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Mission Trumps All

As the founder, owner, and  leader of your business, you have an inspiration that drives you.  You must.  How do I know that?  Because without a mission or overarching purpose or drive, you wouldn’t be willing to walk the challenging path of entrepreneurship.  Really, wouldn’t it be easier to just have a job?  For most people it is, but for the entrepreneur and small business owner there has to be more.  That thing, that drive for more, that desire to create something, to do something better, to make a difference, to risk in return for reward, that is your mission.

It’s not a dry statement of what we do and who we do it for to get money for us or shareholders.  An old school mission statement is about as inspiring as watching paint dry.  But a true connection with the fire in your belly that is clearly communicated can and will inspire others.  And that’s the key to getting your employees to do what you want them to do.

Are you frustrated by how your employees are showing up?  Do you feel like you have told them and told them and told them what you need and they’re just not getting it?  Have you responded with more rules, disciplinary policies and manual after manual after manual of detailed steps for them to perform?  If you are ready to stop managing your team and trying to control their actions with another set of regulations, then you are ready to step into leadership in your business, and your mission is the bedrock on which that leadership will be built.

Simon Sinek says “Start With Why”, and he’s absolutely right.  If you can communicate nothing else to your team, find a way to communicate your “Why” and you will have given them the very foundation of the ability to perform how you want them to perform in your business.  When your employees understand the core purpose of your business, they have a reference point for valid decision making.  And you’ll never get your employees to do what you want them to do until you engage their hearts and minds in actually thinking about the consequences and impacts of their actions.  When people are inspired, they are motivated to right action.  When they are motivated to right action, they become willing to consider what they are doing and look at the bigger picture and they really start to contribute.   It takes some practice to put into place, and I’ll talk more about that in part two of this post.  In the meantime, spend a little time to consider, have you communicated your “why” to your team?