Ricardo Semler

It’s so easy for people to hide behind a mission statement, to follow the military model—to go there, find, and destroy. Why? That’s not a question to be asked. In the end, a mission statement is reductionist: If this is my mission, then everything else is not. Even more so a credo. When you say, That’s the way we do things around here, that signals the end of your life cycle. For people who write them, it’s a feeling of control; for people who follow them, it’s a feeling of security, of knowing where they’re going. Instead, I ask, Can I live with a company that I don’t control, whose future I do not pretend to understand, and that is going in directions unknown? Yes, that’s very uncomfortable—but ultimately more gratifying.

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