Insights on business,
life, and leadership —
right in your inbox!

Methods & Mission

May 16, 2023

ADDO started in 2011 with the mission to inspire people today to impact tomorrow.

It’s a compelling mission. It’s others-focused, and it makes sense because of our name—ADDO is the Latin word for inspire. But it serves as a poor marketing tool for a customer who is trying to figure out what we actually do.

Over the years, we have tried multiple approaches to adequately articulate what we do. In the past, we’ve talked a lot about leadership and how we are a “leadership consultancy.” More recently, we have talked a lot about learning, emphasizing how we create tools that help educate leaders and their teams. 

I don’t think we’ve nailed the messaging yet, and we’ll always work to make it better. 

Here’s the tension we have to live in: becoming increasingly clear about how we articulate our methods without falling in love with those methods.

Let me explain it this way: The world is constantly evolving, so our methods will likely have to change again down the road. We need to be sharp in our communication, but we can’t allow that clarity to make us rigid in our approaches. Our methods are a means to help us reach a goal that is unchanging.

When you fall more in love with your methods than your mission, you will become extinct.

For those of you who are millennials and older, you’ll remember how Netflix started. When they first came on the scene, their main competitor was Blockbuster—the movie rental store. Netflix’s method was different. You would place an order for a DVD, and Netflix would mail it to your house. When you were finished watching, you would mail it back. It was a simple method to work toward their mission: to entertain the world. But as we now know, they weren’t in love with their methods. They saw a greater opportunity to entertain the world as a streaming platform and dove into this method head first. 

On the flip side, Blockbuster was in love with its method and dedicated to remaining a storefront in communities all over the United States. In fact, in Netflix’s early days, Blockbuster had a chance to buy the company for $50 million. At the time, Blockbuster laughed their offer out of the room. They thought mailing DVDs was a silly fad that wouldn’t amount to much, but they didn’t take into account Netflix’s mission and dedication to adapting in a changing world. As of last year, Netflix was worth over $19 billion. As I said earlier, when you fall more in love with your methods than your mission, you will become extinct.

Here’s my challenge to you (and to me) today, be flexible about methods and immovable about mission. We lose when we become more passionate about the method than the mission.

Think of it this way. Your purpose is your destination, and your methods are the way you will reach the destination. So far, the journey has been all on the road, so the car you’ve been driving is working fine. But thousands of miles down the road, you hit a raging river right in the middle of your path. There is not a bridge in sight, but there is a boat on the edge of the river. You wouldn’t drive your car into the river to get across. You’d hop in the boat! Methods are tools to get you where you need to go.

Whether it’s leadership or learning, or something entirely different, I’m grateful to be a part of a team at ADDO who will employ any method to its fullest extent to accomplish the mission. We are married to our mission and will choose to date the methods.


Insights on business,
life, and leadership —
right in your inbox!