Chapter 8Purpose: Meaning and Commitment Are the Path to Joyful Leadership

“Purpose endows a person with joy in good times and resilience in hard times, and this holds true all throughout life.”

—William Damon, The Path to Purpose1

In Chapter 4 we introduced you to the late Anita Roddick, the teacher, activist, and The Body Shop CEO who relied on her ability to articulate and inspire others with her vision of a company true to its core values: ethical community‐based trade, the protection of animals and the environment, fair labor practices, and—in an industry famous for imposing cartoonish standards of beauty—a global campaign to boost women's self‐esteem.

Roddick once said: “I want to work for a company that contributes to and is part of the community. I want something not just to invest in. I want something to believe in.”2 Those words may not sound all that radical now, but in the 1980s, when The Body Shop was beginning to grow, the company seemed bathed in a revolutionary aura. It was a remarkable achievement: Roddick and her brand, a decade before the dawn of the information age, were able to capture the collective consciousness. To step into a Body Shop store was to travel to a world of noble ideals, and the act of buying cosmetics was designed to awaken concerns not many were voicing yet: about the ozone layer, the objectification of women, overseas sweatshops, and testing cosmetics on animals.

For Roddick, capitalism didn't have to be a fulfillment of the social ...

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