Some companies don't know why they're in business. They're just going to work every day without thinking – punching in and punching out, running on the hamster wheel. There's no direction or orientation toward the future. There's not explicit statement of values or goals. It's just people going to work.
Companies that operate under this mindset of drudgery are often the first to go under in times of trouble. When times get hard, companies without a sense of purpose dissolve. There's nothing, after all, that's really holding them together. The companies that survive such tough times will be those who are built with a strong foundation.
One of my most frequently-repeated sayings is, "You can't know where you're going until you know where you're at." The companies who succeed will be those who understand themselves. They have a clear set of values and a clear set of ambitions about the future. They write down and live out their mission statements. They write down where they expect to be in the next 5-10 years, and how they plan to get there. The companies who succeed, in other words, will be those who are deliberate with their vision. Intention can make all the difference.
David Lykken is 40-year industry veteran who has been an owner operator of three mortgage banking companies and a software company. As co-founder and Managing Partner of Mortgage Banking Solutions, David consults on virtually all aspects of mortgage banking with special emphasis executive leadership development, corporate strategic direction and implementation as well as mergers & acquisitions. A regular contributor on CNBC and Fox Business News, David also hosts a successful weekly radio program called “Lykken On Lending” (www.LykkenOnLending.com) that is heard each Monday at noon (Central Standard Time) by thousands of mortgage professionals. Recently he started producing a 1-minute video called “Today’s Mortgage Minute” that appears on hundreds of television, radio and newspaper websites daily across America.
Last week on my Lykken on Lending radio show, we discussed some of the key factors that lead to some organizations succeeding while others fail. One point that I thought was particular poignant was something that often gets overlooked in such discussions--because it's a little abstract. Perhaps the frequent contributor to companies failing in the marketplace is the lack of a strategic vision.