Friday, 25 March 2011

When profit is a reason we confuse what with why and therefore our how’s are at best fuzzy!

I well remember the moment 20 years ago when I said publicly for the first time, profit is not a reason for being in business, profit is a result of being good at business.

I was speaking to a group of Chief Executives and although no-one laughed out loud there were plenty of smirks and internal chuckles!

20 years ago I was stating a notion I had. Today it is a firm conviction that I have seen to be true 100s of times over.

Now let me be crystal clear. I am not saying profit is bad or that we shouldn’t make a profit. Profit is good and if you aren’t making one in your business then something is seriously wrong with how you do business.

What I am saying is that profit is a result of being good at business not a reason for being in business. And to be confused about this means we get very fuzzy about how to’s and the consequence is we fail to perform at optimum levels. Paradoxically profits are less than they should be and therefore we are unable to reinvest appropriately in our business nor do what we really could for society.

In a groundbreaking book Start With Why Simon Sinek says: People don’t buy WHAT we do, they buy WHY we do it.

The philosophy Friedrich Nietzsche said: When we understand the WHY the HOW is easy!

Hear this: When our WHY's become clear, our HOW's become easy!

If you are not achieving the results you want in your business right now, more than likely you are not really clear about why you are in business. So Start With Why.

Here are some questions to answer that will help you get clear on why you are in business:

What gets you out of bed in the morning?
What difference are you making to the communities in which your business operates?
What drives you?
What kind of legacy will you leave?
What is the purpose of your life?
What do you really care about?
How could you thrive in your business and solve a problem in your world at the same time?

I am in business to change what’s normal because I believe the status quo no longer serves humanity well. I’m with Seth Godin:
The status quo is no longer something we want at work or in politics or in any organization we care about.

Why are you in business?

If you are not really clear please consider joining my unique executive development program, a year of changing what’s normal.


Be the difference you want to see in the world
Ian
Founder Differencemakers Community
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