I am sick and tired of hearing the words “we are/ we will change the world of … “. It is wrong on so many levels!!!
A lot of the entrepreneurs I see use this. I have fallen into the trap myself, too many times to feel comfortable looking back.
I am not saying you are not going to, but it is the wrong mindset! You/Us/Me/They are nothing more than enablers. We will not change the world, we will provide a tool that will work with or for the other humans around us and change the world.
The first rule of changing the world is you cannot do it yourself, or for your benefit.
We like to put individuals on high pedestals, mainly because this gives us the belief that we, at some point will receive those praises and accolades. Don’t get me wrong, there are extraordinary people out there who have, to an extent, changed the world, and deserve all the pedestals in the world. Look at Malala Yousafzai, Emmeline Pankhurst, Marie Curie, Rosa Parks, and many many more individuals that through sheer effort and determination shaped the world and the mindset we have today. But they all have one thing in common. And that thing is selflessness. None of the above looked and said “I will change the world”. They all identified a problem in society and to better to the benefit of the many. Of course, they wanted to better themselves on the way. Of course, they wanted to become better, and of course, they were competitive. But they realised that the value does not lie just in the individual improvement, but in the platform they can create for everybody around them to grow. Doing these, they allow and enable themselves to grow at levels they could never have achieved by themselves.
When you go around and say “my/our company will change the world” you inadvertently put the company’s achievement as a priority, as your ultimate goal. This is reflected in pitches, networking conversations, books and so on. Just to underline once more, this has nothing to do with personal achievements or leadership. Entrepreneurs are by definition competitive, and this will create outstanding individual achievements and iconic leaders, but those individuals strive and grow in an environment, alongside a team and are enablers as much as they are being enabled to reach greatness.
What about if you just change the phrasing slightly to “my/our company will enable or produce tools that will enable people to change the world”
What is more important to you? Your company’s accolade or how you have empowered the humans around you to be better. If you aim for the first one, you might succeed, at least for a while. You will most likely end up focusing on vanity metrics, and put your board, turnover and product above anything else.
Where if you use the “empowerment of people that use my/our product” as the main objective, you are most likely to succeed and create a successful long-lasting legacy.
Of course, this is not the only thing you need to do. For a company to become successful it should be alive, have a market fit, pay wages for a team, maybe generate a profit and so on. But how you create the products that will fit the market, how you will hire and train the “A team”, are reliant on your mindset from the beginning. Your team will be built and will be building on that mindset.
It also gives you a huge advantage because when you are focused on creating tools for your community/market you need to engage with them more to give you feedback to adapt those products to their needs, and this will enable you to better those products.
So please stop saying our company/product will change the world, because if nobody is going to use it, if it brings no value whatsoever to the people around you, there is no chance, regardless of how innovative, crazy good, amazing, superb, groundbreaking, out there or game-changing you think your company or product is 🙂
Photo: Splento/Bogdan Maran for Silverstone Wing/Exposure Comms during the #EventProfs Charity Endurance Bicycle Race