I recall leaving the National Association of Personnel Services (NAPS) conference angry and frustrated after listening to Don Schmincke defiantly explain that success in our companies isn’t about mastering processes, metrics, goals, or strategic analysis. Hadn’t I just filled three exercise books with notes on exactly that, ready to fly home to Japan to change the face of recruiting?
Wasn’t the NAPS conference all about the processes of recruiting, content, metrics, scripts, function, industry specialization, and location? Not to Schmincke—he indicated that these are important but aren’t the main drivers of our businesses. I now had more questions than answers. Why had I started my own firm at the beginning? What was our mission at our company, Morunda? What was our dream, our purpose? Was I crazy?
Schmincke spoke of Viktor Frankl from his book, Man’s Search for Meaning. Frankl, an Austrian neurologist and psychiatrist as well as a Holocaust survivor, observed human behavior as a prisoner in Nazi Germany’s concentration camps. He discovered that the people who had a dream, purpose, and passion survived the concentration camps, and those who didn’t perished.
Schmincke had rekindled the desire that had led me to recruiting 18 years earlier. I started to dream and imagine in a way I hadn’t for a long time. The words of Og Mandino (The Greatest Salesman in the World) sprang to mind, “I’ll greet this day with love in my heart for this is the greatest secret of success.” Passion and love drive profits, not processes. Our attitude determines our achievements in life and in business. Passion always triumphs. It’s not the “how”; it’s the “why.” The “how” doesn’t drive revenue; it’s the “why.” The “how” is all around us, but once we know “why,” the rest is easy.
Schmincke described how people need “drama,” and if they don’t have it within their companies, then they will naturally create drama. Organizations, according to Schmincke, need a compelling saga and a battle cry that unites, motivates, and inspires them. Great companies either have, or create, a great saga. For example, Japanese mining and construction equipment manufacturer Komatsu’s ongoing mission is to “encircle Caterpillar,” Coca-Cola’s aim is to put their product within “arm’s reach” of everyone in the world, and Rolex’s pitch states that they don’t sell watches, they sell jewelry.
What would be Morunda’s slogan? “Dreams not jobs?” As Steve Jobs said, “Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do.”