“Passion” is a term that is overused by business to the extent that it has become meaningless. No matter how soul-sucking the job, management claims that they’re looking for a person who will tackle it with “passion.” Unfortunately, it’s not easy to generate passion for a job that provides an income and not much else. This is where impact enterprises have a real edge -- finding qualified and motivated employees with an interest in their world-changing mission.
There are a lot of highly qualified people who would love to get a job where they can make a real difference with their efforts. The impact enterprise should therefore have an easier time than most businesses in finding and hiring employees who are highly motivated, or “passionate,” about the enterprise’s mission.
There is a potential dark side, however, to hiring an employee seeking to change the world. The employee may be so driven by the mission that they forget that the company still needs to make a profit. This may be okay for a line employee whose decisions do not directly impact financial results. Good management can help them to perform so that they meet both social and financial goals.
Key managers with P&L responsibility, however, must have a strong for-profit mentality. This is particularly true when the Founder/President has a strong mission focus and ignores profits. In such cases, s/he must be balanced by a top executive (CEO/CFO/COO) who has a strong for-profit mentality combined with a belief in the mission.
Impact enterprises have the opportunity to use their mission to attract top quality employees. They can lead with mission when assessing prospective employees, but must also assess whether the prospect has the right skills and profit-generating mindset for the position.