Unfortunately, capitalism has a bad reputation today – people see it as heartless, rapacious, damaging to society – but when it’s practiced in a conscious way, I’m convinced that it can be the most powerful tool for positive change the world has eve seen.
In defining Conscious Capitalism, John Mackey and Raj Sisodia have identified four key tenets (of Conscious Capitalism): (1) having a higher purpose beyond generating profits; (2) harmonizing the needs of all stakeholders to create win-win outcomes for all; (3) having leaders who are motivated primarily by serving the firm’s higher purpose and creating value for all stakeholders; (4) creating a conscious culture based on qualities like trust, accountability, transparency, integrity, loyalty, egalitarianism, fairness, personal growth, love, and care.
Corny as it may sound, much of Conscious Capitalism comes down to having leaders who are inspired to spread values like generosity, humility, teamwork, and caring throughout the whole organization.
Kip Tindell, Uncontainable: How Passion, Commitment, and Conscious Capitalism Built a Business where Everyone Thrives
So, yes, it is confusing.
I think we can now say: there is no one formula for leadership.
Some leaders are nice, nurturing, caring about their people – and are able to produce the needed and profitable results.
Other leaders are pretty much jerks – and are also able to produce the needed and profitable results.
When you read as many business books as I do, you begin to see clearly that not all the authors agree with one another. And, recently, I delivered my synopsis of Leadership BS by Jeffrey Pfeffer, and discovered (ok; confirmed what I knew) that the entire leadership industry has not produced the needed results. In other words, there are lots and lots of leadership training sessions, and plenty of leadership coaches, and yet American companies still feel under-led, because they are under-led.
A growing movement, determined to build a different kind of business, is found in the movement known as Conscious Capitalism. The quotes above from Kip Tindell capture the essence of this movement.
So, here are a couple of slides, prompted by Tindell’s Uncontainable, to help us think about this. In other words, results (profits) are not enough. It is results (profits) +. And what goes in that + is critically important. For Conscious Capitalism, it is the four tenets above. The last two slides display these in slide form.