September 13, 2006
News & Opinion: Doing Good And Doing Well
Do you believe that you and your company can do good and do well at the same time? I do. I wrote Kiss Theory Good Bye to give you the tools and techniques to use daily to accomplish your goals protably and ethically.
I hope you share my belief that a highly protable company can be both competitive and successful while maintaining its integrity. The old adage is true: You can do good and do well. You dont have to cheat to become highly protable. Theres no need to color your reporting or cook the books to achieve great success.
Whether you are the leader of a Fortune 1000 company, the owner of a privately held business, the leader of a not-for-prot organization, or a manager or supervisor within a department, successful leaders share a set of common goals. We want to be part of a successful organization that consistently achieves its objectives. We want to make our work easier and more fullling.
We want all of our employees working collaboratively to achieve the organizations objectives, have fun, react less, and be proud members of an enterprise that is respected and admired.
We all want to be part of a company where employees look forward to coming to work and being part of a bigger mission. We want to create an environment where everyones ideas and talents are sought after and respected, where trust is high and politics are kept to a minimum.
Unfortunately, some business leaders look for the quickest road to success, regardless of the consequences. The business pages of newspapers and magazines are lled with news about seemingly successful companies and CEOs who basked in the glory of the cover stories and feature articles, only to come crashing back to earth as their dishonest, corrupt, and greedy business practices came to light. For instance, former WorldCom chief executive Bernie Ebbers just last week was ordered to report to prison on Sept. 26th.
Companies can be ethical, fair, and socially responsible while competing ercely to win in the marketplace. You can do good and do wellthese traits are not mutually exclusive. Companies such as Edward Jones, The Container Store, Adobe, TDIndustries, JM Smucker, Chick-l-A, and Southwest Airlines are just a few examples of corporate success achieved by doing both good and well. There are also many small and midsize companies and organizations, including Rasa Floors (owned by my good friend Michael Rasa), Junior Achievement, The Boy Scouts of America, and many others that have achieved exemplary status.
Companies are created for one purpose: to achieve a mission. To do this requires consistent delivery of results against goals. Results are best achieved when organizations have strong leaders who know how to balance vision and results, create an accountability-based culture, hire the right people, communicate effectively, realize that people are the most important asset, tie recognition and rewards to results, operate with integrity, and have the courage to lead.
I sometimes wonder if business integrity and honesty are less important today than they were yesterday?
About Dylan Schleicher
Dylan Schleicher has been a part of the 800-CEO-READ claque since 2003. Even though he's stayed on at the company, he has not stayed put. After beginning in shipping & receiving, he joined customer service and accounting before moving into his current, highly elliptical orbit of duties overseeing the ChangeThis and In the Books websites, the company's annual review of books and in-house design. He lives with his wife and two children in the Washington Heights neighborhood on Milwaukee's West Side.