Victus Spiritus


Companies Die without Enduring Corporate Kernels

02 Dec 2010

Ego is Insufficient

With the way media celebrates and demonizes pop company leadership, the message implied is that the CEO or founders are the core of a business. But I'm writing today because this is incorrect. A handful of energetic voices are an inadequate foundation for a lasting business. Nor is the core of a business it's technology staff or creative talent. The vital kernel of any nascent business is purpose. One mega ego or even a few large egos may be present at company formation, but without a mission to drive them forward, to bind them together, and attract new talent they will drift apart, or at best develop a transient business*.

Purpose outlasts founders, investors, and CEOs

Market need met with corporate execution are ongoing requirements for doing business, but they aren't the corporate identity. If branding is how the world perceives a business, then purpose is how people inside view a company. Businesses survive changing leadership, losing key employees, and trading investors. Corporations die without purpose, and greed is not enough^.

*= Transient companies are short lived or the type of companies that are acquired and then quickly fall apart.

^= Unless your Goldman Sachs