The push of the mission and the pull of the market

- Francis J. Kong (The Philippine Star) - October 17, 2015 - 10:00am

Do you have a mission? And does your mission resonate with your clients and your constituents?

Many people are clueless as to the importance of having a mission. Their only intention in life is to make enough money to pay their bills and finance their frivolities. This is why they drift through life and do things without any purpose and never derive meaning and fulfillment out of it.

And then there are those who started life with a mission. However, somewhere along the way, they figure that having a mission is ideal but not really practical. They slip and slide and compromise so they can function within the general and acceptable norms of society. Their voices are never heard again.

Still, there are those few who are the brave and the bold. They stick to their mission no matter what the majority would say. They know they would face opposition but they would never compromise on the very fuel that drives their passion. Their voices resonate and get heard.

The same principle happens to business organizations as well. Many business enterprises do not even have a mission for their being. Their main concern is to produce enough money to keep their operations going and perhaps wait for that opportune time when they strike oil, get lucky and get a windfall.

Most of these businesses fade out pretty fast. They do not have a voice; their products and offerings are mediocre.

And then there are business enterprises that started strong. They sure have a mission to change the world, to protect the environment and to be a positive force in societal change. But over time they succumb to the pressures of the market.

They reason out that while their purpose and mission are ideal, they may not be practical. Clients want it done their way and they are the ones who finance their payroll. Overtime they slip and slide and compromise on the very purpose of their existence.

These businesses may still be there but their voice is either too soft or all together very silent to even resonate. The only source of pride they have is the history of their start. Their voice is no longer heard, hence they do not have any fresh stories to tell anymore.

The brave and the bold ones take pride in what they do and what they offer. They stick to their mission. They welcome disagreements and view them as helpful guides for improvements. Their products and services may be expensive but they deliver what they promise, that’s why people still prefer them.

Their voices are respected and heard because their mission prevails over the market. There is a constant tug between wanting to stick to the mission and giving what the market wants. I call this the push of the mission and the pull of the market.

I used to be a very difficult client to manage. I could not easily be convinced, so I was the nightmare of advertising agencies’ creative people. I would challenge and argue, I would tear their scripted presentations apart, and I would question them as to the veracity and the viability of their ideas.

I did not make their jobs easy. Many of them hated me. I had my own mission, and that is to produce good and quality products, and I wanted the agency to help me with creative ideas. That would tell this story.

Some agency people would simply succumb to my every wish and want. I confess that I never respected that. I did not give them the business.

Then there would be personalities who would insist on the philosophy and feasibility of their ideas. I would fight them, argue with them until we come to a respectable agreement and these are the people I respect. I would give them the business.

They helped me, educated me and did not give in to the pull of my desires because they stuck to their mission, and being the market that I was, I rewarded them for that. The results brought in good and better businesses and we all celebrated.

The same principle operates today. I have politely declined businesses offered to me because of two things:

I am not the solution to their problems and I would not be in a position to help them.

I am not willing to compromise on the mission of improving people and businesses knowing that I have to compromise the push of the mission by accepting the pull of the market.

Many of them respected my decision while some took this as an offense. That is all right with me.

Meanwhile, the clientele of mine who understands continue to increase over time. I guess this is the reward of the market for the incessant adherence to the mission. It really works.

Never compromise mission and values for the sake of money and profits. This is what brings in meaning and fulfillment in what we do as they reflect who we are.

(Send your high potential leaders and experience two inspiring days with Francis Kong learning leadership and life skills in his widely acclaimed Level Up Leadership this Oct. 27-28 at the EDSA Shangri-La Hotel. For further inquiries contact Inspire at 09178985010 or call 632-6310912 or 6310660 for details.)



  • Latest
  • Trending
Are you sure you want to log out?
Login is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

or sign in with