Not content to write a one-paragraph mission statement for the lobby wall, Michael Dell had his leadership team craft a document called “The Soul of Dell.”

It’s probably the longest statement of purpose an American corporation has ever crafted, and it serves as an internal benchmark for operations.

Some highlights:
  • “We believe in creating loyal customers by providing a superior experience at a great value.”

  • “We believe our continued success lies in teamwork and the opportunity each team member has to learn, develop and grow.”

  • “We believe in participating responsibly in the global marketplace.”

  • “We have a passion for winning in everything we do.”
In addition to inspiring employee performance, “The Soul of Dell” has repaid the company with increased employee loyalty, says Dell HR head Paul McKinnon, by answering the question: “If working here is not going to make me rich, why should I want to stay?”

— Adapted from “How Dell Got Soul,” Lawrence Fisher, Strategy + Business.

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