6 October 2016


We generally define an entrepreneur as one who achieves more while spending as little as possible, and leave out the distinguishing aspect that distinguishes influential entrepreneurs from those who do not make a difference.

The secret of the former, the so-called missionariesis to be found in what they believe and in their behaviour. The less efficient leaders, the mercenaries, can be recognised by their opportunistic nature, their fixation on money and negotiations, their obsession with competitiveness and their constant preoccupation with the financial statement. In contrast, missionaries are dedicated to the strategy and to theinnovationencourage new ideas and contributions from everyone, and are recognisable above all by their obsession with customers and constant concern for the value statement. In a nutshell, mercenaries give their all to achieve success, while missionaries aspire as much for success as for the creation and promotion of values.


To find out whether you are a missionary or a mercenary, try answering these three questions:

  • Does your definition of success allow you to take a stand on an issue close to your heart and inspire others to join your cause?
  • Do you have a value proposition that explains what you believe in and therefore defines your business?
  • Do you work uniquely with your colleagues and together create value and memorable projects?

Following the example of several venture capitalists, including John Doer of Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, it is time to adopt new behaviours in the company.