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Monday, November 19, 2012

What Matters Now: Post #3--Values

Values: In light of Bernie Madoff, Enron, BP, and other corporate scandals, the author sees little stewardship going on in business today. A Gallup poll shows that only 15% of people regard business as having high standards—being faithful stewards. Note that nurses came in first at 81%.  Hamel then describes such good stewards with 5 words: Fealty (protecting interests of people who work for you); Charity (putting others’ needs ahead of your own); Prudence (safeguarding the future instead of the present gain); Accountability (being responsible); Equity (being fair to all contributors). According to Hamel, the most recent economic downturn in 2008 came about as a result of a moral crisis, shared by just about everyone. He recounts the roles of many, including the Fed, bankers, politicians, insurance execs, and a raft of others who participated in the moral booze party that left America with a terrific, expensive hangover. [See pp. 11-24 for an artful (and terrifying) description of the near collapse of our economy.] Hamel calls us to emulate “Farmer Values” focused on honest sweat and hard work, and urges us not to focus on how to make a quick buck. He harkens readers and businesspeople to adopt a noble purpose, not a financial goal or arbitrary % of profit. Examples: Disney is in the joy business. People can rally around the noble purpose of Whole Foods’ CEO John Mackey, who cofounded his company based on love—a word rarely heard in corporate America.

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