Everything does not have to make sense. It does not have to be about us. If we insist on experiencing only what matters to us, we lack impact and become uninteresting. Our choices stem from our own sense of personal potency and caring about others. When we make those choices from the center of a higher self, we are better for everyone in our life.
You might be thinking, “What in the world is he talking about right now? Is he having some sort of Jerry Maguire moment?”
Well, maybe I am. But I think there is some real merit to exploring these choices a bit further and applying them to business. To be specific, there are two types of companies (and possibly individuals) in this world—those who are competition-oriented and those who are purposeful.
When a company is focused on competing, it is focused on the product or solution it sells and is defined by “what it does.” Those types of organizations are reactive and just want to win. And while winning feels great, when we focus on results, we rarely win.
Great companies have something in common: They do not try to matter by winning. They win by mattering. The people who build them know what they stand for and act on those beliefs. What they think, say and do are in alignment. Their story is consistent. Great companies rise to our expectations by being what they said they would be.
The interesting thing about these types of companies and individuals is that they are not the heroes of their stories. They are responsive to customer needs and have a clear sense of purpose. They are intent on making an impact in other people’s lives. There is meaning in their work.
Now granted, it does not feel like we live in a world full of difference-makers these days. It seems like each individual is the star of his own show. Heck, Snapchat has a “story” function that is used for more selfie-based content. Despite the epidemic of self promotion, the most interesting people and companies are still those that focus on others. Their purpose is rooted in the story of the people they aim to serve.
Crafting the story of others is a great way to leave a legacy. Asking how you can achieve more is not the path to a great legacy. Asking what you can contribute and how you can serve others tells a story that will last forever. Therefore, companies need to start acting like media companies and share the stories that matter most to their respective markets.
Over time, their clients’ stories will become their story.