I belive the role of business in our society is to create exponential value for others.
During my UCLA days I was the president of the UCLA College Republicans, during the presidency of Ronald Reagan. Where did Reagan like to go? Los Angeles. So I started getting calls from the White House staff.
"Dan" members of the staff would say, "We understand you have 400 members of your club. Do you mind grabbing 20 of your best members and driving in the presidential motorcade, helping carry bags, making sure the President's trip to Los Angeles goes smoothly?"
Heck yes, I can do that.
Every single time I accompanied the presidential motorcade, I made sure that my club members and I served others and served others well. And not just the dignitaries and those with clout in the motorcade, we served the drivers, the doormen, people others would consider seemingly insignificant.
Just like anything in life, when you put in a little extra effort, when you go the extra mile to create value, good things happen.
Two weeks before President Reagan left office, I got the call of a lifetime. Members of the Reagan White House staff called me, personally, and said, "Dan, how would you like the opportunity of a lifetime? How would you like to work in the post-presidential office of President Ronald Reagan?"
You just do not say 'no' to that.
I started in the post-presidential office of Ronald Reagan on February 6, 1989, on his birthday, just days after he left office. The year and a half I served directly in that office, I interacted with Mother Teresa, Mikhail Gorbachev, Malcom Forbes, Lady Thatcher, and the list goes on and on. I had a surreal, front-row seat to history. I got to witness real, humble leadership behind the scenes, when no one was watching.
That experience taught me a valuable lesson, the best way to succeed is by creating value for others. I had no idea serving in the post-presidential office of Ronald Reagan would ever be available to me. I was just focused on serving others when I had the chance. And good things happened because I put in a little extra effort to be good to others.
This lesson applies directly to business and directly to business leadership. The role of business is to create value in society. Money, profits, those are a result of creating a lot of value, for a lot of people, over a sustained period of time.
If you focus solely on profits, I think your success will be limited. Rather, as a business leader, if you focus on value creation, you will have success beyond your wildest imagination.
We can succeed in this life by helping others. We can do incredibly well, by doing good.
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