In the book, If Aristotle Ran General Motors, by Tom Morris, there was a profound quote about business. Tom Morris wrote: “Business is a partnership of people creating, in many ways, a better life for others as well as ourselves.”
The key word in this definition for my business and I dare say yours, is the word partnership. Partnership, in this definition, is based on the question: What can I do for you to get you to cooperate with me? Weren’t we all raised with statements like: What goes around comes around; You reap what you sow?
What a different business environment it would be if everyone embraced Tom Morris’s definition of business, instead of the corporate mantra of “what’s in it for me?”
Partnerships i.e. relationships, are based on trust, other-centeredness, honesty and ethics. Helping others get what they need, in the end helps you get what you need. How did this simple truth get so lost in the world today? How did we “lose our way?”
Partnerships are about serving, about thinking of others before yourself, and reaping the benefits that one gets from doing this genuinely and consistently. Isn’t this is how a business builds a loyal customer base? Isn’t this being “value-based and principle driven?”
It is very clear what happens when leaders don’t act this way, i.e. read the news and watch the media. We get what we got and who likes it? The challenging question for all is, what are you, as a leader, going to do about it in your business or industry?