Harry Beckwith says, “people don’t lead, purposes do.” I once worked with a client who became a firm believer in this statement recently. He is the son who inherited a successful 20-year-old family business about two years ago and is now struggling to pay the bills. He has been drifting away from the company’s core business and has become distracted.
During a conversation we were having, I asked, “Why do you do what you do?”
“I do it for the money!” he replied.
After continuing to probe, he could not come up with one reason as to why he took over the business other than money. It became very clear to both of us that he had no passion or purpose in running this business, hence the direction it was going.
One thing is certain over the course of time, companies and people lose focus. Occasionally, it’s because the people in charge aren’t passionate about the business; other times we’re hungry for revenue, looking for a new challenge or maybe just bored. Whatever tempts you, your job as a leadership team is to determine what the organization’s Core Focus is and stay focused on it. To do that, you’ll need to agree on two things:
1. Your Purpose/Cause/Passion (your reason for being)
2. Your Niche (your superior skill)
When you work within this “sweet spot”, the company will be more effective and more profitable, and you’ll have more fun. When you don’t, you’ll become distracted by “shiny stuff”, lose focus, and the business will suffer.