Since I have a German-Filipino background, I have learned a lot about the at times cruel history of the 20th century around the two world wars. Moreover, I have studied historical sciences in Munich, learning a lot about the Nazi regime and all the topics related to it. My visits to the concentration camps in Dachau and Auschwitz remain unforgotten, and every now and then I would read books about the holocaust – sooner or later, I had to come across Victor Frankl’s “Man’s Search For Meaning”, I suppose. But what does this have to do with entrepreneurship?
Well, after reading about his thoughts and ideas, I think that Viktor Frankl’s approach to meaning and his concept of logotherapy can be highly relevant and beneficial to modern entrepreneurship, especially when it comes to establishing a strong vision and mission for a business. Let’s explore how Frankl’s ideas can be applied in this context:
Focus on Meaning and Purpose: Frankl’s central idea in logotherapy is that finding meaning and purpose in life is essential for human well-being. Similarly, in modern entrepreneurship, having a clear sense of purpose and a meaningful vision can be a driving force for success. Entrepreneurs should ask themselves why they are starting the business and what positive impact they want to create in the world. This sense of purpose can inspire and motivate not only the entrepreneurs themselves but also their team members and stakeholders.
Creating a Vision Statement: Frankl emphasized the importance of having a future-oriented perspective. Entrepreneurs should develop a compelling vision statement that outlines the desired future state of their business. The vision should be ambitious, inspiring, and aligned with the core values and purpose of the enterprise. It serves as a guiding light, steering the company toward its long-term goals.
Aligning Values and Actions: Logotherapy stresses the significance of aligning one’s values and actions. For entrepreneurs, this means ensuring that their business practices and decisions are consistent with their core values and mission. When the company’s actions are in harmony with its vision and values, it fosters a sense of authenticity, trust, and commitment from both employees and customers.
Resilience and Meaning-Making in Challenges: Frankl emphasized the human capacity to find meaning even in difficult circumstances. In entrepreneurship, challenges are inevitable, and setbacks can occur. Entrepreneurs can draw from Frankl’s approach to finding meaning in adversity and use it as a source of resilience. By reframing challenges as opportunities for growth and learning, entrepreneurs can maintain a sense of purpose and motivation.
Emphasizing Human Connection: One of the pillars of logotherapy is the belief in the importance of meaningful human connections. Entrepreneurs should foster a positive and supportive work culture, where team members feel valued, respected, and connected to the company’s mission. Engaged and fulfilled employees are more likely to contribute to the business’s success.
Serving a Higher Purpose: Frankl’s idea of self-transcendence aligns with the concept of businesses having a higher purpose beyond profit. Modern entrepreneurship can embrace this notion by incorporating social responsibility and sustainable practices into their mission. Companies that make a positive impact on society and the environment often attract loyal customers and enjoy long-term success.
Incorporating Frankl’s logotherapy into modern entrepreneurship can lead to businesses that are not only financially successful but also deeply fulfilling and purpose-driven. By focusing on meaning, vision, and mission, entrepreneurs can create organizations that inspire and positively influence both their team members and the world around them.