Joe, raised in Trenton, New Jersey, gives us insight into the upbringing that lead him to have these values and to be the type of CEO that in addition to caring about the bottom line, cares about inspiring and knowing his team. He's the kind of CEO that gets on stage without a script, speaks from his heart, and isn't afraid to show emotion and even cry to share and inspire others.
Joe is also not afraid to admit his mistakes and to learn from them, and use them to grow and inspire himself and others. He shares the hardships he and his family suffered when they could not save his son Chris, who had struggled with anorexia and drugs since the age of 13.
The book shares Joe's eight down-to-earth principles, explains them, and even gives you questions in the appendix to help you apply them. As inspiring as the whole book was, I want to briefly touch on two statements he makes:
- Bad culture starts with the absence of a common vision.
- Emotion plus purpose equals passion.
Given how much I read and write about culture, reading Joe's statement on culture was a light bulb moment. Yes, there are many other reasons why a company has a bad culture (some of which I've written about), but as he points out, people want vision and purpose and when they are not given that, that void will be filled with fear and other negative emotions.
And if you combine purpose with emotion you get passion. That is why you need to put passion—not emotion—into your life and work, since passion is driven and meaningful. We all need a reason to get up in the morning and we all need to feel part of a larger good. Joe shows us that this is possible in any industry and at any level.
What is your purpose? And are you being true to yourself?