The Mercenary vs Missionary Mindset for Leadership & Life


I was listening to a podcast episode featuring Marc Lore, the founder of ( which was later acquired by Amazon) & (Which Walmart acquired to build the backbone of their E-commerce battle with Amazon). It's a fascinating story, and it's a great listen for everyone, even mildly interested in the entrepreneurial Mindset and the e-commerce industry.

But it's one mindset definition that he speaks about in the episode that got me thinking. It separates those with a Mercenary methodology from those with a Missionary mindset and what that difference could mean for the career journeys and leadership journeys one could have.

So how do we differentiate them. A mercenary is typically a leader who has a clear focus on making money to generate wealth for themselves and their companies' bottom-line. It also means aggressive speed is their core focus, along with a razor-sharp, almost authoritarian style of driving their vision ahead. They focus on their competitors, think opportunistically, and build hunters out to get what the company needs.

Missionaries, on the other hand, are driven by passion. They're running a marathon, looking to create long term value for their employees and their customers (often at the expense of their bottom line). They operate as coaches and mentors to their team of farmers driven by values and an obsession with contributing.

A large part of the business world has always consisted of mercenaries, but what the world needs today is many more missionaries. Where does your Mindset genuinely lie in the meter of mercenary to a missionary? And what will make you shift that ever so slightly in the right direction to build what tomorrow requires?

Weekly recommendations

This week’s recommendations are great to learn from.

1. Starting with a deep dive conversation Guy Raz had with Marc Lore on his entrepreneurial journey


2. Then Kara swisher talks to Snap CEO Evan Spiegel about the spree of announcements they just made making them immediate competitors with Tik Tok.


and closing off with a fabulous chat between Garry Tran and the Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong on cryptocurrency ( super apt time for this )


I had a fascinating chat this week with Shyatto Raha the founder & CEO of Myhealthcare on how technology is going to be core for healthcare to evolve for the future. This is part of a series of #FutureForward sessions i’m hosting for Upgrad & LBB. Some deep insights in this one.

Quote of the week

Dreaming with your eyes open means being alert to challenges but refusing to let them stop you.

-Ronnie Screwvala ( “Dream with your eyes open”)