Do this first before starting a company

Why have a Just Cause

I would be willing to bet that most entrepreneurs start companies for all the wrong reasons. I’m sure many do it to make money, to be their own boss, or simply because they have an idea. My own journey resembles this too. I started SlovSoft because I had passion for technology. NetParadox was to pursue a “great” idea, and Ceremity enabled me to get away from the corporate world and build cool tech. While these may all be legitimate reasons for founders, it should not stop there because what’s missing from all these examples is what Simon Sinek calls a “just cause”.

Benefits of Just Cause

A compelling just cause can motivate existing employees as well as attract both new hires and new customers. Without a compelling cause, organizations can be directionless, which also means that most employees are probably rowing in different directions. Likewise, without it, an organization will mostly attract employees who merely want to improve their pay or title by switching jobs. These employees don’t join because they are attracted to the mission. They show up for better pay or maybe more responsibility. They are not crusaders. They are mercenaries.

Mission, Vision and Just Cause

A lot has already been written on the subject of corporate mission and vision statements. Yet, many of us are still confused by these terms. That’s why I personally like Simon Sinek’s suggestion that we throw out those terms and replace them with “just cause”. Whatever you call it, it should not be to make more money, to be the best, biggest, fastest, cheapest, or to simply entertain founder’s desire to be her or his own boss. Instead, a great “just cause”:

  • Appeals to our core values
  • Creates “fire” in employees to wake up every day and make the vision a reality not because it’s their job, but because it is their calling.
  • Is vivid
  • and as Simon Sinek puts it, it must be for something and must be inclusive, service oriented, resilient, and idealistic

Start with Why

So how do you discover your organization’s just cause? If you’re a founder, then start with your personal WHY even before you try to define the organization’s just cause. If you’re personally not passionate about something that becomes your business, if you cannot get out of bed every day exhilarated to fulfill your personal WHY, how will you manage to get your employees excited? After your personal WHY, define the organization’s just cause that’s consistent with that WHY.

Technology entrepreneur who loves both technology and startups. You can find me at www.collak.net