Conversation with Bill Pollard

The Center for Integrity in Business - in partnership with Kiros and Pinnacle Forum - hosted C. William Pollard on the SPU campus for a Seattle business community breakfast on February 9, 2010. Mr. Pollard, former Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of The ServiceMaster Company, focused his comments on the purpose of business and the virtue of profit.

Watch Bill Pollard's address at the School of Business's "Day of Calling" breakfast on February 9, 2010:

Bill Pollard speaks on "The Virtue of Profit" (Feb 2010; 19.5 min)

Bill Pollard - Q&A session (23.5 min)

The ServiceMaster Company is an intriguing success story of corporate purpose that transcends maximization of shareholder wealth only. During Mr. Pollard’s leadership, the Company was recognized by Fortune Magazine as the #1 service business among the Fortune 500. The company was publicly traded and employed over 200,000 employees in 45 countries. Its corporate objectives were:

Honor God in all we do, help people develop (end goals), pursue excellence, grow profitably (means goals).

As Mr. Pollard states in Serving Two Masters: Reflections on God and Profit,

We seek to honor God as an end goal and recognize that growing profitably is a means goal. Both are important. For us, the common link between God and profit is people, all of whom have been created in God’s image, are part of the world God loves, and are essential to the running of this business.

Our objectives are not to be used as simplistic reasons for financial success. They cannot be applied like some mathematical formula. They do, however, provide a common foundation from which to confront life’s difficulties and failures with the assurance that the starting pint never changes. They cause us to think about and rethink who we are, why we work, and what is the purpose and meaning of it all."

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