From Success to Significance
Many entrepreneurs start off by dreaming of success – becoming rich and respected for their achievements. However, once they have realised their dream, they often feel the need to make a significant contribution to the world. It now becomes about making a real difference and impacting people’s lives positively.
The psychologist Abraham Maslow described this as self-actualisation. Or said in other words: ‘What a man can be, he must be.’ This is why Warren Buffet has bequeathed $42 billion to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation; why Bono spends more time talking about poverty and Aids than performing and why Oprah Winfrey founded a school for leadership in South Africa.
We can also be significant within our own companies. How? Return on investment is important but is not the key factor. Great business leaders affect other people’s lives by enabling them to perform way beyond what they did previously. They often are also agents of change – change that lives on long after the leader. And their most striking characteristic is passion: they ignite, evoke and share passion.
Robbie Brozin, CEO of Nando’s in South Africa, believes that without passion nothing will work. He co-founded a very successful, international chain of chicken restaurants. ‘Building a great business is about surrounding yourself with good people and sharing your passion with them so that they are infected by it. No person can do it alone, not Richard Branson, not Bill Gates, nobody.’
Is your passion contagious enough to make a significant difference?