Scott Hackman, Family Business Advisor, DVFBC
Last week I had the honor of listening to one of the business leaders who has influenced my worldview as it relates to business and leadership. John Mackey spoke at World Café Live for a Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce event. This is part of his book tour featuring his thought leadership on “Conscious Capitalism”. His subtext is focused on liberating the heroic spirit of business.
Because I know what he believes about business, hearing Mackey speak was an important day for me. As a co-founder of One Village Coffee, a DVFBC member, we supply one of Mackey’s companies, Whole Foods Market. That made listening to him an important moment in my own leadership journey. “Business has a higher purpose than making money,” Mackey opened. Furthermore, he shared his frustration, and in some cases, a dislike for business in America.
According to Mackey, “Business is the great value creator in the world”. It has the power to lift people out of poverty and improve our world. As family business leaders, we discover that stakeholders get the value we build with our exchange of goods and services.
Internal stakeholders are the employees, shareholders, customers, and producers. Furthermore, in some communities, the communities themselves are shareholders. Businesses trade services and goods, making the communities a piece of the equation. These people voluntarily exchange their resources to benefit both the company and to contribute to the transformation of our economies.
The Higher Purpose of Business
Mackey wrote his book to the Millennial Generation. They are the business leaders starting companies with purpose, leadership, stakeholders, and culture as the tenants of conscious capitalism. Mackey wanted to give them a rationale for building a foundation on a higher purpose, in order to liberate the heroic spirit in business.
“We are lifting humanity out of poverty”, is a mantra Mackey hopes will contribute to empowering business leaders. He hopes to inspire them to get off the defensive and join the movement of liberating the heroes in their businesses. He challenged the audience to have purpose and to continue growing in our awareness of how we behave as business leaders.
Consequently, I left inspired to continue working with entrepreneurs and next generation leaders. Their journey as they discover why they exist and claim their unique mission in the world of business inspires me. Therefore I am eager to learn more from family business leaders who have unconsciously been building a conscious culture around the tenants of leadership, stakeholders, culture, and purpose.
In conclusion, Mackey stated, “Conscious companies are the great win, win, win, win, win…”.
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