In Kickass Companies, we found certain traits of a distinct management style and mindset. More specifically, the mindset of the management team and the relationship between the management team and the employees was an area where the high-performance companies were significantly different from the rest of
the population.

To be a Kickass Company, you need a strong leader or management team with the ability to maintain focus on the company’s core business activities and , if necessary, the willpower to trim the business accordingly by outsourcing tasks and activities that are outside the company core. These traits were present in the high-performance companies in our analysis. In Kickass Companies, managers are leaders who lead the way, not administrators hiding behind desks.

The aforementioned finding is in line with another crucial aspect of Kickass Companies, namely a passion for becoming the best in one’s field of operation. In the best-performing companies, this is often sensed all the way down to the employees’ passion for the job. It also means that there is an understanding of the company’s core mission and a focus on it throughout the organisation and that the management can transform its vision into a language that the employees understand.

In other words, to become a Kickass Company, you need to have a clear vision and a transparent strategy that the employees can relate to. However, within the
Kickass Companies segment, we found that employee involvement at the strategic level is not essential for performance. However, employee involvement plays
a significant role at the tactical and operational levels with respect to improving and developing the company and how it works. Kickass Companies are found to apply both a traditional top-down management style at the strategic level and a more bottom-up approach at the tactical and operational levels.