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How to become the world’s Greatest Business Leaders: don’t work for money!

Updated on June 27, 2015

As you read it on the headline: the secret of those greatest leaders is “Never work for money for the sake of money”. Steve Jobs, Bill Gates or Mark Zuckerberg, they are among the list of greatest business leaders, and they rule the world in making money. Isn’t it strange when most of those billionaires say so?

I want to make it clear here that money is one of the motivators for working towards success. However, focusing on making a lot of money will only make you rich, focusing beyond that monetary ambition will make you great. The most successful business leaders work for their passion. They have a conscious and clear understanding about why they do what they do.

If everyday you wake up and feel how horrible it is to go to work, then you should ponder on it seriously. As Steve Jobs said, our career will take up the most of our life, and it is your choice to do something that makes your life meaningful, or just be easy and let it go in a easy-cheesy way. All great leaders and entrepreneurs start their life with passion, energy and a belief in building a brighter future everyday. That’s how they can work forgetting lunch, having 101% attention to their work and do the extra work at home in the evening. To think about it, it sounds crazy to us. But when you have that similar passion, you can understand why they work that hard.

Passion is the core that will make you great from the inside-out. You can fake being great, but you can hardly fake a deep interest in something consistently. Passion or love is the only thing that can move people completely. Your friends, your colleagues and staff will be able to feel that passion and love from you, which is very authentic, because that love is real and deeply rooted. That passion of yours is power, which generates negotiation advantage and persuasive argument. That passion is infectious, which can charge people around you with enthusiasm. That passion makes people respect.

The video below feature Simon Sinek talking about his book “Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action” The speech is very inspiring, and the perspective makes us keep nodding our head to agree. Simon Sinek points out and focuses on the idea clearly: all greatest people start from the inside out, who all have a clear VISION of why they do things.

Sinek explains this concept using a "Golden Circle", which goes from Why in the core to How and What on the outer layers. In terms of Marketing theory, it is no rocket science as every Marketers know brand starts from Mission and a Vision that must be ambitious enough. This model demonstrates clearly how a business should run, because it is how brands should be run.

Sadly, most of the businesses run without knowing what their ultimate purpose is, and even the employees just know they are working for money, not completing any defined vision. On a business scale, lack of the core passion results in laggishness, ineffectiveness and unmotivated environment.

There is no way to force loving something you don’t like. Career, or marriage, are very similar. Forcing yourself into it, and hoping familiarity will build love is difficult. You can only get used to it, but will not be enthusiastic, inspired or creating break-through moments.

If you set making a lot of money your life goal, think again before it’s too late. You only have one life to live. Keep in mind that it flies very fast. Don’t aim for something meaningless and regret someday. Money is one of those meaningless stuff people are crazy about. Money is a means towards a happy life, not a life goal. Think about the moment that you are so rich that you can pay for anything and enjoy the most luxurious things on Earth. It is very seducing. But be conscious that those materials won’t make you happy for long.

Happy is when you can wake up everyday with a refreshing and enthusiastic mind, planning for an awesome new day ahead.

Happy is when you feel yourself useful to the society, to the world, to everyone around.

Happy is when you feel so lucky that you can immerse your lifetime in things you love.

And happy is when you feel satisfied with your being in this world. You only live once, but if you live it right, one is enough.

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© 2015 Tran Thanh Lam


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