A core purpose

Jason Levin says that to be
successful in business,
you first have to figure out what your purpose is.
Working in the flower business
he founded as Gringo Ventures
LLC — which does business
as Dos Gringos — Levin says
that his purpose is to sell products that make a difference in
the lives of his customers.

Understanding your purpose
can help you create a vision
and mission that your employees can achieve.

“The vision gives your team
something to strive for,” he says
of his 150-employee, $20 million
company. “Ideas are cheap; it’s
teams that win. So when the
whole team is working together
toward that vision, great things
can happen.”

Smart Business spoke with
the president and owner of Dos
Gringos about how to create a
successful vision and mission
that give your employees something to work toward.

Q. How do you create a

Your vision is what you see
for the company down the
road. You get the team
involved in the whole process.
And from there, it’s making
sure that everyone is making
decisions consistent with that
every day. That’s where the
importance of the mission
comes in — is what we’re
doing right now getting us
closer to the mission, is it consistent with our mission?

It stems from the core culture that you have — open-door policy and making sure
that you’re open to ideas from
everyone. It drills down from
me with my leadership team
to the management team to all
the way through having an
open-door policy.

At one point, we had a mission that was four paragraphs
long. We realized there’s no
way that we can get all of us
to know a four-paragraph mission, so we needed to narrow
it down to what’s that key
thing that we do.

It doesn’t have to be big and
formal, it’s just one sentence …
and narrowing it down and
getting everybody’s idea for
what do we do to make this
world a better place.

Q. How do you narrow
your mission statement?

What do you do that
makes the world a better place was how we
approached it. It’s just
that one or two sentences that are key to
driving your business
forward that you can
lean to when you have
to make difficult decisions — what is it, and
to ask that question over
and over again.

If this was our mission
and we were faced with
this difficult situation,
could we go back to our
mission and ask ourselves, ‘Is
this consistent?’