Monday, November 2, 2015

Lead Like a Pirate

A Pirate Captain’s mission was clear and simple - plunder enemy vessels. The mission was clear and compelling and he and his team of Pirates lived it every day. Under the Captain’s strong leadership, the team of Pirates acted with urgency and confidence, persisted through challenging and ever-changing circumstances, and created extraordinary and measurable results.

Isn’t that exactly what you’re asked to do? If you are not getting the same level of commitment and results, it may be time to throw out your old, boring mission statement and - Lead like a Pirate!

A mission statement is supposed to tell your employees how they should act, guide your company's strategic direction, and tell those outside the company what you stand for.

However, the mission statement in most companies is a complete waste of time. It is usually just meaningless phrases or hype that nobody can remember. Full of interchangeable, nice-sounding phrases like “excellence” and “leadership” that make all mission statements sound exactly the same.

The mission statement is dead. There is no longer a competitive advantage in having one when all your competitors have them too, and their mission probably sounds monotonously similar to yours.

What would your business look like if you could create a mission that would infuse that same energy and passion into day-to-day activities? Think “theme” instead of mission and create a simple statement that when shared with employees becomes the driving force of service.

Here are just a few examples that work from my recent travels and interactions with clients.
  • Disney: To create happiness for people of all ages everywhere
  • At FM GLOBAL, we believe the majority of all property loss is preventable.
  • American Fidelity: Our family dedicated to yours.
  • Mary Kay: Enriching women’s lives.
The underlying idea of the “theme” is to identify who you are, what you want, and what you want to do for your customers, employees and stakeholders. Create a theme centered on quality, service, and what will make your customers feel good about doing business with you. Pay attention to their well-being and the reason they are willing to spend their dollars on your products or services.

More articles on thinking differently and strategic design:

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About the Author: 
Monica Cornetti
Founder and CEO, Sententia
A gamification speaker and designer, Monica Cornetti is rated as a #1 Gamification Guru in the World by UK-Based Leaderboarded. She is the author of the book Totally Awesome Training Activity Guide: Put Gamification to Work for You, writes The Gamification Report blog, and hosts the weekly Gamification Talk Radio program.

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