- is the goal to make money an end or a means? Does the organization make money so at the end of the day it can pat itself on the back and say "look at how much we have provided for our shareholders" or "look how much money we have in the bank"? Or does the organization make money so it can be sustainable over the long haul?
- Leaders have multiploe goals - but at the end of the day, when push comes to shove (what does that phrase really mean?) does the leader worry about making money over everything else (we know where that leads to) or does the leader worry more about the people of the organization?
- If the leader's goal is to develop the people of the organization, is it an end or a means toward the goal...in other words, am I developing people so they have a greater capacity to make money for the organization, or so they themselves become better leaders?
- Sustainability of the organization involves creating value - which we all know carries more weight in many instances than only making money. However, there had better be a plan in place to eventually make money, or the value will become valueless. So what comes first - the plan to make money or the plan to create value?
- The inherent mind of the leader goes to influencing people toward a common goal. What if the organization one leads is a not-for-profit? (I am having breakfast in 20 minutes with my good friend Jerry Daivs, CEO of Goodwill Industries of Central Texas). But as we all know...no margin, no mission. So is that common goal making money or doing good? In the long run, shouldn't everyone be working to make money for the organization so that it can live out its mission?
- The ideal of leadership grabs many people because they want to act for the common good...or want to make a difference...or believe there is a better way of doing things. Sometimes the mantle of leadership is thrust upon someone and they have to step up and lead, with little or no forethought about what that means. Will they automatically "punt" to the goal of making money - or another goal that is near and dear to their heart?
As I finish this week's blog, let me think outloud for a few moments. I do believe there is no perfect answer to this conundrum...I do believe it is a BOTH/AND rather than an EITHER/OR...I do believe in the idea of "no margin, no mission"...I do believe the leader had better be concerned that at the end of the day there is cash left over to not only pay the bills but to save something for a rainy day...I do believe that people need to be developed to use their gifts and talents for more than just the goals of the organization which they work for at this time...I do believe that leaders must first and foremost consider and care for the sustainability of the organization which employs them at that moment...I do believe that a leader's personal growth will come through living with these seemingly conflicting goals...and I do believe that by living with these seemingly conflicting goals, leaders will strengthen their organizations in the long run.