If you took a business or economics course in the past quarter-century, you were probably taught that the sole purpose of a corporation is to return cash to its shareholders. This widely accepted and seldom challenged idea is a dangerous innovation from the 1960s that radically departs from the centuries-long social contract under which corporations were invented, created, and proliferated. This relatively recent change is responsible for many harmful corporate decisions and disastrous government policies. It is well past time voters and shareholders got our corporations back on their more beneficial and benevolent track.
I could lay out all the historical details and legal arguments here, but I’ve already made the case in a much more accessible and entertaining form. Chapter eight of my first novel, Crimes of Cunning, covers it thoroughly. To help inform the public, I am making that chapter available for free, right here.
Click here to download the .pdf of Chapter 8,
An Indefensible Position.
No registration, no obligation.
Just read, understand, and take action.
I love this interview with professional athlete and philosophy professor Nick Riggle.
The high five is actually a recognition of the achievement of mutual appreciation. It’s a symbol of, “Hey, I recognize you as an individual, and you recognize me.”
Awesomeness is about creating communities of mutually appreciative individuals … It’s not a community where we all have to share the same values, or we all have to be Christian, or we all have to support a certain political candidate. It’s a more forgiving and appreciative community…. [it] allows us to stand out but stand together.
The badass just owns shit, right? What they choose to do with their life, they do it with expertise and confidence. … tackling what you set out to do with your life, and doing it with confidence and a kind of presentational verve.
The other category [of non-starter] is the fake-ass person. They’re someone who seems to take up the social opening, seems to be presenting their individuality… But in fact, they’re faking it. They’re not actually presenting who they are. This relation of mutual appreciation, what I call co-personhood, can’t be formed, because they’re presenting a fake persona.
–Prof. Nick Riggle, USD
On Being Awesome: A Unified Theory of How Not to Suck
- Ignore more.
- Big picture first. Details later.
- Don’t just find a mentor. Allow yourself to be mentored.
- Be humble enough to listen.
- You don’t have to ship everything.
- Feel free to dabble & play.
Not everything you make needs to ship. Some things you do for you.
- Chaos is okay.
- Time is the soil in which great ideas grow.
- Stick with it & be willing to put it to the side now and then.
- Be mindful of with whom you spend time & at what activity.
- Money is a means not the end.
- Good to have. Bad to chase.
- Fancy is easy. Simple is hard.
- Simplification is an art form: it requires a knack for excising everything from a problem except what makes it interesting.
- The less marketing you need, the better your idea or product probably is.
- Don’t oversell to the doubts and indifferent; put your energy into making something you find interesting.
- Value freedom over status.
- Shannon, pursued projects that might have caused others embarrassment, engaged questions that seemed trivial or minor, then managed to wring the breakthroughs out of them.
- Don’t look for inspiration. Look for irritation. Then, do the work.
Source: 10,000 Hours With Claude Shannon: How A Genius Thinks, Works, and Lives
Also on this blog, Lessons from Bell Labs’ Heyday
Crimes of Cunning exposes the roots of the worst practices common in today’s big company cultures. Enjoy the ride as his characters cope, complain, and —ultimately— grow.
– Robbe Richman
Co-founder of Zappos Insights
& author of Culture Blueprint
I am pleased and flattered that my clients, Chris Haddon and Jason Balin, gave specific, detailed credit to me and some of my techniques in their new book, The Whiteboard: Go From Blank Canvas to a Productive, Leveraged and Highly-Profitable Business. Here is just one paragraph.
We sought out our executive coach, Tony, to show us the most strategic, effective way to design our success. A business coach will help you make the right moves at that right times consistently; it’s a precise recipe for getting ahead. Our decision to partner with an executive coach has been a very fruitful investment. By working with Tony, we were able to meet our ten-year business goal in three years. That’s the power of having an expert help you structure your decisions and career movements on a regular basis. Having a career coach isn’t a luxury; it’s smart business and smart living.
Does your job trigger primitive survival instincts? My book presents alternatives.
Those best equipped to compete mercilessly for food, ward off any threat, dominate territory, and seek safety naturally passed along their genes, so these self-centered impulses could only intensify. But sometime after mammals appeared, they evolved what neuroscientists call the limbic system, perhaps about 120 million years ago. Formed over the core brain derived from the reptiles, the limbic system motivated all sorts of new behaviors, including the protection and nurture of young as well as the formation of alliances with other individuals that were invaluable in the struggle to survive. And so, for the first time, sentient beings possessed the capacity to cherish and care for creatures other than themselves.
Although these limbic emotions would never be as strong as the ‘me first’ drives still issuing from our reptilian core, we humans have evolved a substantial hard-wiring for empathy for other creatures, and especially for our fellow humans.
Fields of Blood and the History of Violence
Knopf, 2014 page 7
Why do good people in big companies do bad things? Read the dramatic story in my new novel, Crimes of Cunning: A comedy of personal and political transformation in the deteriorating American workplace.
See also, on this blog, Lessons from Inside MCI: Integrity Ebbs by Inches
Reston author Tony Mayo will meet readers, sign books, take questions, and conduct readings.
Small Business Saturday
Saturday after Thanksgiving
November 28, 2015
11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
Reston’s Used Book Shop
Lake Anne Plaza
1623 Washington Plaza N
Reston, Virginia 20190 (703) 435-9772
We accept our responsibilities as a corporate citizen in community, national and world affairs; we serve our interests best when we serve the public interest. . . . We acknowledge our obligation as a business institution to help improve the quality of the society we are part of. We want to be in the forefront of those companies which are working to make the world a better place.
— Thomas J. Watson, Jr., 1969
President of IBM
The use of the cloak of social responsibility, and the nonsense spoken in its name by influential and prestigious businessmen, does clearly harm the foundations of a free society. . . . there is one and only one social responsibility of business — to use its resources and engage in activities designed to increase its profits so long as it stays within the rules of the game, which is to say, engages in open and free competition without deception or fraud.
— Milton Friedman, 1970
Founder of the “Chicago school of economics” 
See more in Chapter 8 of Tony Mayo’s novel, Crimes of Cunning: A comedy of personal and political transformation in the deteriorating American workplace.
 In this article he quoted himself, “there is one and only one … without deception or fraud.” from Capitalism and Freedom: Fortieth Anniversary Edition Paperback – Deluxe Edition (University of Chicago Press, 2002), p. 133. (First published in 1962.)
Also, “[A] corporate executive is an employe [sic] of the owners of the business. He has direct responsibility to his employers. That responsibility is to conduct the business in accordance with their desires, which generally will be to make as much money as possible. . . . The whole justification for permitting the corporate executive to be selected by the stockholders is that the executive is an agent serving the interests of his principal.”
–Milton Friedman, “The Social Responsibility of Business Is to Increase Its Profits,” The New York Times Magazine (Sept. 13, 1970), p. 32-33, 122-124.