Decades into its existence, through robust economies, recessions, wars, cultural shifts, competitive intrusion, and even the passing of its iconic leader, Apple continues to "make a dent in the universe." While the world around it continues to revolve, the core values that were there at its birth remain intact. It's why many have attempted to imitate but have never quite measured up.
Nonacceptance to the status quo, a founding value of the company, has enabled Apple to take risks that most organizations will never attempt. In short, Apple has elevated purpose above profit--a core characteristic of living life in what I call the Values Economy. Funny how profit seems to follow purpose. And Apple's purpose is clear. As CEO Tim Cook sees it, "we're on the face of the earth to make great products."
Honestly, if I were to ask you what the real purpose of your company is, how would you answer? What would you say to your employees? Are you wiling to risk short term gain for long term reward? The ranks of disengaged employees is growing. Why the disenchantment? They are seeking purpose even above pay. They are looking to align their loyalties with organizations that share their values. Another charismatic CEO, Blake Mycoskie of Toms Shoes is on record as saying that "the greatest competitive advantage is to allow your employees to be part of something bigger than what you're doing."
So what "dent in the universe" can your company make? What's that something bigger for your employees to rally around? Like Apple, challenge how things are done on a daily basis. Upset the apple cart every now and then. Commit to exploring your own values and take your employees along for the ride. Once you've established your belief system, never compromise or settle for less than your values demand.