How Quest Nutrition Crafted a $1 Billion Corporate Culture

If there’s a crowded business category, it’s nutrition bars.  Hundreds of competitors have tripped over themselves for years, vying to gain ground.  But one company burst onto the scene in 2010 and has already created a $1.0 billion valuation.  Quest Nutrition was ranked the #2 fastest growing company in America by Inc. Magazine, chalking up a 57,000% three-year growth rate.

Yes, the product is good, but so are others.  How the heck did they conquer much bigger competitors in record time?  The answer lies in their corporate culture.  Quest leaders have clarified their philosophy into a system: 25 Core Beliefs.  While most companies hang platitudes in their lobbies but rarely embrace them, Quest uses their guiding principles as the primary operating system of their company.  The system serves as the basis for decision-making and behavior at all levels.

The Quest Belief System:

  1. Human potential is nearly limitless
  2. Personal growth is the highest priority of all Team Quest members.
  3. You can acquire new skills in any area at any time.
  4. It requires focus and disciplined practice to acquire new skills.
  5. You can do ANYTHING you set your mind to, without limitation.
  6. #5 is a lie. But it’s an empowering lie. We do and believe that which empowers us.
  7. It doesn’t matter who you are today. It only matters who you want to become and how hard you are willing to work to become that person.
  8. This is Quest University. Making food products is just how you pay your tuition. See beyond your job description to the opportunity of becoming the best version of yourself.
  9. Quest is a safe place to make mistakes.
  10. Mistakes are a great teacher to those who are willing to admit that they’ve made one.
  11. Share the lessons learned from your mistakes with the rest of Team Quest.
  12. Failure is temporary. Move quickly beyond it.
  13. Everyone has something to teach you. Learn from whomever you can.
  14. Members of Team Quest do not make excuses. Ever.
  15. Any obstacle can be overcome. See #14.
  16. Building your self-esteem around being right all the time will lead to poor decision-making.
  17. Build your self-esteem around identifying the right answer and pursuing it faster than anyone else.
  18. Have VERY clear goals.
  19. Do that which moves you towards your goals.
  20. Do NOT do that which moves you away from your goals.
  21. Only work for Quest if we are moving you towards your goals.
  22. Every member of Team Quest is expected to work hard, smart and long hours. See #21.
  23. Passion will help you keep fighting to reach your goals when things get difficult. Center your life around your passion.
  24. Motivate and inspire those around you.
  25. Take the red pill.

(Source: Quest Nutrition)

These principles serve as the North Star of hiring, daily work, brand building, product development and overall team engagement.  By codifying and living their beliefs, they’ve been able to outperform their competitors by a country mile.

Whether you’re building a business or a family, a career or a community center, take the time to clearly articulate your guiding principles, and then use them as the Operating System to guide your journey.  Live and act by a consistent belief system, and your ‘quest’ will surely be a success.

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