Simon Sinek has a well known TED talk called “Start with why”.
In it he talks about how the best leaders always have a mission, and they explain that mission to all new staff, and remind the company always of their mission, always ensuring everyone knows “why” they’re doing what they’re doing.
This enables autonomous behaviour because staff eventually can ask themselves whether an action satisfies the “why” of the business.
I get it. Motivated staff? Sign me up!
Where he goes a little bit off track is that he implies that only altruistic missions can inspire people: “Build beautiful things”, or “Connect the world”, or “Cure cancer”.
Thats not true. Mundane missions such as “Get rich” are also valid.
It doesn’t matter whether your end goal is ruthlessly capitalistic, or to save the world. The only thing that matters is that you don’t lie to yourself about what your goal is.
Sometimes your goal is simply to “Make lots of money”. That’s cool. That can be a mission. Lots of people share that dream. Everything you do in your business can be aimed towards “Making money.”
Of course if you do things like cheat your customers, that may make money in short term, but will lose money in long term. A good entrepreneur understands this and will make sure his business doesn’t cheat his customers.
But his mission can still be “Make lots of money.”
Sometimes that’s all there is to it. No need to sugar coat it. Don’t lie to yourselves or others.
If you want to save the world, you’ll attract people that can help you save the world. If you want to make money, you’ll attract people that will help you make money.
Tell people why you do what you do, and you’ll attract the right people.