True grit leadership

Be determined to succeed. Aim high and keep moving towards your goals no matter what.

“Stay focused on long-term objectives and avoid the distraction of switching strategy.”

It’s now 23 years since Korn Ferry started work with Fortune on the annual World’s Most Admired Companies [WMACs] survey, which ranks corporate reputation across a range of criteria. Some of the WMACs have remained at the top of the list since the start, hardy perennials enjoying steady growth while weathering the ups and downs of changing business conditions. Here we explore the role determination has played in their continuing success.

These businesses have maintained their position in the WMAC rankings by putting in a sustained, consistent effort on multiple fronts. They put their strategies into action and complete their goals. Their structures and processes enable them to take external challenges in stride. They value their people and leadership, helping everyone thrive. As a result, they’ve been able to keep innovating and improving even as they grow.

So, what’s their formula for long-term success?

Innovate every day

WMACs are engineered for innovation. They communicate a clear leadership vision.

They know that having the right people working with the right management in the right environment helps new ideas take shape. And their processes are designed to turn those ideas into concrete results. This readiness to evolve creates long-term resilience.

Play the long game

WMACs consistently look to the future, building strategies that keep them stable despite market upswings or downturns. This means they can stay focused on their long-term objectives and avoid the distraction of witching strategy. And they manage people for the long term, helping high-potential employees develop over time and rewarding their loyalty.

Make people a priority

WMACs know their employees are their greatest asset, so they create the right conditions for people to thrive. They promote employee engagement and inspire them to be their best. And they remove barriers to performance so people can deliver their best work. When an organization’s employees are motivated and enabled, the path to success is much smoother.

WMACs are proof that there’s no easy shortcut to sustained success and long-term growth. To be determined to succeed you need to aim high and keep moving towards your goals no matter what.

Korn Ferry provides end-to-end support to organizations who want to transform their business. We can help make sure you’re here for the long term.

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Since 1997, Korn Ferry has partnered with FORTUNE magazine to identify and rank the World's Most Admired Companies [WMAC]. We survey top executives and directors from eligible companies, along with financial analysts, to identify the companies that enjoy the strongest reputations within their industries and across all sectors. Find out more >>