Raising the level of your leadership

Will Walgreens Follow Suit?

CigarettesWow! The Wednesday, February 6th headlines were “CVS to Kick Cigarette Habit” by October 1st (WSJ). CVS is giving up over $2B of revenue but expects to maintain its profit forecast. One reason they will is because people like me will go out of their way to shop at CVS though a Walgreens is much closer. (Anybody from Walgreens reading this?)

According to the CDC, 18% of the adults (18+) in the U.S. are regular smokers. In spite of the smoking rate reducing about 0.5% per year since 1965 (it was 43% then), smoking is still the leading cause of preventable death (480,000 per year) in America.

There is no way for CVS to say on one hand, our purpose is “Helping people on their path to better health” (from cvscaremark.com), while on the other hand selling a product that kills 480,000 people per year. I love it when organizations make hard choices to maintain the integrity of their mission statements.

Maybe your organization doesn’t sell cigarettes, but are there other things you do that are contrary to your mission statement?

A better question may be “Do you even have a mission statement?”

As I write this, I am challenged to examine my own life in light of my own personal mission statement:

“I have as my ambition—wherever I am and whatever I am doing—to be pleasing to God.”
2 Corinthians 5:9 (my paraphrase)

The “wherever I am and whatever I am doing” part gets me every time. Like CVS, I have some hard choices to make.

Okay, Walgreens, you’re up. And so am I. And so are you.

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© Copyright 2014 by Dick Wells, The Hard Lessons Company

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