business mantraOne of Tennessee’s (also the world’s) most famous 150-year-old companies has quite an interesting Business Mantra. My wife and I took a tour of the famed Jack Daniels Distillery a few years back and found it extremely well-organized.

Their business mantra is, “Every Day We Make It, We’ll Make It the Best We Can.”

Looking at the company’s 150-year history of sales, it seems they MAKE IT really well. Of course, we’re not recommending you verify that fact!


Business Mantra – Quality is Job No. 1

Another well-known business mantra is “Quality is Job No. 1,” belonging to the Ford Motor Car Company. I’ve also toured the large Toyota plant in Kentucky and witnessed the continual quality efforts found in the automotive industry. There, QUALITY is more than a “business mantra,” it’s a way of life, each and every day.

Competition is fierce in the auto industry; therefore, every day they make a vehicle, they had BETTER make it the best they can!  For this reason, each stage of production and service necessarily conforms to strict quality and service standards. A mantra like “The Best We Can” might leave room for doubt that EVERYONE is actually doing quality work, the best they can. Whereas, “PROVING WE CAN, every day, using a systematic approach” removes doubt!

Moreover, quality systems hold everyone in the organization accountable for quality work.

Nothing left to chance!

Jack Backs his Business Mantra

When Jack Daniels, the founder of the Jack Daniels Distillery made his first batch of Tennessee whiskey, he undoubtably made it the BEST HE COULD. However, as his whiskey-brew became more popular and operations began to grow, ole Jack had to add more and more employees, at which point he surely hit a wall. In fact, Jack must have run smack-dab into the same wall ALL small businesses hit when exercising growth.

Simply put, “THE WALL” they hit came when their product and service was no longer as good as when they produced it with a hands-on method. Eventually, as growth happened, quality and service began a downward spiral, because the owner couldn’t be everywhere at one time.

With that in mind, a business owner must make the decision to try to DO MORE THEMSELVES or find employees who share the exact same vision and concern for the company’s product and service standards. Good luck with that!

As growth continues, the owner usually experiences what ALL growing companies experience. Which is, finding enough people with a natural inclination for quality and service. To be sure, what one person deems as “quality,” may not be the same as what an owner deems quality.

Business Frustrations Becomes Killer

A story about Jack Daniels, told on the company tour, is that ole Jack got so frustrated one day, he kicked the iron safe in his office. Unfortunately, that kick injured Jack to a point that he eventually died of his injury. This gives a whole other meaning to another old mantra, “Break a leg!” The moral of the story is, don’t let business frustrations kill you!

To be sure, many small business owners continue to experience these kinds of frustrations, unless they discover the freeing power of systems.

Now, I’m not sure if Jack Daniels ever learned the power of systems; however, someone down through the century learned about quality and service systems. Fact is, Jack Daniels Tennessee Whiskey Distillery thrives as one of the most successful businesses in the world. However, I suspect some teetotalers out there might wish this company hadn’t learned the sustaining power of systems!?

Never the less…

Did I mention? Great systems work!