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.)Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
It's Not What You Sell, It's What You Stand For: Why Every Extraordinary Business Is Driven by Purposeby Roy M. Spence
Over the last thirty-five years, Roy Spence has helped organizations such as Southwest Airlines, BMW, the University of Texas, Walmart, the Clinton Global Initiative, and many others achieve greatness by getting them to obsess about one big idea: purpose. With purpose as the North Star, employee
Who is Roy Spence and what makes him the Pied Piper of Purpose?
Over the last thirty-five years, Roy Spence has helped organizations such as Southwest Airlines, BMW, the University of Texas, Walmart, the Clinton Global Initiative, and many others achieve greatness by getting them to obsess about one big idea: purpose. With purpose as the North Star, employee engagement is higher, competition is less threatening, customers are more loyal, and innovation flows. It's the secret to developing a more fulfilling work life as well as a healthier bottom line.
Simply put, purpose is a definitive statement about the difference you are trying to make in the world. As Spence writes, "It's your reason for being that goes beyond making money, and it almost always results in making more money than you ever thought possible." It's not soft stuff, as some might scoff. Especially during times of great economic uncertainty, purpose is the key to creating and maintaining a high-performing organization. It deserves just as much attention as strategy, execution, and innovation.
A real purpose can't just be words on a piece of paper. It has to get under the skin of every member of your organization like Southwest's purpose of democratizing the skies or Walmart's of saving people money so they can live better. If you get it right, your people will feel great about what they're doing, clear about their goals, and excited to get to work every morning. No organization is too big or too small, too niche or too mundane, to benefit from a clearly defined purpose.
Spence and coauthor Haley Rushing share their insider insights and case studies to help you discover your organization's purpose, proclaim it to the world, and apply it to everything you do. This book will force you to address some tough and profound questions:
•What difference do we want to make in the world?
•What do we really stand for?
•Do we have purpose-based leaders in key roles?
•Do our employees feel like what they do matters?
•Would our customers miss us if we ceased to exist?
•Do we bring our purpose to life everywhere we can both internally and externally?
Spence's hard-won lessons will change the way you view your job, your business model, your leadership style, and your marketing. They will help you make money, make a difference, and with a little luck,make history.
From the Hardcover edition.
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Meet the Author
ROY SPENCE is Chairman and CEO of GSD&M Idea City, a leading national marketing communications and advertising company that has helped grow some of the world’s most successful brands.
In 1971, Roy and a group of friends founded the agency just after graduating from the University of Texas at Austin. Roy led an effort to build an environment where ideas are destined to flourish and making a difference was a priority from day one. Under Roy’s leadership, the agency flew with Herb Kelleher and Southwest Airlines and helped grow the most successful airline in aviation history and rode with Sam Walton and Wal-Mart and helped build the largest company in the world. They cooked with Norm Brinker and Chili’s and helped serve up the most successful casual-dining restaurant in America and delivered for Ed Whitacre and AT&T and helped produce the largest telecommunications company in the world. And they declared “Don’t Mess with Texas,” creating one of America’s favorite advertising slogans.
They went on to work with Presidents George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton to encourage Americans to make a difference with disaster relief efforts. They work with the Clinton Foundation and the Clinton Global Initiative in making a difference around the world. And they brought perspective and unity to a damaged country after 9/11 with the moving “I Am an American” pro-bono ad campaign. Through their philosophy called Purpose-based Branding,™ GSD&M Idea City and their Purpose Institute division help organizations identify, simplify and articulate their purpose— the fundamental difference they’re trying to make in the world and their reason for being beyond making money. Through purpose and visionary ideas that make a difference, GSD&M Idea City is in the business of growing clients’ businesses.
The agency’s roster of purpose-based clients includes: Southwest Airlines, MasterCard, BMW, John Deere, L.L.Bean, Kohler, American Legacy Foundation, AARP, Hallmark, Lennox, Norwegian Cruise Line, PGA TOUR, American Red Cross, World Market, AT&T, Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen, Marshalls, the United States Air Force, Cancer Treatment Centers of America and Compass Bank.
Roy Spence has been named Ad Man of the Year, Idea Man of the Century and University of Texas Distinguished Alumnus, among other accolades.
In September 2006, The Amazing Faith of Texas, a book by Roy Spence and The People of Texas was published, and in 2007 he was named to the board of directors of the Lyndon Baines Johnson Foundation. Roy has been interviewed by The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, The New York Times, BusinessWeek, U.S. News&World Report, Esquire, Fast Company, INC. and FORTUNE. A popular keynote speaker, he regularly addresses audiences from throughout the business, government and nonprofit communities. Roy and his wife, Mary, have three children.
HALEY RUSHING cofounded the Purpose Institute along with Roy Spence. The Purpose Institute is an organization dedicated exclusively to helping clients discover and articulate their purpose and values in the world. Over the years, Haley has helped a number of the country’s most visionary organizations develop business strategies that are founded on a strong core purpose and authentic core values, including Southwest Airlines, Wal-Mart, Charles Schwab, Norwegian Cruise Line, Whole Foods, World Market, Univision, The American Council on Education, Texas A&M and, most recently, the American Red Cross. Haley and her husband, R.W., live in Austin, Texas with their twin daughters.
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