From retail giants to tech pioneers, world-famous businessmen to serial entrepreneurs, Michael Hayman and Nick Giles direct and advise on the fundamental necessity of breaking through in business: have a Mission, campaign for it, and most of all, believe in it.
Times have changed. You are possibly reading this on your way to work, on a portable device with abounding distractions. Even I have to compete for your attention, up against media, technology, and the increasingly busy pace of everyday life.
Such is the environment faced by entrepreneurs. Markets have changed, and so has doing business. In their book, Mission, Michael Hayman and Nick Giles, co-founders of Seven Hills, an award-winning campaign consultancy firm with extensive experience in entrepreneurship and business growth, express the need for a mission if you want to be successful.
Let this book change the way you see your professional life. Whether you are a CEO, an employee, or an entrepreneur, Mission will teach you to become a campaigner for what you do and breakthrough in business.
As stated by the authors, Mission “defines and differentiates you” and “marks out the most exciting and successful businesses of today.” When coupled with Campaigning, Mission brings about Momentum. My mission through this article is to urge you to gain the momentum to read this inspiring book, or, at the very least, head to the end of this article and discover the key takeaway points.
Why is Mission important?
Giles & Hayman describe the rise of the “attention economy,” meaning that consumers have a significant influence in the success of businesses in today’s fast-paced environment. Companies must therefore adapt. As consumers need to be attracted by something they can believe in, this means companies need to firstly believe in what they are offering.
Mission brings together a wealth of experiences and opinions from various global business leaders who have been campaigners for their ideas. Airbnb, Wholefoods, Ella’s Kitchen, lastminute.com; all have arisen from entrepreneurs who were champions of their own ideas, and the advice they provide in this book is invaluable.
In the first four chapters, you will learn how to become a campaigner, and the importance of doing so. The authors intend for you to question your desire, and thereafter to begin to shaping and adapting your mission, in whatever role you might find yourself.
Mission strives to help you improve your view on your professional life
The authors suggest 7 traits that characterize a mission-driven person:
- Being driven
- Desire for self-improvement
- Effective communication skills
- Will to be disruptive
- Being persuasive
- Staying connected
The authors pose the following question at various points throughout the book: why are you doing what you’re doing?
A simple question, but not easy to answer. Einstein’s words encapsulate the need for clarity in business:
“If you can’t explain it simply enough, you don’t understand it well enough.”
Whatever your position in the business environment, the authors stress the importance of knowing your professional role and purpose.
But as well as knowing and understanding what you are doing, Mission states that you should also fully believe in what you’re doing. In this way, you will become a campaigner for your business and obtain the desired momentum.
How to develop your Mission?
The second part to the book gives direction on how to maintain the sense of mission in a fast-moving and fast-growing environment, even in the face of adversity. With examples from prolific entrepreneurs such as James Dyson and Richard Branson, to lessons from rappers and politicians, Hayman and Giles outline the essential framework of carrying your mission forward and advancing your business:
- Conviction – needed in order to inspire belief in consumers.
- Culture – combined with a campaigning spirit, can liberate talent, engendering an ambitious ambience where high performance is incubated and rewarded.
- Collaboration – the viability of businesses rests on the ability to build new relationships and networks – grab hold of what comes your way.
- Story – connect to the customer on an emotional level with your personal and/or business story.
- Communication – communicate belief at all times, to consumers and to the company.
- Failure – an inevitable part of building something – a learning experience which helps you to craft and hone your mission. Campaigners are defined not by the experience of failure, but their response to it.
- Growth – to achieve scale without losing soul, keep mission central to everything you do and never lose the will to campaign. New challenges come hand-in-hand with success.
Belief is key. This is the message that Hayman and Giles reinforce.
The belief that businesses are going to be a force for good is woven throughout the book, and it is this belief which will power your mission. Read the book, be inspired to discover, enforce your mission, become a campaigner for it, and break-through in business.
- Have a mission
- Campaign for it
- Strive for these traits: Drive, Self-improvement, Communication, Disruption, Persuasion, Connection, Optimism
- Don’t give up
- Believe in what you’re doing
Title: Mission: How The Best in Business Break Through
Authors: Michael Hayman & Nick Giles
Publisher: Penguin (July 2015)
Paperback: 227 pages
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