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RECENTLY I HAD THE CHANCE to speak with several people who are struggling with direction in their business.  They’re each working hard to deliver great products and services, but at the end of the day … it’s a lot of work with no forward movement.

Many can relate to this.  And if you’re feeling lost, how do you think those around you feel?

Employees are just turning the crank.

Partners are uninspired and not feelin’ the love.

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AM CONSTANTLY RUNNING ACROSS across smart and talented business leaders. And in conversation, I get the intensity of their passion. Yet when it comes to articulating that as a mission statement for employees, they end up with mush.

Our company exists to serve customers and improve lives through our market-leading products and services. We’re responsive, innovative, and deliver consistently high quality.

As said by every company ever. Who would claim they DON’T do that?

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BUSINESS IS ABOUT MAKING STUFF. Delivering to customers. Getting a return on your investment.

So it may seem weird that I use a fluffy word like “soul” to talk about a company.

But it’s a very real question, vitally important.

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ROBERTO VALDEZ RUNS AN AMAZING BUSINESS recycling mattresses here in Fort Collins.

His heart is in serving those who are looking to rebuild their lives after incarceration or drug addiction. In fact, that’s how he got engaged with Spring Back Mattress Recycling in the first place.

He created a new life based on the support and leadership of Christopher Conway, his boss and mentor. I met Christopher as well, a sincere man who’s on a mission to serve the community.

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YOU’D LIKE FOR THE WORLD to be a safe place. After all, you’ve put your heart and soul into your business, and it would be terrible to have it fall apart.

So you try to play it safe.

But there are different kinds of safety. You could run close to the edge on being legal – but if you step over that edge, the regulators will shut you down.  Permanently.

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WHAT DO YOU THINK when I say “business plan”?

Chances are you describe it with adjectives like overwhelming, tedious, and confusing.

Those kinds of descriptions will quickly put the whole exercise of business planning at the bottom of your list. After all, who wants tedium and overwhelm? It’s just easier to work on the day-to-day issues which are constantly swirling around like gnats.

What if business planning was joyful and amazing?
2017-04-03 It has to be beautiful
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THIS WEEK I HEARD A REPORT about Dr. Laura Lengnick who was speaking about sustainable agriculture.

Actually, she was explaining why she now uses the word resilient rather than sustainable.

Her point is that sustainable implies a sense of being static, of an ideal world where everything is balanced and unchanging.  Unfortunately, that world doesn’t exist.

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VERY FEW BUSINESSES are completely independent. Even as a primarily one-man show myself, I still rely to a great deal on partners for marketing, lead generation, even fulfillment of services.

It’s crucial to have the best people you can. Especially because you might have just as much business reliance on them as you would with employees, with far less control.

The trick is to align around your mission and values.

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ANY BUSINESS OWNER has a very interesting dance – to be immersed in the details while staying aligned with their bigger mission and goals.  Honestly, this is one of the powerful ways that my clients use my coaching: To ensure that we stay connected with the big picture.

Otherwise, they tend to never get away from the unending onslaught of details and day-to-day issues.

So how do you stay on top of this?  Actually, it’s pretty practical: Read the rest of this entry »

T

he mission of your business is part of an amazing story.

That story starts with a cast of characters who encounter what seems to be an insurmountable barrier.  The tension mounts and the music swells.

Coming in to save the day is … your company!  The hero of the story, with your amazing product, an awesome culture, and a message which change these people’s lives.

It’s absolutely thrilling.

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