Successful Business Leaders Share One Purpose


Every successful business leader has one single-minded purpose, create customers.

Businesses aren’t born until they create customers;
they die when they stop. 

I love writing about the qualities and behaviors of effective leaders. But, all the clarity, alignment, collaboration, and vision in the world won’t mean a thing if you don’t create customers.

Peter Drucker said,

“The purpose of business is to create a customer.”


Internally focused leaders are worse than useless, they’re destructive, when they lose touch with creating customers. Process improvement is futile, for example, if you aren’t creating customers.

Leaders who don’t spend personal time with potential customers inevitably lose touch with the purpose of business.

Leaders don’t drive business, prospective customers do.


When was the last time you spent time with potential customers? I’m not talking about customer surveys.

When was the last time you –

  1. Had coffee with a potential customer, not to sell but to learn.
  2. Invited potential customers to meetings.
  3. Listened to current customers without making excuses for their complaints or concerns.
  4. Sat with new customers to ask why they chose you.
  5. Personally invited new customers to share the experience they had with your business.

When was the last time you – not the customer service department – looked into the eyes of a potential customer and asked, “How can I serve you?”


Everyone who hates marketing hates business.
If you’re too good to market, you’re too good for business.

Peter Drucker said,

“The business enterprise has two – and only two – basic functions: marketing and innovation. Marketing and innovation produce results; all the rest are costs. Marketing is the distinguishing, unique function of the business.

Myopic, ingrown business leaders sit in meetings talking to each other. They’ve lost touch with the reason for their existence, creating customers.

What causes business leaders to lose touch with customers?

How can business leaders stay focused on the fundamental goal of creating customers?

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