Consider the “problem of the commons.” With no sense of obligation to a larger entity, be it a company, or a state, or a nation, why shouldn’t every person be in it for themselves?
If you want your company to succeed, employees must have a purpose they are working for. That will lead us to mission statements.
But first, let’s talk about purpose. Let’s say you are a forestry worker and the first day on the job, your boss tells you to go out and cut down 10 trees. You do that, and the boss is so pleased that the next day he asks you to cut down 12 trees. You take your handy little ax, stroll out to the forest and chop down 12 trees. Well this continues, and at the end of the month, the boss has you chopping down 20 trees a day.
But you are dissatisfied, as the boss can keep raising the number of trees you chop down, until one day you lay down exhausted and just can’t chop down any more trees. Heck, then he will replace you and get someone younger and stronger to chop down trees.
The boss has given you no sense of a purpose for chopping down trees. He didn’t inspire you by saying how the trees you chopped down helped make homes for people or even a simple wooden deck where friends and family could gather. That would at least have given you a sense of purpose. A reason to keep cutting down trees.
And while the boss had you chop down trees, you were feeling used. When you were worn out, why wouldn’t he cast you aside? He didn’t show his loyalty by offering vacations,...
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