A book that has had a profound effect on me is ‘Small Giants: Companies That Choose to Be Great Instead of Big’ by Bo Burlingham. For those who haven’t read it, Burlingham takes a detailed look at some remarkable companies who have rejected the pressure of endless growth to focus on more satisfying business goals.

After reading it, I knew that Burlingham’s message to pursue greatness, not wealth, was one that I wanted to spread. Agnentis’ whole approach is about viewing businesses through the eyes of their leaders and often, following some meaningful conversations, it becomes clear that they have their own definition of what success looks like which doesn’t always mean maximising the company’s potential.

Why wouldn’t you want to grow a company for all that it’s worth? Well, if it doesn’t allow you to get to where you want to get to in life, then who’s going to benefit from it? You and your family may be rewarded financially, but with that can come its fair share of downsides including a lack of time and more stress.

Small Giants Summit

I’m not the only one who has been shaped by Small Giants. Every year in America, in fact, there’s the Small Giants Summit, which brings business leaders together to promote the ‘people before profit’ ethos.

Forbes contributor Rob Rube is a regular attendee of the summit and he says it’s “the best conference I attend every year”.

Explaining why he feels so strongly about the conference, he said: “To begin with, it’s refreshing to be around people who care deeply about each other. The people in this community are true “lifter uppers” and want to help in any way possible. It’s remarkable.”

This year there was a speaker on mindfulness and the science behind it; a business leader who spoke about his journey from the son of a pimp to CEO of a highly successful company. This entrepreneur told of his life ambition: to create a hundred employee millionaires by the time he retires. Remarkably, he’s not too far away from achieving it.

There were also breakout sessions on everything from how to connect with your purpose and passions in life, to practicing open-book finance.

“Most of all, there is time simply to connect with others,” stresses Rube. “I’ve been to conferences where I’ve found it hard to introduce myself to people. This is the opposite. Everyone welcomes everyone else with open arms. It’s as if you’ve known that person for years. I walk away with relationships that are deeper and more authentic than those I form at any other conference I attend.”

As anybody who has attended a networking event will know, it’s easy to settle for transaction conversations, but you’ll only ever become a Small Giant if you take them to a more meaningful place.