Mon, 12 August 2019
John Mackey, Founder of Whole Foods, took a liking to what Cap.com is doing. In this never before shared talk from the Capitalism Conference, he shares the story of how he grew Whole Foods.
What exactly is Conscious Capitalism? John takes us on a brief history tour of Capitalism, how it came about, what it drove and what it should become.
Capitalism [3:51] John outlines a few of the ten principles that underpin true Capitalism, not the crony Capitalism -- or Crapitalism -- we see today. He also paints a portrait of the United-States’ steady decline in economic freedom.
A brief history lesson [8:00] 200 years ago, 90% of everyone alive was poor, but as Capitalism began in Holland and steadily spread all the way to North-America and Asia, prosperity has since then increased 10x in the low lines!
Zero sum games? [14:55] John debunks the idea that for someone to become rich, another is required to become poor. In truth, where Capitalism is embraced, the floor rises: mortality and illiteracy rates drop and GDP rises.
Morality [18:05] Capitalism’s voluntary exchange principle (competition) easily contrasts with Socialism where the government controls everything (monopoly). In terms of ethics, it’s hardly a difficult choice: because no one owns customers, competition forces businesses to always strive to be better in order to keep the privilege of their customers’ money.
Not only is it ethical, Capitalism is the only system that drives growth and innovation. The only system that creates value.
Scandinavia [25:16] Sweden - that Socialist beacon - has a corporate tax rate of 22%! Compared to that of the U.S. at around 40%, you begin to get a sense that when businesses are allowed to keep their money and reinvest it, it really drives prosperity.
Sweden is not really Socialist, it’s a Capitalist country with a really strong social welfare component, a safety net: they take care of their people.
Perception [28:29] Despite business being ethical - voluntary exchange, noble - elevating existence, heroic - creating prosperity… Despite all of that business people are mistrusted, John tries his hand at why this may be.
Technology and people [35:09] We are better informed, connected, educated, becoming more intelligent, living longer, more mindful, more aware, more conscious. In that sense, we are the evolution companies must take, businesses have to become better, more conscious.
Conscious Capitalism [38:56] John walks us through the 4 tenets of conscious Capitalism.
3. Conscious leadership
4. Conscious culture
Conscious leadership [40:42] Work on yourself, know yourself, it’ll make you a better leader. Emotional intelligence is worth its weight in gold, and if you’re in the service industry, hire for that.
Understand who you are and what you’re not good at to avoid hubris, because nothing corrupts the mind like success! It isn’t about you, you are to serve your business and your stakeholders.
Old tips! [52:00] Because he rambled before, he can’t ramble now, so John quick-fires his tips! Life is short, do what you really care about. Learn and grow, always. Invest in your relationships. Practice forgiveness. Move away from ideology: it is intellectual death. Find coaches and mentors, but know when to make you own decisions. Culture eats strategy for breakfast.
T.A.C.T.I.L.E. [58:49] John talks about a few of the items in the book Conscious Capitalism, including the role of love, integrity and ethics in your business.
Conclusion [1:01:00] There is nothing we can’t do if we unleash our creativity and keep creating value for the world.
Thanks for listening!