You know the feeling: You’ve just left a meeting in which everyone has discussed a pressing issue, considered the pros and cons, and arrived at a plan for moving forward that everyone can agree with.
Lack of alignment between what is said and how a business operates will quickly derail any attempt to becoming a purposeful brand, and erode trust. Even the most devout believers in a company’s why will quickly become discouraged if the way a company conducts business does not match what it professes to stand for.
My friend Darcie Durham with Boeing hosted me at the Greater Houston Partnership leadership luncheon. The speaker was Indra Nooyi, the CEO of PepsiCo and it was moderated by Scott McClelland, President of HEB. I don’t hear much about “corporate” PepsiCo and before this talk I didn’t know much about Indra. However, what she had to say about leadership and building a sustainably successful company was so in sync with how I view the role of leaders in business today that I felt like we were kindred spirits.
What is it with these Millennials? Well maybe we aren’t all so different after all. While much is written about the “Millennial effect” on the workplace, when it comes to the shared mindset of purpose in the business environment, this is driven not by one, but by two generations at opposite ends of the career spectrum—Millennials and Baby Boomers.
One of my favorite ad headlines states, “You don’t open a Bike Shop to Run a Balance Sheet.” You open a bike shop because you love bicycles. You are passionate about riding them, talking about them and sharing them with others. This is how most great businesses are started. Someone with a personal passion recognizes a need in the marketplace, takes a risk and starts a company to share their vision with the world.