Cincinnati, how would you explain Small Giants to a business leader who has never heard of it before?
GB: As Bo Burlingham (The author of Small Giants) would say (and I’m dramatically paraphrasing), “Small Giants are companies with ‘mojo’. The kind of companies who you tell your friends about and wear their t-shirt because you love who they are and how they make you feel when you do business with them.”
Slightly more conventionally, they’re businesses that define their work by the six qualities that Bo observed in the companies featured in Small Giants. Those qualities are:
- LEADERSHIP – Company leaders know who they are, what they want out of business, and why.
- COMMUNITY – The Company is deeply rooted in the communities in which they do business.
- RELATIONSHIPS – All Company members maintain close, personal ties with customers, suppliers and each other.
- CULTURE – The Company encourages a friendly and collaborative culture, based on caring for people in the totality of their lives.
- PASSION – All Company leaders have a burning passion for what the company does.
- PROFIT – The Company has a sound business model, a healthy balance sheet, and a steady gross margin which it protects.
The Community itself is a place where the practices of companies that relate to these qualities can be exchanged, explored and expounded upon in a highly collaborative manner. (That’s a lot of “exes”. Good thing I’m in Texas.)
Because of the consistent value set, the barriers to having a conversation of value with someone in a different industry, business lifecycle, continent, etc., are pretty effectively removed.
Edoc: That sums up both the movement, and the community, very nicely. How would you describe the expansion of Small Giants—the actual community itself—right now?
GB: It’s relationship driven. (Quality #3. We drink our own Kool-Aid.)
Everything we do online is designed to break down barriers that keep like-minded leaders from being able to identify, challenge and share with each other. When it comes to the local level, the push is simply to get people engaged and motivated around the Small Giants conversation.
If you adhere to the Small Giants qualities, odds are you do business with people like you. Get your friends together, peek (or dive) into how your companies work, learn something new and realize that you need to invite more friends so the influence, conversation and resources expand. (Which allows you to do what you do even better.)
Edoc: Who are the people involved in the Small Giants Community?
The people ARE the the Community. Fundamentally, it’s a business owner who looks at their business as a vehicle to create good, fulfillment, impact, etc. in every aspect of how their company operates. They’re learners, challengers, champions, leaders and a whole bunch of other “–ers” that at the end of the day have a company that brings so much good in to their little portion of the world, you can’t help but tell a stranger on the street, ‘”Want a better life? Do business with (insert Small Giant here).” They’re from all over the world and your backyard.
Part two of our interview with Glenn will break down why Small Giant’s ongoing content can best be described as “from the ground up.” Find out whether you’re the type of business leader who is likely to get a Mojo the Fish tattoo—or not! Last, Glenn will eloquently share why “Small Giants” is truly a great descriptor for the community.
Like what you’re reading? Sign up for the Small Giants Cincinnati Kick-Off.
READ MORE: If you liked this post, you might like “How to Increase Productivity on Your Remote Team“
Kim Sykes is a marketer and content creator at Edoc Service, Inc., a total virtual company