One of my mentors once said to me – a business that only focus’s on profit, will never be truly successful. But businesses that have a purpose greater than profit, well they are the truly successful businesses.
It got me to thinking – how many businesses consider social or moral responsibility as part of the purpose of their business. What good is your business doing to this planet? Or to peoples lives? Or does your business support a trend towards the greater good?
Or perhaps your business is actively involved in charity.
I consider these points to be really important in business, and something that we should all be considering.
This week I called a big company in Sydney who make a product that I need 300 of. And they left a lasting impression on me. You see, I’ve been gathering charity items for a drought stricken town for the last 18 months. And I’m deep at the moment in organising their annual Christmas party for 800 of the towns community. And for this Christmas party, I wanted 300 of these items, donated. Total retail cost $600.
So I contacted this company (that shall remain nameless), who are a large Australian company with offices all over the world and a whole raft of product offerings. I presented the charitable work I am doing, and I told them how 300 of their product would change the evening for a bunch of kids there, who had been doing it really tough in this drought. A night to be kids, instead of farm hands, grown up too early with this damned drought.
The lovely receptionist at this company phoned me back to tell me that her bosses had said no to donating anything. Can you imagine this big company couldn’t even donate what might cost them $100 at the most to manufacture? Where was their heart??!!
This lovely receptionist was so apologetic. I could tell she felt terrible, and was embarrassed at their ambivalence. Then she said, I’ve watched some of the videos of this work you are doing, and it bought me to tears. I feel so sorry for these farmers. I would like to personally buy these 300 units from this company I work for, and send them to you for free. Would that be ok. Honestly, I was rendered speechless. It reminded me that there are some wonderful people in this world!
What are the chances this company will keep this wonderful lady working for them? Probably low in my opinion.
If your business has heart, and compassion, you will be more attractive to the right staff. You will be considered well in your community or industry. You will form relationships with other business and industry people, including media.
If you stay greedy, surely your luck will one day run out. I’d like to think so anyway.