4 Ways Conscious Entrepreneurs Elevate Humanity Through Business
Capitalism is getting a bad rap lately. Particularly from younger generations. The misuse of capitalist power by a few has lead to negative stereotypes that paint it with an immoral and predatory brush.
But capitalism, when done right, is the best system. It’s power to elevate societies is second to none. There is an organization called Conscious Capitalism that is leading the way for a better version of capitalism. Their Credo reads as follows:
“Business is good because it creates value, it is ethical because it is based on voluntary exchange, it is noble because it can elevate our existence and it is heroic because it lifts people out of poverty and creates prosperity. Free enterprise capitalism is the most powerful system for social cooperation and human progress ever conceived. It is one of the most compelling ideas we humans have ever had.”
According to Brian Mohr, co-founder of Y Scouts and president of the Arizona Chapter of Conscious Capitalism, not only are companies that adopt the Conscious Capitalism approach doing more good, they are significantly more profitable over the long run. In fact, Conscious Capitalism companies outperform the market by 10.5 times. Conscious Capitalism has four tenets:
1. Higher purpose
Working towards a higher purpose means a business should exist for more than just making profits. Businesses should have a higher purpose for their existence. A north star that guides them to a specific location beyond just making money. One of my favorite quotes from conscious leader John Mackey is this:
"Just as people cannot live without eating, so a business cannot live without profits. But most people don’t live to eat, and neither must businesses live just to make profits."
Haley Boehning of StoryForge feels that companies should use engaging stories to share their higher purpose if you want to build a company and brand that matters. When you have a compelling higher purpose story customers become fans, employees become engaged, and your marketing costs drop.
Southwest Airlines has a higher purpose to connect people to what’s important in their lives through friendly, reliable, and low-cost air travel. Panera Bread’s higher purpose is to make a difference in the lives of their guests and their people.
2. Stakeholder orientation
Too many organizations are stuck in a pathological urgency that harms their stakeholders and even negatively affects their bottom line. This short-termism leads to a money-at-all-costs mindset. Business operates from a multifaceted system of employees, customers, suppliers, investors, society, environment and sometimes even your competition. Conscious businesses value and care for all involved in their operations. Doing so creates more loyal customers, passionate, empowered team members, purposeful investors who aren’t looking for a quick exit, and flourishing communities in which the business operates.
3. Conscious leadership
Conscious leaders believe there is no “I” in team. They energize, educate, and empower their teams around the company’s higher purpose and look to create value for all stakeholders. They purposefully cultivate the company’s culture around a long term vision that benefits all.
Rand Stagen of Stagen feels that conscious leaders should have a vision that extends for decades. According to integral theorist Barrett Brown, 85 percemt of business leaders only think up to five years into the future. This urgency based, short-term thinking often causes leaders to act in ways that harm the stakeholdership over time.
4. Conscious culture
A company’s culture is the values and practices that guide how business is to be done. Without a congruent culture, organizations will ultimately fail. When an organization lacks a values-based culture, the people within the organization tend to move in different directions. Customers pick up on this lack of congruence and are less likely to fall in love with what you are doing. A conscious culture builds a bridge between team members and other stakeholders acting as a bonding force that brings a conscious business to life.
Steven Hall of Driversselect sees his workplace culture as a personal development tool for his employees. When family members (employees) develop life skills that enable them to become better people versus just better workers, not only are they happier and more productive at work but they go home and make a bigger difference in their family’s lives, thus making the world a better place.
If there was a business model where you could be true to yourself, your customers, your employees, and be rewarded at the same time, would you use it? Of course, you would. As Dr. Daniel Friedland of SuperSmartHealth shared with me recently, all great leaders lead best from within. When inner mastery is aligned with outer performance, you have the makings of a conscious leader and organization that can do a lot of good for all.
Leaders, team members, and stakeholders all thrive in a conscious culture that is engaged around a higher purpose. It’s not only the right thing to do, it's the most profitable thing to do.
Note: The organizations and names shared in this article have no business relationship with me. I received no financial compensation from anyone for writing this article. The people listed were from past conversations and interviews I have conducted researching the topic of Conscious Capitalism.