You can’t achieve personal success without helping others reach their goals. Take it from Mackey: “Whole Foods Market is stakeholder-oriented,” he says. “We want all of them to flourish: We want our customers to have healthy food, and we can’t do that unless our team members are also flourishing. Suppliers who create with us need to be successful, too, so we can ultimately flourish.”
In other words, in order for you to win, every single stakeholder involved needs to win as well—hence, win-win-win.
It, unfortunately, is a lot easier said than done. Mackey notes that our society tends to gravitate toward a win-lose framework, where we think success stems from triumph over others (think phrases like climbing the corporate ladder). However, “Win-win-win is the essence of what business is,” he says. “You’re working to optimize the entire system to simultaneously create value for all the participants.” When everyone wins, well, everyone wins.