“If you are a teacher, be your best student.” Adyashanti
“If you are a CEO, be your best employee.” Me
In a recent strategic planning session it became very clear that one thing that TaskUs was missing was a well communicated long term vision. Our team knew that we wanted to grow. But how specifically? Would we raise money? Did we want to go public, sell, run this thing as a lifestyle? I spent the past three weeks working on this. I sat down with every member of our management team here and in Manila and asked them where they wanted to be in five years. We went into great detail. Then I asked, what do you think TaskUs needs to do to get you there.
“I want to make $150,000 a year.”
“How much does TaskUs need to make, in order for you to earn that money?”
I see my role as assessing our current reality and synthesizing our people’s personal visions with a strategy that will take the business to where it needs to be for them to achieve their dreams. Monday, after my silent retreat, I communicated what we will achieve in the next five years. Then we talked about what we need to focus on in the next 18 months and in the next quarter in order to make this happen. It was great.
But today I’m thinking a lot about our bigger purpose. What impact are we going to leave on the world. My brother sent me a depressing article from the Atlantic. Read it if you have five minutes. If you don’t, read this – In the Philippines from 2010 to 2011, 76.5% of the country’s increase in GDP went to the 40 richest Filipino families. There is no other country in Asia that has that kind of wealth gap. Why does this matter? In the Philippines “32 percent of children under age five suffer from moderate to severe stunting due to malnutrition, according to UNICEF, and roughly 60 percent of Filipinos die without ever having seen a healthcare professional.”
I’ve got no problem with wealth. The primary reason I created TaskUs was to get rich. I don’t even have a problem with inequality. There have to be winners and losers for capitalism to work. But I do have a problem with kids starving and elderly people dying without ever seeing a doctor.
From my perspective education is the long term, cure all for the challenges that face the Philippines (and the rest of the world). We started the TaskUs Foundation to ensure that all children are given the chance to get a great education. Today I’m proud to announce that for the 2013-2014 school year we will be sponsoring nine kids – full tuition books and after school activities. But this is not nearly enough.
Today it’s clear to me that we need to start thinking about what our foundation will do in the next five years to transform the lives of hundreds, hopefully thousands of people.