MISSION: How the best in business break through by Michael Hayman & Nick Giles

Entrepreneurship has become something that is modern, something that is in, something that is cool. And why do people become entrepreneurs? Is it the money? Is it the freedom of being your own boss? Or is it the need and the want to solve a problem and share the solution with others, either by producing a new or better quality product, or by providing the best service possible? Which reason from the previous named is in your opinion the best reason? Think about it, which reason will motivate you through hard times, which reason will motivate your team which will get bigger and bigger with the success of your company, and which reason will help you keep focus on what is your next step in business? Many successful businesses are successful because their founders knew a simple concept. Have a strong MISSION for your company with which people will connect and will want to identify with. As you will read in the book, knowing and sharing what your company stands for and how you do business and expect everyone else to do business or their job is very important. Especially in hard times. So if you haven’t yet, write down your personal mission in life, then write down the mission of your company and if those two connect your most definitely on the right path to living your dream.

My notes from the book:

  • Through mission, ideas are translated into a practical purpose that drives a company forward. It lends a clarity and directness to the everyday directions of a business.
  • Great companies must inspire confidence but there is an equal need to evoke strong feelings. Feeling is an asset that is easily dismissed by the cynical. Yet it is the key to belief and it is belief that leads to action.
  • If you want to stand out you need to stand for something.
  • The new reality for business is one where customers have significant influence to wield, and their voices must be heard.
  • Every good business story begins with a mission. It is something that demands regular and consistent attention: a code of belief and values to be maintained, developed and shared.
  • A business will all to often flounder without a central missions to galvanize its people and give it a common purpose. Be sure everyone knows what your founding mission is and how that purpose has evolved over time.
  • Humans are evolving: we want to have more purpose, we want our lives to make a difference, we want to work for businesses that are more creative, and we like to think that our creativity is motivating other people.
  • Trust is central to our lives and good brands recognize that and build their businesses around gaining and retaining such trust.
  • Momentum has become such an important measure of success for companies because of the growing pace of change that surrounds business.
  • It is companies with momentum rather than market position who thrive in today’s landscape.
  • Failure can be an essential prerequisite to long-term success.
  • Inspiration and opportunity are two of the prerequisites to business success.
  • The battleground in business has moved from what you do to what people say, think and feel about you. This is the battle of reputation, a battle for the mind.
  • Many entrepreneurs could be characterized as pathological optimists: people agitated by the status quo, restless for change and haunted by the idea of missed opportunities. That is necessary because so often the first incarnation of a new idea with potential will be ruthlessly shot down by everyone except its creator.
  • People want to buy from brands they find credible and wholesome, increasingly, they want to work for companies they admire as well. That is where the truly purposeful companies stand out, with a credible and meaningful reason-for-being that which can inspire customers as much as it does employes.
  • People want to belive that they are buying the best, at the best value.
  • In a world soaked in information and where consumers are assailed on all fronts by sales messages, the power lies not in dollar-fuelled promotions, but in the money-can’t-buy asset of preference.
  • The importance of friendship in business is sorely underestimated. A customer is one thing, but an advocate is ten times more precious.
  • The future belongs to marketers who establish a foundation and a process where interested people can market to each other.
  • People may listen to what you want to tell them. But chances are they will only really believe it when they hear someone else saying the same thing. That is the power of preference.
  • Give people the framework within which they have the freedom to do what’s right.
  • Create benefits for customers in order to earn their lifetime loyalty. You can do that by understanding people’s lives better than anybody else and respond with innovative new products and services which makes their life a little bit easier.
  • When talking to your team / employees about values of your company ask them two things: What do you think we stand for, and what do you think we should stand for?
  • The lesson is this. By all means, take all the advice you can get, hear the counsel of those who have been before you and who have experienced the slings and arrows of a business journey. But when you have a fundamental belief in what you are seeking to do, don’t let people who say they know better convince you otherwise, and resist the siren to lower expectations.
  • The culture and values of the business act as your anchor and reference point, focusing minds on the essential mission and purpose. your culture should be informed by the mission you have set and communicated VIA your story.
  • Culture matters because in the life of a business there quickly comes a point where the founding team can no longer see or influence all, or indeed most, of what goes on in the business.
  • Hire young. Take bright young people who are naturally collaborative and they break all the rules and they build something better, stronger, newer, because they don’t know anything else.
  • The front line of an organization, public or private, always knows what’s wrong. They might not know how to solve it, but they will always tell you the problems if you are brave enough to hear it.
  • Family is one word that may explain why some businesses are called “special”. It is not a biological definition, more a state of mind.
  • Creating a sense of belonging means you are more likely to give more, work harder, be more committed.
  • In business the tribal instinct is vital because it is based on bonds of trust, forged in the heart of challenging circumstances, long hours and victory against the odds. What may start as a group of individuals can become a team where people instinctively trust in their abilities to deliver and to support one another.
  • Binding people to a cause which they can believe in is the most powerful way of both attracting and retaining the talent you as a company need to grow.
  • The leadership of a business must work hard to nurture a shared sense of ownership, mission and accomplishment.
  • What is great today will only be good tomorrow.
  • Your network is what makes you powerful.
  • It is essential that you take advantage of the networking opportunities that already exist.
  • Simplicity is the starting point of every good story, and that is the hardest thing to find. The basic essence to convey an authentic truth about your business that people can believe in.
  • One thing your story must absolutely achieve is to distinguish you from the crowd.
  • Your business story affects the entire company and is central to how you deliver, sell and grow as a business. It is the manifestation and articulation of the purpose that binds employes and customers alike to a successful brand.
  • When people are judging someone speaking to them for the first time, just 7% of their liking is determined by words, and 93% by tone and body language.
  • Customers behave in an ever more tribal manner.
  • The role of the leader as a communicator is essential: It’s about selling your belief and selling your ideas, articulating it in a simple way so that it becomes absolutely tangible to people.
  • Good work does not speak for itself – it requires a storyteller who can bring it to life for audiences who might otherwise never know it existed, or why they need to be a part of it.
  • Failure, however great or small, is an inevitable part of building something, it is a learning experience which helps you to craft your mission.
  • Campaigners / entrepreneurs are defined not by the experiences of failure but the response to it. It’s a simple equation: Either you get the better of a bad situation or it gets the better of you.
  • Failure is not a finality. The big question is not what it does to you, but rather what you will do in return.
  • Failure is a subjective term, one whose definition is very much in the hands of the campaigner / entrepreneur to determine.
  • Failure must not be an end but a means to learning the lessons and obtaining the insights to get it right the next time. The experience of failure can be bitter but the ultimate outcome need not be.
  • Only by giving your ideas a go can you discover whether they’re going to work or not.
  • Always hire people for what they might become, rather than what they have already done.

