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Last Update: Wednesday June 23, 2021

Key Idea: Make Work About More Than Money

On Target is a place where achievement is a core value and this is just one of the posters in the On Target Achievement Series.  

Key Question:


Have a big goal that is not about you.  Albert is fired up to help people, not to get rich himself.

Q: How is Albert helping his employees achieve their goals?

A:  Albert says employees at On Target get educational rewards, psychological rewards, and, financial rewards. He teaches employees how to run a business from the inside out, for example, they learn about revenue streams and expenses. Employees feel good working at On Target because Albert nurtures people and encourages them. And, Albert pays above industry standard. He helps them save by matching their savings in a retirement program and he pays for their college education.

Q:  Why must the mission of a company be big?

A: Because starting and running a business is so hard. Nobody does it just for the money. You have to feel you are making a difference in people's lives. You have invented or product or service that people will not only pay for, but whose lives will be made better by it.

The mission is the reason behind the work. This mission is what you have to focus on when you hit obstacles that seem insurmountable. Andy is glad he can show people the city from the Charles River; but, he is motivated and inspired to keep on keeping on because he is teaching people about the greatest government in the history of civilization.

Here at the Small Business School, we've studied many successful small businesses. We always ask the business owners about their motivation for starting and operating the business. No one has ever told us they started their own business because they wanted to make a lot of money and that they operate their business to make as much money as possible. Instead, we hear time and time again that small business owners believe if they have a good plan and execute it well and fairly, the money, well it just comes.

Michael Novak, the theologian-in-residence at the American Enterprise Institute told us that there is a difference between self-interest and greed and that self-interest is good but greed is bad. Bill was not being greedy when he came to Pat with a great idea to expand Mickey Finn's. He was interested in being an owner of Mickey Finn's and making it prosperous enough to support two owners and many more employees. Bill was interested in working in Libertyville and making friends and working to improve the entire historic business district.

What are you interested in? What are you trying to accomplish in your business? If you are motivated to provide a high level of customer service, to produce a quality product, to establish a nurturing environment for your employees, then that's your self-interest. That's what is important to you. That's not greed because greed is gluttony and avarice, the motivation to improve one's own lot without any consideration for others. Self-interest, on the other hand, is our passion, what motivates us, why we start our own businesses and make successes out of them.

Think about it

Who on your payroll now should be given a bigger job and more training? What are you interested in? What are you trying to accomplish in your business?

Clip from: Values-Based Business: Understanding Ethics and Personal Integrity

What is value?  How is it  created?  Within small business it surely is not based on a business valuation that a stock market can seemingly wipe out in a matter of days. What we discover is that  value has much to do with the real relations of business.    About those posters....

On Target Supplies & Logisitcs

Albert Black, CEO

1133 South Madison
Dallas, TX 75208

Visit our web site:

Office: 214-941-4885

Business Classification:
Distribution, office supplies

Year Founded: 1988

Make Work About More Than Money

HATTIE: OK. All right. Now the pictures around the walls...


HATTIE: ...what are those about?

ALBERT: We call them On Target achievement series. A couple of years ago we asked our employees what success looked like to them. And if they would bring in pictures of success, we would have those things published--those pictures published in order to be presented on our company walls. We didn't dictate what success looked like; we wanted to know what they thought. I think you're seeing pieces of a puzzle being fit in for the first time, which is depicting success for some of our employees.

HATTIE: So you think it's smart to open the books, better for them to know what you make?

ALBERT: I think it's better for people to know what we earn than to wonder wrong. I really don't like for people guessing what type of incomes are being earned and being wrong in their guess. Make sure that they feel like they're a part of what you're doing. Make sure that they understand their role in the entire picture. People support what they help create. And with that in mind, we like to get people involved in doing things that makes On Target a better company; therefore, make them better employees, making the relationship a better one.

HATTIE: OK. Give some advice to the small-business owner who thinks that starting a business for the purpose of getting rich is a good idea.

ALBERT: I think that you have to start a business with a dream in mind other than getting rich. But I think that you have to be willing to put together the fact of the production. That is people. That is a place. That is product or service. You put those things together with good old-fashioned entrepreneurship. And if you do that with the right mix and the right tenacity, I think you'll get rich along the way. But the first and foremost goal has to be excellence, excellence in everything that you do.

HATTIE: People want to be part of something great. They want to make a difference. Life is lived on such a mundane level when the goal is just to make money or put food on the table. Yes, we must pay a living wage. But after that, our leadership should take people beyond where they dreamed they could go. People who work with Albert Black told me, `You don't learn this in school.' What they mean is On Target Supply is not just about transactions, it is about a whole way of life. Building a values-based business means first you must identify your own values. Second, you must write them down. And third, you must live by them yourself. Making money is probably too easy. Building a values-based business should be the challenge for us all.

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