Your Ideal Future’s Obstacle, Part 1

No matter what kind of company you have, what industry and audience, you deal with this obstacle. It's non-discriminatory. Marketing, sales, leadership, it doesn't matter. Whether you're an entrepreneur, startup, or a mature business, there is one main obstacle that most people know about that keeps them from reaching their ideal future. Most don't understand how pervasive and deep this one obstacle is. It has three levels; Personal, Culture, and Public. It's being misunderstood or lack of effective communication.

According to Leon F Seltzer Ph.D., he believes that humans' need for feeling understood could be even more important than feeling loved. We can internalize this idea as a single person, but we can also internalize it as a company or a company leader. We've all been there when we have not received support, a sale, or an account because the other party did not understand the value and expertise our people could bring to the project. It plays with our internal sense of fairness; I don't mind losing the business if we're not the best company for the task.

This communication problem, being misunderstood, has three levels to it — the personal deals with finding the right words that adequately communicate our desires to connect. The second is cultural. This moves from the individual to the group and involves putting all those words into a language that accurately expresses the desired message and purpose of the group. The icing on the cake is the visual aspect—taking the language and complementing, designing, or portraying it with the right visuals that support the language of purpose.

I will go into each level in more detail in future articles, but what I want to focus on now is the root or source of an ideal future. That source is understanding your purpose—your "why." Why does your company exist? Don't fall for the tangible, "the what," or "the how," but look for the why. Profits result from a well-executed how and what when others outside the circle understand your "why." It seems easy to answer quickly, but frequently, it's a "what" or "how."

To reach your ideal future, it is imperative to communicate your purpose, send out messages that reinforce your purpose, and align all visuals to support that purpose. Once that is done, brand congruency is achieved. Trust is built in the minds of those that come in contact with it; it's easily accepted and understood. This reduces the distance between people resulting in why we feel close (or a fan of) some companies, brands, or products over others. Don't let miscommunication stand in the way of your ideal future state.