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Great Companies Have Great Purposes

I am reading John Mackay’s, Conscious Capitalism and came across an interesting discussion on company’s purpose that I want to share with you.

Plato first set forth three transcendent ideals – the Good, the True and the Beautiful. Mackay applies these to companies and added an additional ideal, the Heroic.

Below is a summary of each. Which of the ideals does your company embody?

The Good

Service to others – improving health, education, communication and quality of life.  Based on a genuine empathy for the needs and desire of others, which includes everyone associated with your company – customers, vendors, employees, and the community at-large.

Think Zappos, Trader Joe’s, Nordstrom and The Container Store.

The True

Discovery and furthering of human knowledge. Improve mankind’s ability to pursue knowledge.

Think Google, Intel, and biotechnology companies.

The Beautiful

Motivated by excellence to create beautiful things and experiences that approach perfection.

Think Apple, Four Seasons and BMW.

The Heroic

Courage to do what is right to change and improve the world. Willing to take risks in the face of enormous odds.

Think Henry Ford, Grameen Bank (see Banker to the Poor), and Whole Foods.

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