Recently, I've spoken to a handful of people about what they want their company to have done 10 years from now. In most cases, they start to rattle off business principles and bullet points:
- Be profitable
- Expand to at least five new markets
- Be the largest company in their industry
- Sell more products than ever before
- Gain national exposure through earned media
- Have a customer base over 1,000,000 strong
And so on. Each of these is nice to have, for sure. But each misses the mark.
If the 10-year vision we have for ourselves and our company is only about ourselves and our company, we've dreamed too small. We need to have a vision of what the world will be like 10 years from now because of our work.
If, 10 years from now, our work has made no change on culture, our clients, or our employees, then all we did was make money. While earning income is fine, cash without purpose is empty.
What will the world look like 10 years from now if your company is successful?
- People will be able to spend more time doing what matters
- Certain prejudices will be eliminated
- The planet will be healthier
- Couples and families will have better relationships with each other
- Communities will be stronger and neighborhoods will be safer
- Two common diseases will have better treatments
This is where our work begins. We imagine the type of world we'd like to see and then we can determine how we can get there. If we can picture a better world, then our organizations can start to develop products and services to make that dream come true.
It is this kind of vision that also captivates and inspires others. No one cares about your company; everyone wants to live in a better world.
The chief aim of your work isn't to make money; it's to create a better future. When you do the latter, the former always happens.