“Our goal is revenue growth.”
“Because we want to grow the business.”
“Because the business should be growing.”
“Other businesses are growing. If you are not growing, you’re dying.”
“Is your business dying?”
“No. But we aren’t growing fast enough?”
“Why do you need to grow faster?”
“Why is fast growth your goal?”
“Why isn’t your goal something else? I mean, why isn’t your goal, say, greater profit margins?”
“I don’t know?”
“You don’t know why your goal isn’t better margins?”
“No. I don’t know why our goal isn’t something else. I don’t know why it isn’t better margins either.”
“Why isn’t your goal leapfrogging your competition with a new offering that creates a whole new market and serves customers in a new way?”
“I don’t know. But that’s an interesting idea.”
“Why isn’t your goal to help even more people than you help right now? Would a more meaningful mission give you another kind of growth, as well as revenue growth?”
“I believe it would.”
“So why is your goal revenue growth again?”
“I am going to have to spend time thinking about this.”
Fast revenue growth is the result of doing countless other things right, chief among them creating greater value for the market you serve and building an organization that finds meaning in delivering that value.
You don’t improve the score on the scoreboard by focusing on the scoreboard. You improve the score by improving how you play the game.
You might think about what game you are playing from time to time.
So what game are you playing? If revenue growth is the scoreboard, what are the competencies that lead to revenue growth? If you lead a team, how do you infuse your work with meaning and identity, something more compelling than “get me more revenue!”
Do meaningful work this week, and I’ll see you back here next week.