By: Missy Jackson, Managing Partner
Recently, we shared a story about my 17-year-old son, Eion Jackson, an up and coming streetwear apparel designer, and promised to provide you an update. Well, here it is! His e-commerce business, JCKS Apparel, has flourished with the gift of focused time resulting from the COVID-19 stay-at-home orders put in effect this past March. Over the last few weeks, Eion’s brand has gained some impressive local media attention (GRBJ, MLive, FOX17) because his story is full of hope, determination, resilience and smart business decisions.
While many organizations are struggling to adapt to the ever-changing dynamics of our economy, Eion paused, pondered, pivoted and excelled. As a high school athlete, he’s no stranger to hard work and the phrase “you get out what you put in.” When his dream of playing varsity baseball came true and immediately ended with the canceling of the spring athletic season, he saw opportunity rather than dwelling on what was lost. He’s been excelling ever since.
Over the last few weeks, we have been sharing content on our Leadership Development model called “The Prioritized Leader.” We recently completed a blog series and shared some video overviews on the concepts that make up the 5 P’s framework. The reason I am tying Eion’s story of success to The Prioritized Leader framework is simple. His story and success have no doubt been in part from his natural embodiment of the 5 P’s.
To uncover the level of health and sustainability within an organization, you need to ask questions about the five most crucial business priorities: purpose, people, pace, perception and profit. Here is what that has looked like for JCKS Apparel.
Purpose – Knowing and living the “why” of your organization, being able to articulate a clear and compelling future. Vision and values are the tools that drive this priority forward.
Eion has established a clear vision for the brand over the past couple years. This vision is rooted in the values he holds dear of exploring and caring for the world and experiencing its unique cultures. Keeping these constantly in sight solidifies his brand’s purpose. All this combined equips Eion with the ability to clearly articulate the purpose through his products.
People – Assessing the level of health and productivity we have with our colleagues and connections. This priority feeds off of encouragement and accountability.
Although primarily a business of one today, he continues to keep himself accountable to the original purpose of the brand. This ensures he doesn’t go off track and continues to produce the quality products his customers expect from the JCKS Apparel brand. The encouragement of friends, family, and his customer base is the additional fuel he uses to stay the course.
Pace – Discerning how fast (or slow) the organization needs to move to sustain long-term success, capitalize on opportunities, and preserve capital. Time and energy are required to maintain momentum.
Eion has found a rhythm for development and delivery that ignites excitement from his customer base. JCKS Apparel plays in the fast fashion game which requires releases of designs on a regular basis. He creates new designs regularly while carefully planning the launch timing and delivery of new offerings to hit the right cadence.
Perception – Choosing a growth mindset, staying open to creative solutions and new ideas. This priority is built upon insight and innovation.
Although Eion has no shortage of design concepts floating around in his mind, he gathers insight from his customers which influences the next release. Gathering direct feedback, pulse checks through social media and other forms of inspiration allow him to continually innovate. Additionally, he watches carefully what designs seem to best resonate with his customers. If something isn’t working, he makes the necessary adjustments to keep his brand fresh, relevant and thriving.
Profit – Effective management, investment and release of an organization’s resources. A close watch on dollars and cents is the key to success.
With the prior priorities well developed and defined, JCKS Apparel has begun shifting to think through profits in new ways. The growth that has resulted from clear purpose, people, pace and perception has now positioned him to think through marketing, investment opportunities and increasing margins while reducing costs. He has had to “know the numbers” and pay attention to the business.
Being a Prioritized Leader that embodies the 5P’s takes time, thought, and dedicated focus. Although Eion’s story is unique, the ability to learn and follow this framework is not. As we’ve shared, a 17-year-old high-school student can implement the concepts, and you can too! The 5P’s is not just a framework that makes sense for a start-up business of one, it applies to businesses and organizations of all sizes, industries and geographies. The results speak for themselves, as organizations who have leveraged this framework have indicated that they see:
- 20% increase in employee engagement/ownership
- 21% overall revenue increase and profitability
- 26% increase in cultural health and productivity
Realizing the potential of your organization is about evaluating where you (and your company) are at in these five areas. Then, it’s about recalibrating priorities and growing each area in order to see greater levels of health, productivity and profitability. This approach allows for a common language, clarity of goals and outcomes and increased focus and discipline from all involved. Are you ready to align your business priorities and leadership teams for success? In the coming weeks, we will be opening up registration for a FREE webinar on The Prioritized Leader framework. If you are ready to take the next step and learn more, reach out to us today to be pre-registered!