#2: The purpose of business is not to maximize profits but to steward our resources to serve the world in an economically sustainable way

The goal of meeting a need in society should be central to every organization incorporated by the state. Most firms and the people who work in them acknowledge that their organization exists to do something useful for society. Unfortunately, the current fad of putting shareholder value at the forefront of mission statements has made serving society a secondary goal, at least for many publicly traded corporations.

Some companies seem to exist only for profits. Selling a product becomes the means to that end. In my opinion, a much better case can be made for reversing the means and ends. The end should be selling a product, and the means to keep doing so should be making a profit.

The concept of service is crucial to the creation of a joyful workplace as people want to be part of something greater than themselves. They want to do something that makes a positive difference in the world. Most employees do not consider making a profit for shareholders, or even making money for themselves, sufficient to satisfy this goal. When a company gives a high priority to serving society, its employees are energized.

The most important questions in business are often never asked: What is our motive? What is our purpose? Are they worth-while? Motive and purpose guide behavior, color decisions, and add or subtract joy from work. Keep asking these questions, and use the answers to measure success.

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