For leaders of small and mid-size companies, revenue growth requires some personal growth. The two are closely interconnected.
One of the most important first steps is to identify why we work, who we work for, and to be consciously aware of it while we work.
Let me tell you the story of my raison d'être and perhaps it will help you identify (or recall or create) yours.
I was born in the Ukraine, when it was a part of the Soviet Union. We lived in the western part of the country, on the border of Poland in a city called L'vov.
My family lived in a 400-square-foot government-issued apartment, as all apartments in Ukraine were back then. Six of us lived inside that dark, drab space: my mom and dad, my grandmother and grandfather, and my great-grandmother. There were two rooms. My grandparents slept on a pullout couch in the living room, every night.
In the late 1970s, my dad decided, as a 25-year-old, that he wanted to move to America. He had heard wonderful things about the country, but back then, the United States was the enemy. It's not like he could study English in Ukraine; people were afraid to teach it. And in my family, he was the only person who wanted to leave. My grandparents, who were already retired, didn't want to leave the only country they had ever known. My mom was afraid, because she had watched movies like The Godfather, and thought perhaps everyone was like that here. Further, the world was a whole lot bigger back then. There was no Internet ...