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The Importance of Drama in Your Business

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Dec 19, 2011

I attended the NAPS conference back in September. I left angry and frustrated after listening to Don Schmincke defiantly explain that success in our companies is not 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 are not the main drivers of our businesses.

I now had more questions than answers. Why had I started my own firm eight months earlier? What was our mission at our new company, Morunda KK? 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 it was those people that had a dream, purpose, and passion that survived the concentration camps, and those that didn’t perished.

Don Schmincke had rekindled the desire that had led me to recruiting ten years earlier. I started to dream and imagine in a way I had not done 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”

It is not the “How” that drives revenue, it is the “Why.” The “How” is all around us; once we know “Why,” the rest is easy.

Don 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 companies. 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 do not sell watches, they sell jewelry.

What would be Morunda KK’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.”

Lessons from Rugby

I learned the power of passion and enthusiasm at an early age. As a boy, my passion was Rugby League in Armidale NSW Australia. From the age of 5 to 18, we all played in rain, hail, or snow. Between the ages of 12 and 15, our team was undefeated locally. We were riding high. The last game of the year came around at a junior level, under 15s. We had easily defeated our opponents, Duval High School, two weeks earlier. This was going to be yet another pennant on the wall.

However, the team we played that day was not the Duval we knew. Duval ran onto the field like men possessed, led by their captain Theo Anast (who later played 1st grade in Sydney and for France). They ran and tackled like seasoned pros and eventually won the match. We had no answer to explain their determination, passion, and self-belief. I would later learn that there was a dramatic backstory; they were sick and tired of being beaten up by the nearby school.

Theo and his team taught me an invaluable lesson in life, that passion can defeat skill and talent. Enthusiasm, and having the courage to believe that the impossible is possible, will win the day.

What are our dreams, passion, and dramas going to be? I left the conference dwelling on the haunting image of a mountain climber that Don Schmincke described; he was found dead halfway down the mountain with a camera in his pocket containing a triumphant picture of himself and his friends at the top of the summit. The goal achieved.  However, the climber’s edge, passion, and focus had now shifted. The goal was achieved and death was his reward.

What is your compelling saga?

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