Today, it’s trendy: everyone wants to have a mission. The more ambitious, the better. For most, the goal is nothing less than improving the lot of the world. Businesses are doing it too. It is commendable and it responds to a societal need. But it is not without risk.
Many professions claim to have a mission. For doctors, it is health; teachers, education; lawyers, justice; and journalists, information. Companies are also succumbing to this temptation. Henry Ford said that “any business that only makes a profit is a bad deal.” Its mission was to make the car affordable for everyone.