In this post we show you that company culture is very important for the success of organizations and that it makes their values endure over time.

One of my favorite books is “Shoe Dog”, the biography of Phil Knight, the founder of Nike. And I have recently watched the movie “Air”. It’s a great movie that explains the history of shoe salesman Sonny Vaccaro, how he led Nike in hiring Michael Jordan, and how this event changed forever Nike and Michael Jordan’s career. I have always felt great admiration for Nike. The original Nike Principles are one of the most essential elements in Nike’s history. Let me explain them to you.

The story of Nike Principles begins in 1977 when Nike executive Rob Strasser outlined A SET OF 10 PRINCIPLES THAT WOULD SHAPE THE COMPANY’S CULTURE, STRATEGY, AND PATH TO SUCCESS. These original Nike principles continue to resonate within the company and serve as a blueprint for achieving greatness. In this post, I share with you these principles and their enduring relevance.

  1. OUR BUSINESS IS CHANGE: It reflects the dynamic nature of the business world. It emphasizes the need to embrace change, adapt quickly, and stay ahead of the competition. Nike understood that to thrive in a rapidly evolving industry, it had to continuously innovate, challenge the status quo, and anticipate consumer needs.
  2. WE’RE ON OFFENSE. ALL THE TIME: It encapsulates its proactive and assertive approach. Rather than playing defensively, Nike aimed to seize opportunities, take risks, and maintain a relentless drive for success. This mindset fueled the company’s ambition and propelled it to push boundaries and exceed expectations constantly.
  3. PERFECT RESULTS COUNT — NOT A PERFECT PROCESS. BREAK THE RULES: FIGHT THE LAW: Nike recognized that perfection is not achieved through rigid adherence to processes or conformity to norms. This principle encouraged employees to focus on delivering exceptional results, even if it meant challenging conventional wisdom or breaking traditional rules. Nike valued boldness and creativity, understanding that innovation often springs from thinking outside the box.
  4. THIS IS AS MUCH ABOUT BATTLE AS ABOUT BUSINESS: This principle highlights the competitive nature of the industry. It acknowledged that success in the athletic footwear market required a warrior mentality, where every move was strategic, and every action was a calculated step towards victory. Nike embraced the spirit of competition, driving its employees to excel and outperform rivals.
  5. ASSUME NOTHING. MAKE SURE PEOPLE KEEP THEIR PROMISES. PUSH YOURSELVES, PUSH OTHERS. STRETCH THE POSSIBLE: It emphasizes the importance of vigilance, accountability, and collective effort. It encouraged employees to question assumptions, demand accountability, and challenge themselves and their teammates to constantly raise the bar. Nike understood that growth and progress come from pushing boundaries and exceeding expectations.
  6. LIVE OFF THE LAND: Nike promotes resourcefulness and leveraging available opportunities. It encouraged employees to tap into existing resources, both internally and externally, to drive innovation and maximize efficiency. By utilizing its strengths and optimizing available assets, Nike aimed to achieve sustainable growth.
  7. YOUR JOB ISN’T DONE UNTIL THE JOB IS DONE: Nike values determination and perseverance. This principle highlights the importance of seeing tasks through to completion, regardless of obstacles or setbacks. Nike encouraged its employees to take ownership of their responsibilities, maintain a strong work ethic, and demonstrate the resilience needed to overcome challenges.
  8. DANGERS: BUREAUCRACY, PERSONAL AMBITION, ENERGY TAKERS VS. ENERGY GIVERS, KNOWING OUR WEAKNESSES, DON’T GET TOO MANY THINGS ON THE PLATTER: It highlights potential pitfalls that can hinder progress. Nike aimed to create a culture that recognized and mitigated these risks, fostering an environment conducive to collaboration, growth, and focus on key objectives.
  9. IT WON’T BE PRETTY: Nike acknowledged that the path to success is often arduous and filled with challenges. This principle recognized the realities of the business world, urging employees to embrace the grit and determination needed to overcome obstacles. Nike understood that true success is not always glamorous but results from relentless dedication and perseverance.
  10. IF WE DO THE RIGHT THINGS, WE’LL MAKE MONEY DAMN NEARBY, in the end, making money is a consequence of doing things right.

Well, you have 10 Nike principles. They are very interesting and have been the key to Nike’s success history. Probably you can learn from them in order to empower your leadership and your personal brand.

I finish with a quote from Phil Kight “Life is growth. You grow or you die.”

Xavi Roca

I am Talentist, I help organizations, managers and professionals to achieve high performance through enhancing their leadership and personal brand. I am passionate about leadership, high performance team management and Personal Branding, and I have dedicated my professional career to helping companies and professionals develop and enhance their talents and strengths to achieve their maximum development and performance.

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