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Amazing Possibilities!

  • Writer's pictureMatthew Kelly

Mission Is King

Every organization has a king. In extremely unhealthy cultures,

people don’t know who or what is king from one day to the

next. This leaves them guessing which way the wind is blowing

on any given day, and wasting tons of time and energy lost in

gossip and politics.

Who or what is king in your organization? The founder?

The CEO? The customer? Which customer? Any customer or

just some special customers? The owner? The owner’s family

members? The board? The union? The shareholders? The

community? They cannot all be king. We have all met CEOs

who thought they were the king or queen of that organization.

It’s arrogant and unattractive. Most family businesses have to

deal with feuds between various family members—often as the

second or third generation takes over the organization—many

of whom wish to appoint themselves king.

Now, you might be wondering what on earth I’m talking

about, and that’s OK. So let me explain, because this really

matters. If you don’t get this right, it is really hard to get anything

else right around organizational clarity and culture.

In the organizations I am involved in as the leader or the owner,

there are two sayings that everyone is used to hearing a lot:

Mission Is King.

Matthew is not king!

The most effective way to serve everyone’s best interests is

to make mission king. Nothing trumps mission. What’s the

mission? What are we really trying to accomplish here above all

else? If that is not the most important thing, the organization

will be repeatedly kidnapped by egos, career climbers, whims,

and fancies, and constantly be engaged in a massive game of

organizational tug-of-war.

Matthew Kelly

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