A Company Stinks from the Top Down…right?

Category: Articles • June 1, 2015

Anyone in the Entrepreneurial world has heard the phrase “A Company Stinks from the Top Down”.  And so it does.

Of course we’ve all run into companies where it was headed up by a guy who wasn’t all that great and he created an environment that was similar to his own personality. Maybe we’ve even worked in that type of environment where it stunk all the way from the bottom to the top. You’ve probably had trouble with a vendor company and then worked your way up the pecking order from the bad employee to the manager, only to find that he was worse than the employee who was giving you difficulties in the first place. It works this way in Government, companies, and even families. We’ve all seen it.

Now what about us? We’re the good guys, the guys trying to do it right and live the American Dream right? This statement works for us, too. Now, let’s not be too extreme or harsh on ourselves here as we are the ones really putting our companies together and employing Americans who then pay taxes to pay for our services provided by the government, etc. But again, this “stinks from the top …” phrase applies to us to some degree to.

Have you or anyone you know gone through a divorce and tried to run their business at the same time? I’ll bet you dimes to doughnuts that they had financial difficulties in their business during that divorce time period. Ever known anyone that was having personal problems of any sort, whether mental or physical or drug or alcohol addiction and then also, coincidentally, starting having problems with “hiring the right staff” or all of the sudden their accounts receivables slowed down or maybe even their best employee up and quit or some new major financial crisis reared its ugly head? This is the way it is and only the most experienced of the entrepreneurial know this. This is why the best ones that I know try and “live the good life.”

Think about it for a second.  I’m willing to bet that when you were doing the best personally, you were also making the most money, doing the best in your business and everything just seemed to go the right way.  Things didn’t stink from the top down, they were great from the top down. This is the “company stinking from the top down” except we’re the good guys.  Even good guys have trouble sometimes.

What does this tell you? It tells you that you should take care of yourself and “live the good life.” Don’t do drugs or drink in excess, especially during your work hours. Don’t do things you know to be unethical in your business, not only will they come back and haunt you (I could tell you stories of water damage companies getting haunted) but you personally and mentally will carry the burden of knowing that you’ve done something unethical. It’s not good for you personally and I’m willing to bet financial woes might even follow that unethical action.

When you’re in really good shape – physically and mentally, you’ll have an easier time of running your company, you’ll attract the right staff, be more profitable, sales and marketing will weirdly get more leads in than normal. Test it out for yourself. Probably many of you have experienced this already.

This also tips you off to why certain areas of your company perform poorly under certain employees. They are responsible for that area, yet under them everything seems to go wrong. It is them. Certain areas go right under certain employees, it is them too. You can hire and fire from this observation alone and you probably do already.

Live the good life, keep it clean, be more ethical in your business, expect the same and educate the same into your employees and you’ll see the difference financially.  Look around at those that are really successful and expanding, I’m sure you’ll find this to be true. Examine your own history, running business in good times and in bad. Look at how you were doing in those times.

America stands on the back of entrepreneurs like us. If we’re not doing well, this country won’t either. And we cannot count on the fact that the government will do it for us, let’s do it for ourselves.


Dan York

Founder, Stellar-eMarketing, Inc.