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23 Feb 2011

A New Breed of Leaders and Entrepreneurs Needs to Emerge

Capitalism with a Purpose, Business with a Heart, Organisations as a Force for Good, Emotionally Aware Cultures that Celebrate Talent, Strength, Diversity, Awareness & Responsibility:

Purposeful Leadership/Entrepreneurship – A New Conscious Breed Needs to Emerge

Capitalism with its free and mixed market economy has been a predominant model of value exchange in the developed and increasingly developing world (notable exception China) at least for the past couple of hundred years and even longer if truth be told. Within the model the emphasis often focuses on what is known as the profit motive where organisations and individuals exchange goods and services in order to make money.

This model, like any has its pros and cons, its fans and its challengers. What’s clear is that the distribution of wealth often ends up with the limited few, who have the combination of will to own, power, networks, esprit d'entrepreneurialism and control the organisations and resources that ultimately create value and profit.

Like any political, economic and social system it’s an imperfect model and with our increasingly global economy I believe that we need a new form of capitalism, one that does not place all of the emphasis on profit at all cost; be that to employees, suppliers, society or the planet.

Wealth will still be distributed to the owners, entrepreneurs, shareholders, governments, employees and leaders of an organisation and I can’t foresee this changing in the near future.

However, I do believe that we need a new form of capitalist model that has a deeper sense of meaning, purpose and commitment to a sustainable earth and a world where we are consciously seeking to defeat poverty that impacts upon societies the world over.

Capitalism that has a heart and social spirit needs a new form of leadership philosophy and leaders. I call this new and emerging form of leadership and the individuals who role model conscious global capitalism/citizenship - purposeful leadership and entrepreneurship.

These purposeful entrepreneurs and leaders continue to seek contribute to society through their profits and employment, they innovate to create new forms of value in the marketplace, whilst building sustainable and profitable organisations.

Increasingly what I believe will be different and an emerging trend is that these same leaders, entrepreneurs and their organisations do so with a broader perspective on what it means to add value and profit.

I believe that we are growing a new breed of emotionally aware leaders who understand the privileged position they hold, they are looking to find increasingly novel ways to make a positive social, economic, environmental and emotional commitment and difference in the world.

The world and society is crying out for a more conscious, emotionally aware and increasingly purposeful set of leaders, entrepreneurs and organisations to step forward on the global platform to role model how we can make a profit with a purpose and heart.

Society in the 21st century still has major issues: poverty is still prevalent in all developed and developing economies, the planets finite resources and fossil fuels will be reduced to nothing by the close of this century, access to arable land and adequate water is increasingly an issue for some communities, the polar cap continues to deplete and obesity, diabetes and other self-induced human epidemics are on the rise. These data points are especially true in some of the fastest growing economies (India, China) and not to mention the increased notice of stress related work issues.

Businesses, leaders and entrepreneurs with a purpose understands that they need to positively seek to influence and impact on these negative cycles. They need to provide consumers with access to more sustainable solutions, they need to attract talent who want to work with conscious purposeful organisations.

But deeper than these surface level observations about behaviours is that these leaders and entrepreneurs (both emerging and established typically highly successful and economically liberated) need to go on a deeply personal journey to raise their awareness, unearth their meaning and purpose and decide to take responsibility to make a meaningful contribution. Ultimately this becomes about personal and organisational legacy and brand story.

Ultimately for these avant-garde, leading edge pioneers and purposeful leaders the decisions they make now, the behaviour they role model and the new form of leadership they employ will influence a new form of conscious, purposeful, social, political, environmental and emotional fair capitalism.

An emerging book idea

I’m researching and writing a book on this subject and so if you know anyone who is challenging conventional organisational and business wisdom. Doing something unique, different, inspiring and that is making a fundamental difference to the world and its people whether on a small of major scale I would love to hear from them.

I intend to begin sharing stories of individuals, communities and organisations that I believe are aligned with this emerging philosophy, so as to support, collaborate and showcase their talents, aiding them in gaining further recognition, support and to build a collaborative network of socially conscious and purposeful leaders and entrepreneurs.

Any thoughts, ideas and connections welcome. I’m learning as I go along……best


The images here are from my trip to Tanzania with the great football giveaway in Nov 2010, 9 of us delivered 2500 to 100 schools and my trip to India in Feb 2011


Nick Robinson said...

Great article and, in my not-so-humble opinion, is exactly right. The old form of capitalism did some good for us: on average, people have never been so well-educated, fed, housed and healthy. Yet the downsides seem to be more and more apparent as globalisation increases and a great many people exist in traps of poverty that are overwhelmingly deep.

I went to a talk by a 'futurist' a couple of years ago, who claimed that long-term trends in corporate profits were towards zero. I don't know if that's really true, but it is true that some of the worlds biggest companies (Facebook, Google?) don't have the kind of trading profits that old-style capitalism would expect to see. So it does seem that a new-style of capitalism, as Darren describes, is coming soon to a business near you.

I've always been a big believer that 'a rising tide floats all boats', but some people have been swamped not floated by changes in economies thousands of miles from their homes. Now we need entrepreneurial people to do more than raise the tide, they need to consider how other people will float with it and where.

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