Is Profit a Good Goal?
When discussing goals with business owners, I commonly hear that “more profit” is their goal. This is a nice result but not really a focus point for setting a good, attainable goal. As we all know, the profit is the end result of the business and is a lagging indicator. You cannot change the process to create more profit once you know what the profit is. It is too late. Everyone should have goals for businesses and all of the roles in their live, but make sure the goals make sense.
A scientist has two large jars before him, one containing many fleas, the other empty. He gently removes a flea from the flea jar, places it on the table before the empty jar, steps back, and commands, “Jump,” whereupon the flea jumps into the empty jar. Methodically he gently removes each flea, places it on the table, says “Jump,” and the flea jumps into the originally empty jar.
When he has transferred all the fleas in this way, he removes one from the now full jar, carefully pulls off its back legs, and places it on the table before the original jar. He commands “Jump,” but the flea does not move. He takes another flea from the jar, carefully pulls off the back leggs, and places it on the table. Again he commands “Jump,” but the flea does not move. Methodically he goes through the same procedure with the remaining fleas, and gets the same results. The scientist beamingly records in his notebook: “A flea when its back legs are pulled off, cannot hear”
Paulos, John Allen. 2000. I think, Therefore I Laugh: The Flip Side of Philosophy. New York: Columbia University Press.
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