It’s the end of the first day of the Conscious Capitalism conference 2013. These are the guys who are standing up for something that the world at large probably considers a contradiction. How on earth can capitalism be conscious?
Featured were presenters long associated with Conscious Capitalism – people like Kip Tindell of The Container Store, John Mackey of Whole Foods, and Casey Sheahan of Patagonia.
They said some really great stuff.
And most of it was utterly unoriginal.
It was stuff you’ll read in a hundred articles, books or seminars.
- Don’t do what you want, do what you love
- What makes the difference is connecting heart and mind
- Deriving happiness is about being part of something larger than yourself
- Make your decisions out of love not fear
- Meaning and purpose are the keys to doing things differently
But I’ve left the day feeling deeply and genuinely inspired. Why?
Trusting in love not lawyers
These are guys right at the top of truly global corporations. And when they say it’s all about purpose, they’re not spouting espousals. They’re simply telling us what they do.
And that’s what inspired me. Not the philosophy itself, (there was little that didn’t seem self evident to me), but that these guys are speaking from genuine integrity.
Integrity: To the degree you have integrity is to the degree that the gap between your inner values, dreams and ideology align with your outer world of action, behavior and embodiment.
Integrity for me is not just about keeping your word, or being a decent human being. It’s building—in your own consciousness—the structural integrity that comes from lessening the contradiction between what you believe and what you practice.
How often do you find a CEO of a global company start his conference presentation with a guided heart meditation? Or hear stories of $35 million deals being concluded not with signed legal fees, but a hug?
Not often. And that’s what I think makes these guys remarkable.
In fact, I would go so far as to say, that I believe it is the integrity of people like this that puts things like Occupy Wall Street or many non-profits to shame.
Integrity: the spirit of Conscious Business
That could be considered a bold claim to make!
So here’s why I made it. These men and women are putting their necks and their ideology on the line. Their dreams are not ideas in a book, they are dreams that are held accountable by their customers, their employees, their financiers, their suppliers and their communities.
There aren’t a lot of places to hide when you’re running a $12 billion corporation like John Mackey. If you’re faking, someone’s going to notice.
And that’s why I trust the integrity of this group of this group of remarkable people.
Without integrity, our dreams crumble. Without the solidity that comes from putting your ideology on the line, day in day out, ethical beliefs remain just that.
That integrity was oozing out of almost every speech made today.
And what is the central tenet of Conscious Capitalism? Not multi-stakeholder models, purpose driven enterprise or conscious leadership.
No, in the words of Raj Sisiodia today, the main tenet of Conscious Capitalism is love.
That’s an ethic I’m willing to put my integrity on the line for.