More than 180 chief executive officers leading some of the largest companies in America last week virtually endorsed the key message in LOVING Like a Leader, the second book in the 3-book Leadership Mints Series:
A caring and sharing mindset (love in a business context) can engage all stakeholders — from employees to customers to suppliers etc — to be more productive, more profitable and more innovative.
No way. No how. Many business owners still say it’s all about the money–accruing it, investing it and leveraging it. In fact, that money-is-everything mindset has been the prevailing opinion of business leaders for more than 20 years (since 1997).
But on August 19, 2019 — a date that will go down in the business history books and transform the way colleges teach business administration and leadership development in the future , the Business Roundtable signed and issued a Statement on the Purpose of a Corporation.
In the process this key influential corporate lobbying group comprised of chief executive officers from major corporations in America (like Amazon, Walmart) redefined shareholder value in more than monetary terms and recanted economist Milton Friedman’s dictum in 1970 that corporations exist to maximize profits.
“Each of our stakeholders is essential. We commit to deliver value to all of them, for the future success of our companies, our communities, and our country,” the Business Roundtable Statement says.
Now leaders in the future might consider those stakeholders — employees, customers, suppliers and the communities they live and work in — SHARE holders. They all have a share in the corporation’s bottom line success. They all must be treated equally with dignity and respect and fully factored and collaboratively considered in all decisions.
Adding a 5th “P” — PEOPLE — to the traditional 4 P’s model of business acumen and marketing know-how (Price, Production, Place, Promotion), corporate leaders in the future are more likely to see employees as assets to be developed, nurtured and invested in not as an expense to be contained. Take it from Bob Chapman, now the CEO of Barry-Wehmiller Inc, a $3 billion capital equipment and engineering consulting, company.
“When I was in business school, I was taught to view people as functions and objects for my own — or the company’s –financial success. But that’s not the reality.
Johnny is not just a welder and Sally is not just an engineer. They are sons, daughters, siblings, spouses or parents with hopes, dreams and responsibilities.
As a leader it is your responsibility to care for each of them as someone’s precious child whose life has been entrusted to you to steward for 40 hours or more a week. Everyone wants to know that who they are and what they do matter.”
Chapman, a long-time pioneer in the stakeholder vs. stockholder mindset, wrote the above as part of an open letter to the Business Roundtable. “Now the real work must begin,” wrote Chapman. “Making this transition with your boards and the financial community will be difficult. But it is the right thing to do.”
Chapman should know. He is the author of Everybody Matters, detailing his company’s journey from treating people in a corporation as liabilities to assets that add inherent value and ingenuity to products and services produced and sustainability and growth to the bottom-line.
For more tips on becoming a more successful SHARE holder and investing even more strategically in leading others to more a profitable bottom line purchase the 300-page book LOVING Like a Leader on Amazon.com. The book is filled with 77 short stories (5-minute reads called Leadership Mints) on examples from business, sports and politics. The postscript titled– BUSINESS: A HUMAN EXPERIENCE — shares the impetus for this book on empathy impacting the bottom line.
All three books in the Leadership Mints Series are designed for busy leaders seeking to refresh their feeling for leading in 5-minutes or less, the average reading time of a Leadership Mint.
What ‘s a Leadership Mint?
Consumed like a breath mint — quick and on-the-go — a Leadership Mint is a short story that energizes leadership behaviors and personalizes leadership principles so they are more easily remembered, more readily acted upon and more fully applied.