ue bot icon

Leadership Thought #322 – It Has To Be About More Than Just Money

March 21, 2012

Free Man Sitting on Chair Beside Table Stock Photo

The most successful business owners I know are focused on building great companies and fulfilling an important mission instead of just making money.  Financial success should be the result, not the driving force.  This becomes especially apparent after the business experiences some level of economic success.  Instead of becoming greedy and short-term focused these leaders often double down and invest surplus resources in continuing to grow the business and its people.   They genuinely appreciate the importance and responsibility of having a positive impact on others and adding real value to their marketplace.

Self-satisfaction comes from a sense of doing something that is worthwhile, difficult, and significant.  I have always believed that what motivates you matters.  There must be something that gets you out of bed in the morning and inspires you to put forth your best effort besides money.  Material rewards lose their allure more quickly than you think and the lust for more is never satisfied.  There are only so many things you can buy, privileges you can experience, or vacations you can take before they begin to lose their luster.   Just look at the professions where people get rich too quickly to see the evidence of how self-destructive and ego-driven many of these people become.

While most of our management decisions happen in the present tense, leadership is about looking to the future.  Once you get to a certain size you need to be careful about putting your own personal economic needs above what’s best for the company.   It’s amazing how something that can take a lifetime to build can crumble under the weight of a few bad decisions and selfish thinking.  Moreover, passion is a critical variable in success, and this only happens when individuals are inspired by a higher purpose that is rarely just personal wealth.  Once the pursuit of money and power becomes the end-all and be-all of business, we end up with the questionable ethics that now permeate Wall Street and our political process.

Focus your leadership energies on building, creating, innovating, problem-solving, empowering, and inspiring others towards a common worthwhile objective and good things will happen!

Related articles