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Purpose before profit: unleashing individual and collective “human magic”

Strategy & Leadership

ISSN: 1087-8572

Article publication date: 16 June 2021

Issue publication date: 31 August 2021




The former CEO of Best Buy believes that companies need to move past the quest to drive the behavior of a collective workforce, and instead seek to inspire people by connecting with what matters to each one of them. Unleashing human magic, enabling them to make full use of their talents toward a common purpose, means creating an environment in which individuals flourish.


The author explains why clearly articulating and feeding the connection between personal and company purpose for every team member is one of the most crucial roles of any leader, from top executives to store managers.


The author’s turnaround achievement at Best Buy taught him that when people are doing what matters to them and what they believe in, they will walk through walls, pouring their energy, creativity and emotion into their job.

Practical implications

A sense of endless possibilities–both for oneself and for the business in pursuit of a noble purpose–fuel inner drive, positive energy and the desire to bring one’s best self to the table.


The author’s potent advice to leaders: The need for emotional intelligence, speed and flexibility means that employee autonomy–letting them carry their own weight–has become essential to success. Autonomy leads us to think creatively, which breeds innovation. 10;


Joly, H. (2021), "Purpose before profit: unleashing individual and collective “human magic”", Strategy & Leadership, Vol. 49 No. 4, pp. 3-8.



Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2021, Hubert Joly.

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