Why You Should Measure Success in Value Instead of Money

The story of the last 50 years is society’s shift from a focus on moral values to a singular focus on financial value

Yancey Strickler
Marker
Published in
8 min readNov 22, 2019

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Photo: Jonathan Kitchen/Getty Images

TThe other night I was invited to dinner with several wealthy and powerful people. This is not a normal thing for me. During appetizers and drinks I was a wallflower, but opened up over the first course when my dinner companions asked what I did.

“I just wrote a book,” I responded.

“Interesting! What about?” they asked.

“How the world was overtaken by the belief that the right choice in any decision is whichever option makes the most money,” I replied. “My book tells the history of that idea and what we should do instead.”

A mixture of expressions greeted me. Some people leaned in with curiosity. Some leaned in with annoyance. Others were already looking for somebody else to talk to.

“The idea that all decisions are about money just isn’t true,” the group responded. “Companies think about profits, sure. But profits are a result of good decisions, not the reason for them.”

At this moment a new person sat down to join us. He turned out to be the CEO of an outdoors company. Not the founder — someone from the…

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Yancey Strickler
Marker

Author of “This Could Be Our Future: A Manifesto for a More Generous World”; Cofounder of Kickstarter; Bentoist; http://www.ystrickler.com