We know from an infamous Supreme Court ruling that corporations are people. They may be heartless, like the pharmaceutical company that jacks up the price of a lifesaving drug. Or clueless, like Pepsi with its latest ad solving racism by having a fashion model give a can of colored sugar water to a cop.
But can a corporation also have a soul? If the answer is yes, that soul passed on to higher ground a few days ago, when Mary Anderson, a co-founder of the outdoor retailer REI, died at the age of 107.
The wonder is not that she lived to triple digits. She loved clean air, a good fight and a well-told joke. The wonder is that someone born in 1909, when many veterans of the Civil War were still arguing over slavery, could live to see her common-sensical values flourish in an otherwise unrecognizable brave new world.
Isadore Sharp, Founder And Chairman, Four Seasons Hotels And Resorts
Starting from a modest offshoot of his family’s construction business (“The Four Seasons Motor Hotel,” if you can believe that), founder and chairman Isadore Sharp has built one of the great brands and organizations in the hospitality industry, the privately-held Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts, with 93 highly-rated luxury hotels and resorts under management worldwide.
Most impressive to me is that the Four Seasons organization has been built in alignment with Mr. Sharp’s longstanding commitment to The Golden Rule, to applying this principle of fairness to all of the entities involved in creating their hospitality experience; to quote the Four Seasons corporate framework, “In all our interactions with our guests, customers, business associates and colleagues, we seek to deal with others as we would have them deal with us.” The success of this approach in employee retention –Four Seasons has one of the lowest turnover rates in the industry–and engagement–Four Seasons has been ranked in the “100 Best Places To Work” for 18 years straight–is evident, and Mr. Sharp also credits this philosophy with allowing Four Seasons to provide what he says is the single most important factor in the success of his company: a superior level of customer service.
It’s important to remember that every interview is a two-way street.
You should be assessing the employer just as much as they’re assessing you because you both need to walk away convinced that the job would be a great fit.
So when the tables are turned and the interviewer asks, “Do you have any questions for me?” take advantage of this opportunity. It’s the best way to determine if you’d be happy working for this employer, and whether your goals are aligned with theirs.
At its core, integrity is about honesty. If we purport to be taking an action to advance a noble cause yet really are mostly trying to increase our own wealth, then we may be guilty of low integrity?