...it matters more why your business does what it does -- the company's mission. The cause or belief that inspires leaders and, in great companies, employees and customers as well. (Note: to build a $100 million company is not a mission.) That's the simplified version of the theory espoused by Simon Sinek, founder of the SinekPartners consultancy, professor at Columbia, and public speaker, who I met recently at our offices.

By helping leaders identify their 'Why?' Sinek teaches them how to inspire employees and, in turn, customers. How the company does what it does is important. And what the company does is as well. But real long-term success only comes to those companies that hold onto their 'Why' through growth, succession, etc. Sinek points to Microsoft and AOL as companies that have lost focus of their 'Why.' JetBlue might be heading in the same direction, he says. What do you think of this theory? Do your employees and customers know exactly what the company's mission is -- why you all do what you do?