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They say money isn’t everything, but in business, it often feels like it is. Don’t get me wrong: Money is essential in keeping a company afloat, but when it starts to replace the mission as the central force of an organization, money has the power to push companies away from the foundational goals they exist to reach.
In an interview on Leadercast NOW, Zane Stephens, SAG-AFTRA actor and owner of The Zane Stephens Studio, discusses what your ‘foundational why’ should be. He says, “If you're in a job because you want excess money, or you go from job to job because you want more money, you're not going to find satisfaction.”
While this example is more for individuals, the same can be said for organizations. Both you and your clients won’t find satisfaction in knowing the company’s main concern is making money, especially when that money has to come from your clients. Zane goes on to share that ‘foundational whys’ should center around one thing: the sake of the audience.
“The audience is whatever your audience is, and ‘for their sake’ means you're giving yourself away to them,” says Zane. As a leader you’ve probably thought about servant leadership and how to put your team members above yourself, but what about externally? Consider how you and your team view client interactions—are you there to serve the client, or are you there to make a dollar? The answer will show you what kind of story your brand is telling.
In another Leadercast NOW video, Michelle Renn, who works with Destiny Rescue to help end human trafficking, discusses why stories have more power than numbers.
“I would encourage leaders, as you're trying to rally your troops and you're trying to sell your idea, to stay away from statistics and numbers and to really focus on story,” says Michelle. “The story behind it, the story behind the idea and why you're trying to do this.”
I can’t think of a single company whose mission is to make money, but I can think of several that care more about the dollar signs than the people they serve. It’s why leadership is so incredibly important.
As you head into the new year and determine your New Year’s resolutions, think about the goals you’re making. Novelist and philosopher Ayn Rand once said, “Money is only a tool. It will take you wherever you wish, but it will not replace you as the driver.”
What’s the driving force behind your goals for 2018? Do they focus more on numbers than the impact your organization can have? If your goals don’t lift the mission your organization is trying to achieve, they may not be worth setting.
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*Want to learn more on this topic? Read this blog to learn why meaning has more impact than money for team members.