In his classic book on organizational leadership, author Patrick Lencioni talked about the importance of connecting an organization's purpose to a greater cause. For example, he talks about a leader of a hotel company who works in the business because he is in love with the idea of vacations or luxury. In other words, for the best leaders, there's something more general about what they do that drives their interest in their industries.
In the mortgage industry, I think we all know what this is. We talk about it often in our advertisements. We aren't just selling home loans; we are selling the American Dream. We are in the mortgage business not just because it's a lucrative way to make a living. We are in the business because the home is sacred to us. We are passionate about seeing people move into the homes that will serve as the geographic foundation of their family and social lives far into the future.
That being said, I'm afraid that we often lose touch with this sense of greater purpose. We get bogged down with the everyday tasks and demands of the industry, and we stop thinking about why we're really in it. We continue to sell the American Dream but, at some point, we might stop buying it. If we really want to be successful, though, we've got to do everything we can to keep this purpose alive. The "American Dream" is a much greater motivator for doing business than a "home loan," both for the buyers and for us as leaders in the industry.