Examples of missions:

  • Google: To organize the world’s information and to make it universally accessible and useful.
  • Uber: Transportation as reliable as running water, everywhere and for everyone.
  • Airbnb: Belong anywhere.
  • Microsoft: A computer on every desk and in every home.
  • Amazon: It’s all about the long-term.
  • Patagonia: Make the best product with the least environmental impact and the most social value possible.
  • Leon: If god did fast food.

Quotes:

“The reasonable man adapts himself to the world: The unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man” – George Bernard Shaw

“The only reason we’ve succeeded is because we’ve made other people’s lives better” – Richard Branson

“Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference” – Winston Churchill

“I can accept failure, everyone fails at something. But I can’t accept not trying” – Michael Jordan

“It’s kind of fun to do the impossible” – Walt Disney

“All things being equal, people will buy from a friend. All things not being quite so equal, people will still buy from a friend” – Mark McCormack

“Creativity is contagious. Pass it on” – Albert Einstein

“They may forget what you said, but they will never forget how you made them feel” – Carl W. Buehner

“Success seems to be connected with actions. Successful people keep moving. They make mistakes, but they don’t quit” – Conrad Hilton

I found the book inspiring. It’s true, entrepreneurship has become popular, but not easier. People are afraid to go after their dreams/goals because of the possibility of failure and the opinion of others. But do other people pay your bills? Do other people make you happy as much as fulfilling your dreams and goals would? In the end we have only one life which we can and should live the way we wish. I am not saying that we can get and have everything, but at least we can try and go after our goals. I rather try and fail, try again and fail again and then try again and keep on trying until I succeed, than to grow old and grumpy and tell my kids or grand children that I had great ideas and plans but never tried to achieve them because I was afraid what others would say, or because I feared failing. We get better by doing, the world gets better with people who are making it better by doing, failing, learning and then doing it right. Even if you do not succeed with your first try keep trying… keep moving, and one day you may get where you want to be. The point is learn from your mistakes and from the mistakes others made, do not just mindlessly try to do something. Prepare, execute, evaluate, adjust, then execute with adjustments.

Let’s take a look at James Dyson who created the bag free vacuum cleaner. He got the original idea for the product in the late 1970. At that time he bought what was meant to be the most powerful vacuum cleaner, but he quickly realized that the cleaner instead of sucking up dirt, just pushed it around the room. He remembered an interesting concept in a sawmill where a cyclonic separator was used to remove dust from the air. So he decided to create a vacuum cleaner with this principle. His product hit the market in 1993. It took him 23 years and over 5.000 prototypes before he succeeded.

Feel free to comment about the book. I would also appreciate your input about the post and the blog. If you have any suggestions what you found good, what you would like to see different, which book should I review next or if you simply have any advice about the blog let me know.

Thank you for your time. I hope you have found this post helpful. Talk to you in the comment section.

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