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We’re all looking for the magic key to managing employees. But despite all the support, the benefits, the encouragement … they never seem to care as much about the business as you do.

That’s natural. They haven’t poured their heart and soul into it for as long as you have. And, if you’re the owner, you may have your entire life savings tied up in this.

But it is possible to tap that energy, that passion, that caring.

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The world just changed its axis. Did you feel it?

Last week, 181 of the country’s biggest CEOs — representing 15 million employees and $7 trillion in revenues — came together to refute one of the core principles of business for the last fifty years.

That was Milton Friedman’s 1970 paper, The Social Responsibility of Business is to Increase its Profits. In it, he expanded that title to declare that there was no other responsibility of business than to return profits to its shareholders. Everything else — customers, employees, societal change — must be in service to the shareholders.

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IT STARTED WITH A WORLD backpacking trip.

Newlyweds Kelly Belknap and Matilda Sandström discovered the joy of generosity when they filled their pack at a local market, then passed out food as they met needy people during the day.

So they decided to launch a company!

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WE FOCUS AN AWFUL LOT on product features. We’re faster, more powerful, more fully featured than the competition.

Honestly, a lot of customers are getting burned out on that.

They’re recognizing that “good enough” is plenty sufficient for most things in life. There are a few things that each person deeply cares about, but other things … it’s OK to not have the best.

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WE’VE ALL CREATED lots of marketing messages. Our products will solve this problem. We’ll make your life better. We’ll treat you great.

Those are fine. Even powerful and compelling.

But how does this benefit your employees?

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RUNNING A BUSINESS sure seems like a lot of work. I don’t want to disregard that.

But if that’s ALL it is, why bother? Go out and get a real job that’s less stress!

Let’s be honest: We do this because we find joy in the mission, the problem-solving, the control. There’s a lot of things which are a pain in the ***, but on the whole there’s a balance toward making the business work.

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RECENTLY I WAS READING an interview with Jay Gould, CEO of Interface Corp. He has wonderful experience leading a variety of companies, large and small.

He described a trend he’s noticed called “purpose-washing.” He uses it to describe companies that slap a message of purpose on their outreach to employees because they’ve heard that Millennials want that kind of thing.

That’s like declaring “New and Improved!!!!” because you want something to say on the box that looks exciting.

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YOUR PRIMARY VALUE as a leader is to give people direction, to align their work in order to achieve the large goals of the group.

But that’s the left-brain way of thinking. It’s fine and necessary as far as it goes, but it’s missing something.

Caring. Purpose. Passion.

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IT’S REALLY DEPRESSING how many people are disengaged from their jobs.

I’ve been there, and you probably have too.  It’s not a great feeling.

But guess what? As a leader and business owner, you have the great opportunity to do something about it for your people.  And it’s not rocket science.

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THIS WHOLE UNIVERSE SHOULDN’T EXIST.

How improbable is it that we’re here, that we have a wonderful existence with over 7 billion sharing a single planet?

Yet here we are.

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