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14 February, 2011 / Karl Maier

A Higher Mission: A Grammy Award

Grammy Award

Grammy Award

A recent article in the Wall Street Journal entitled God at the Grammys: The Chosen One makes the observation that many top performing artists not only have talent, but also have an unwavering faith that God wanted them to be famous.  So the article concludes that believing that God wants you to be famous improves your chances for becoming famous.  Further, once an artist becomes successful the level of criticism increases exponentially.  Having a sense of mission or noble goal provides an insulation from this criticism to keep an artist moving forward and not freezing with doubt.

Recording artists are not the only beneficiaries of having a noble goal.  Traditional companies can benefit in very similar ways.

One of the great benefits of a noble goal is that it provides a sense of mission that provides insulation from uncertainty and doubt. For example, at a startup company there can be uncertainty of the size of the market, ability of the team to execute and the potential emergence of new competitors.  Having a noble goal that is greater than one person reduces the chances of people freezing up in fear from the uncertainty.  Simply avoiding this lost productivity improves the chances of success for the enterprise.  Further, having the noble goal provides motivation to attempt what might otherwise be considered impossible.

As the article notes, a noble goal (or competitive theism in the article’s words) “can make the difference between achieving what’s possible and accomplishing what seems impossible.”  A company with big plans might consider how does a noble goal fits into their culture.



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