The Stakeholder Quadrant

Stakeholder Quadrant

In The Fourth Moon, I introduce Tom and his team to the Stakeholder Quadrant.

The Stakeholder Quadrant includes four groups:

1.    Customers
2.    Employees
3.    Shareholders
4.    Suppliers

What’s really interesting about these four groups is how they each uniquely influence your business.

Successful business owners adopt a fanatical and fastidious dedication to understanding each of these stakeholder groups. They invest in building greater relationships together on a win-win basis that delivers leverage to both parties.

Here’s a quick run-down on recommended tactics for each of the Stakeholders.


In the B2B world, in which most of us live, customers don’t want to do business with ‘businesses’ they want to do business with ‘people’.   

Establishing relationships based on integrity and trust is critical. To do this you need to listen to your customers and help them achieve their dreams or avoid their fears. This takes time and guts.

Act in a way that converts your customers into raving fans. Walking billboards.


Employees are the lifeblood of any business.

If you engage, empower and reward your employees they will play a bigger game for you.

Explain to them your top goals – your Mission Goals - and get their buy in on helping you achieve them.

Provide them with their top goals – their Crew Goals – and educate them on how delivering on their Crew Goals leads to the achievement of the business’ Mission Goals. Promise them that you will appraise them and remunerate them based on delivery of these goals.

Retention of existing talent and attraction of new talent will follow.


Ensure that shareholders wear an independent ‘hat’ in assessing the business, asking questions and providing feedback.

Be timely and generous in management reporting and sharing information.

Even if you work operationally in the business and own the business, adopt the habit of wearing two hats. An ‘operational hat’ and a ’shareholder hat’.

Under your shareholder hat, think about the business objectively as an investor and ask questions around commerciality, risk, profitability and ROI. 

Focus on transparency, objectivity and commerciality.


Often forgotten as the fourth member of the Stakeholder Quadrant, the humble supplier should be seen as an inverse customer relationship. You are the customer to your supplier.

Like your customers, you want absolute commitment from your suppliers. You want guaranteed supply of the best products and services. At the best price. On the best terms. 

You want suppliers that can bring you a competitive edge. Suppliers that help you add value to your customer relationships.

Aim to build long-term relationships with suppliers. Treat them with respect, communicate with them and pay them on time. Share your vision and needs with them. Ask for their help.

View suppliers as part of your business model and nurture these relationships.

How to optimize the Stakeholder Quadrant

I encourage you to appoint a Custodian within your business. 

One for each Stakeholder. Four in total.

Choose a Custodian that is the best person suited to the stakeholder group. Ask team members to nominate themselves or others as Custodians. Generally, the most suitable Custodian will be obvious.

Each Custodian is responsible for the culture of their stakeholder. Your entire team must commit to supporting the Custodian.

Custodians should report periodically to the team in Monthly Team Meetings (or quarterly at a minimum) on current stakeholder sentiment.

Adopt the Stakeholder Quadrant methodology in your business now.

For more on this and other strategies to transform your business, learn more about my digital e-coaching course Fourth Moon Mastery here

Darren Bourke

I really want you to start creating sustainable success in your business and life. Simply check out my FAQs videos HERE on what business owners most commonly ask about sustainable business success. If they help you, simply sign up and get the other 20x videos free.

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Cheers, Darren K Bourke