In a marathon, pacing and perseverance are paramount. Few companies think critically about the strategic principles needed to endure or have the foresight to temper their pace in anticipation of the long journey that lay ahead.
Enduring companies are not one trick ponies. Companies with a long-term vision will recognize that they need to make transitions beyond a highly successful first act. Market preferences, tech capabilities, and regulations change. What was once a novel idea becomes a commodity over time. Successful businesses anticipate that they will go through cycles of maturation that demand systemic transitions.
While a principled founding team can create a great company, an enduring company requires a system of leadership that is implemented early in its history. This enables a framework of delegation and distribution of decision making throughout the organization. It is also rooted in people practices that help a company consistently recruit, develop, and retain leadership talent at all levels.
Lastly, no enduring visionary company views "maximizing shareholder wealth," as a driving force of their activity. They all accept profitability as core to sustainability, but it isn't what motivates or guides them. Instead, companies built to last have a deep commitment to a core set of values that provided the company with a sense of purpose and how they create value for others.