“I am an economist but the training apparently didn’t stick entirely for me. I think I read too much Aristotle along the way and to me he just seems smarter than anyone else I have ever read. What he argued about happiness has more direct relevance to shareholder value maximization than anything an economist has ever written. He maintained that happiness does not derive from its pursuit but rather is the inevitable consequence of leading a virtuous life.
The same applies to corporations. If they make it their purpose to maximize shareholder value, shareholders are likely to suffer because that cravenness turns off customers, employees, and the world in general. If they make it their purpose to serve customers brilliantly, be a fabulous place to work, and contribute meaningfully to the communities in which they operate, chances are their shareholders will be very happy.”