It’s Not What You Sell, It’s What You Stand For: Why Every Extraordinary Business Is Driven by Purpose

Roy M. Spence, Jr., Author, Haley Rushing, With . Penguin/Portfolio $25.95 (318p) ISBN 978-1-59184-241-5

Every business should strive for more than just profit; it should aim to become an organization of great purpose—pledged to make money, make a difference and make history, cheerleads Spence, chairman and CEO of ad agency GSD&M. The author supplements uplifting homilies with case studies (starring his clients) to argue that a high-concept purpose can bring vitality to any company. Southwest Airlines, for example, worked hard not just to lure customers away from older airlines but to offer affordable air travel, “democratizing the skies.” Likewise, Wal-Mart brings goods that were once distant luxuries to rural families. Highway littering was rising by 17% per year in Texas until an enterprising politician appealed to state pride with the “Don’t Mess with Texas” campaign. Spence argues that people work harder and more joyfully when they believe they are part of something larger than themselves; he speaks enthusiastically about employees turned into company evangelists and the power of purpose-based leadership. This is a positive reminder of the private sector’s potential in making a difference in the world. (Feb.)

Reviewed on: 12/15/2008
Release date: 02/01/2009
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