“The main thing is the keep the main thing the main thing”
– Steven Covey “The 7 Healthy Habits of Highly Effective People”
Although the statement above seems a bit redundant, I haven’t found anyone that would disagree. Some of us may even chuckle when we read such a statement – seems like common sense…right? However, I believe today’s economy would tell a different story if our business leaders truly embraced this so-called“ simple” concept.
So…. You’re probably wondering, “What the heck is the “main thing” and how is it going to stimulate the success of our businesses and overall economy”?
In “Conscious Capitalism”, John Mackey describes the foundation he laid to create a company, Whole Foods, who today has over 11 billion dollars in sales annually and has been ranked among the most socially responsible businesses. Mackey explains how America’s free enterprise system has fallen away from “ The Four Tenets of Conscious Capitalism”. In his book, he shows how Whole Foods and other conscious capitalists have implemented these concepts to create sustainable, profitable and fulfilling companies. At the focal point of John Mackey’s four tenets is the “ Higher Purpose and Core Values Tenet”. This tenet must exist first and be consciously maintained in order for the other tenets to fully function; therefore in order to employ Conscious Capitalism.
Many business texts explain the importance of a business’s “purpose”; what is its reason for existence? However John Mackey warned this simplistic idea of purpose and said it wasn’t enough. It must be a higher purpose – aligned with our innate human nature. For too long American free – enterprise has been based on unsustainable profit maximization. He went on to show the success of businesses whose higher purpose incorporates the concepts of service to others and has positive impact for all those involved.
I believe “the main thing” is to have a higher purpose and to consciously aware of it. Not only will a higher purpose attract motivated and passionate employees, but also it will give meaning and clarity for the future of the business. What is your higher purpose?