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The Transformative CEO: Impact Lessons from Industry Game Changers by Robert Reiss, Jeffrey J. Fox

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8Have a Higher Purpose

The French have a wonderful phrase, “raison d’être.” It means “reason to be.” Reason to be, purpose, mission. Many grand companies have been established to achieve a higher purpose than simply making money. When successful, money often follows. Big money. Every good product, every good company fills a customer’s need. There is nothing wrong with any ethical company that fills any need. That some companies, and their transformative leaders, choose to fill unpopular needs, or apparently unprofitable needs, or socially neglected needs, is good citizenship, good for their customers and stakeholders, and good for capitalism.

Arkadi Kuhlmann was dismayed at the way the American consumer was abandoning the habits of thrift and ...

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