It's Not What You Sell, It's What You Stand For

The best thing a company can do for itself in these tough financial times is have a purpose, according to Roy Spence and Haley Rushing, coauthors of <i>It's Not What You Sell, It's What You Stand For</i>. In their new book, the authors encourage companies to create a definitive statement about what it wants to accomplish.<br clear="none" /> <br clear="none" /> "[Your purpose] is your reason for being that goes beyond making money&#x2014;and it almost always results in making more money than you ever thought possible," the authors write. <br clear="none" /> <br clear="none" /> A true purpose has to be important to each member of the company, not just the leaders, such as Southwest's purpose of "democratizing the skies" or Wal-Mart's of “saving people money so they can live better."<br clear="none" /> Having a purpose can make people excited about their jobs, say the authors.<br clear="none" /> <br clear="none" /> Spence and Rushing urge readers to create a purpose for their company by: revisiting its heritage, asking why, finding the thrill, talking to customers and finding out why they need the company, and finally articulating the purpose clearly.<br clear="none" /> <br clear="none" /> Each section of the book ends with a survey that aims to help the reader analyze their own company’s accomplishments and weaknesses in order to have a clear idea of what needs to come next. At the end of the book is a summary which recaps many of the key points of the book.<br clear="none" /> <br clear="none" /> Roy M. Spence is the cofounder, chairman and CEO of GSD&M Idea City, a national advertising agency. Haley Rushing is the chief "purposologist" and cofounder of the Purpose Institute in Austin, Tex.<br clear="none" /> <br clear="none" /> <i>&#x2014;Kassia Shiskoff</i><br clear="none" /> <br clear="none" /> Buy <a href=" target="_blank">It's Not What You Sell, It's What You Stand For: Why Every Extraordinary Business Is Driven by Purpose</a>.