How Powerful Ideals Will Help Your Business

Yesterday, I wrapped up two-day strategic planning program with a client who owns a software development firm.  We spent the time mapping out how he will double annual revenues this year.  It was a lot of fun and very fulfilling helping him envision a leaner and more focused organization.  There is no question that if he chooses, my client will triple or quadruple the size of this company over the next few years.    

I learned a ton during this session, but I want to highlight one insight here, about how I initiated the session.  This was by helping my client connect with the "Why" behind his organization.  Why does this company exist?  What is it about?  

Over the past few weeks, I have found myself sharing this terrific TED talk by Simon Sinek, based on his book Start With Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Actionwith several clients and colleagues.  I love the talk because it does such a good job capturing the power of idealism to motivate and inspire change.   

When I asked my CEO client about the Why behind his business, he immediately took me back to the early days of his company, when he founded it with the vision of helping entrepreneurs prosper through creative self-expression and embracing of their highest ideals. 

Tapping into that early vision transformed our strategic planning work together.  Now, growing his firm is no longer just about increasing revenues and his personal net worth.  It’s about improving the lives and businesses of other entrepreneurs.   It’s about bringing more creativity into the business and non-profit arenas.  It’s about helping more people express their own highest visions.  It is about improving the better world. 

It's easy to shrug off the power of this kind of idealism, but the truth is we are all inspired and energized by noble ideals.  Service, love, beauty, courage – these the most powerful forces on the planet.  And they are intrinsic to our nature.  We are hard wired to love, care and serve. 

Embracing this natural idealism in ourselves and bringing it to our business creates a special kind of alchemy. Our work becomes a calling and a vocation.  Our organizations become causes and movements.  And when investors, employees and customers recognize that -- and see that it is genuine -- they respond. 

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Francesco Barbera

Francesco Barbera is a corporate attorney representing emerging growth corporations in a wide range of industries, including software, technology, digital, fashion, health care, retail and e-commerce. He counsels entrepreneurs, investors and established companies on the full range of their business activities, from formation through raising capital, growth and acquisition.  He has special expertise in the representation of mission-driven organizations and social enterprises.  

Throughout his career, he has represented the National Broadcasting Corporation, the Grammy Museum, Ares Capital Management, Credit Suisse First Boston, as well as privately held businesses in internet, media and technology, mobile applications, consumer products, professional sports, film and television production, among others over the course of his career. 

Francesco began his legal career at two large, international law firms in Los Angeles, where he represented large and small enterprises in a broad range of transactions, from mergers and acquisitions to public and private securities offerings to the formation of partnerships and joint ventures.

Francesco is also the Co-Chairman of the Los Angeles chapter of Conscious Capitalism, Inc.  A lifelong student of psychology and personal development, Francesco holds a Master’s Degree in Spiritual Psychology from the University of Santa Monica and has been trained and mentored by numerous leaders in the personal development arena, including Steve Chandler, Byron Katie and George and Linda Pransky. 

Francesco has also founded and represented non-profit initiatives. He has served as outside counsel to the Los Angeles Leadership Academy, a charter school dedicated to training the next generation of social and political leaders, and he is the founder and former Executive Director of SpiritWalk, a non-profit fundraiser created to benefit the University of Santa Monica.    

Francesco’s writing has appeared in The American LawyerCalifornia LawyerSlate, and others. He served as the Supreme Court columnist and Executive Editor of the Harvard Law Record and was the founder and editor-in-chief of the Penn History Review, the first Ivy League journal in the country dedicated to the publication of undergraduate historical research.

Francesco is an honors graduate of Harvard Law School, cum laude, and the University of Pennsylvania, summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa.