Article by Mckenna Moore at Fortune
Image by Whole Foods
John Mackey founded Whole Foods in Austin in 1980. About 10 years later, he started the conscious capitalism movement. Now, as the veteran CEO of the company he started four decades ago, Mackey is still advocating for a shift to better and more intentional leadership in business, most recently on the latest episode of Leadership Next.
When asked what conscious capitalism is in layman’s terms, Mackey has his elevator pitch at the ready: “It’s capitalism, but it’s done in a more conscious way.”
The movement is oriented around four major pillars. First, every company has the potential for a higher purpose than just maximizing profits. Second, all stakeholders matter—not just the shareholders—and business must create value for all of them. Third, a different, more conscious type of leadership—one that is less about enhancing its own wealth and power and more about serving the organization and the stakeholders—is needed in the world today. And finally, companies need to create cultures in which people can flourish and develop their potential.
Mackey says that business isn’t evil, but that it should change toward this model because it creates immense value in society.