Carter Phipps et al., "Conscious Leadership: Elevating Humanity Through Business" (Portfolio, 2020)


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In 2013, Whole Foods CEO John Mackey started a movement with Conscious Capitalism, a New York Times bestseller that taught the power of the heroic spirit of business. Since then, readers and fans have been asking Mackey for a follow-up on leadership. Now he's answered their call, to inspire entrepreneurs and trailblazers to take the next step: as leaders who see beyond the bottom line.

Conscious Leadership: Elevating Humanity Through Business (Portfolio, 2020) by John Mackey, Steve McIntosh and Carter Phipps pulls back the veil on the strategies that have helped Mackey shepherd Whole Foods through four decades of incredible growth and innovation, including its recent sale to Amazon. Through time-tested virtues, from Passion for Purpose to Seek Win-Win-Win Solutions, each chapter will challenge you to rethink conventional business wisdom. The book weaves together anecdotes and case studies, profiles of other conscious leaders and innovative techniques for self-development -- culminating in an empowering call to action.

In this episode host Mark McKergow talks to Carter Phipps about Conscious Leadership, how being 'conscious' (aware, learning, flexible, not asleep!) is ever more important for leaders in businesses and elsewhere. The book is a rich collection of ideas and examples - a few well-known, others less familiar - which take forward the ideas of purpose-driven businesses with wider ambitions than simply making money. Carter is also refreshingly up-front about the need for businesses to make money as well!

In the conversation Carter explores how purpose and effectively co-exist for successful businesses, how leadership has become a crucial factor in talent engagement and retention, and how long-term thinking becomes ever more important as the range of stakeholders grows. He also mentions 'Cultural Intelligence', a way to look at different world views and seek to help people understand where others are coming from so they can work together and not simply slug it out.

Mark McKergow is an author, speaker, facilitator and coach specialising in solution-focused and post-heroic leadership approaches in organisations. He is the author of six books including The Solution Focus (Nicholas Brealey Publishing, 2007) and Host: Six new roles of engagement (Solutions Books, 2014), and is currently building the Village In The City project.

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