One day, a loan officer at a bank that serves current and former members of the military received a call from a member in the Navy who was about to be deployed overseas the next morning. He was in desperate need of a loan before he shipped out. After preparing the paperwork, the loan officer biked to the port, boarded the ship on which the member was serving and got all the documentation filled out and the promissory note signed. The loan was disbursed at 7:30 a.m. The ship left port at 8 a.m.
It’s a great story that reminded me of something a keynote speaker said at a conference I recently attended. The speaker encouraged the leaders and entrepreneurs in the audience to “Be a Mission with a Company rather than a Company with a Mission.”
It stuck with me long past the conference because it’s a punchy way to think about another popular concept: Simon Sinek’s Start With Why.
Whether it’s thinking about your team as being a mission with a company, or starting with why, the idea is that if you put your mission or purpose above all else, the rest of what you do and how you do it will fall into place. Your team members, customers, prospective talent, suppliers and investors will all be aligned toward the common goal.
So, how do you present yourself as a Mission with a Company?
A great way to start is by preserving and sharing stories that prove that your company pursues its mission and lives its purpose. The story above is a nice example — the organization thinks of itself as a mission (to serve members of the military) with a company (a bank).
How do you fulfill your mission? Share great mission stories with me at email@example.com.