The world is now in scope
Passionates want leaders who look out for their fellow humans.
It’s no longer enough to focus on shareholder returns while marginalizing or ignoring global issues, such as healthcare access, climate change, poverty, and mental health (the top concerns of all our survey respondents) that business leaders may deem out of scope and out of their control. Leaders who don’t find ways to address broad economic, social, and environmental concerns while growing profitable businesses will find themselves sidelined.
The good news: These goals are not mutually exclusive. By shifting how they think about the purpose of their business and who it should help, leaders can identify actions that will boost the bottom line while bettering the world.
Making this transition can be difficult, because it is risky. Stakeholders within and outside of the company who disagree with any stand a leader takes may push back – hard. Leaders who were taught to guide their companies from quarter to quarter, measuring their success in terms of short-term revenues and share prices, will need to learn how to take a longer, broader view and be willing to advocate against skeptics for their vision.
The stakes could not be higher. Unprecedented, parallel threats, including rolling pandemics, intensifying natural disasters, and political unrest, require bold leaders who have an expanded view of their role, understand the deep interconnections in the global economy, and can work in more collaborative ways than ever before.
There’s no time for delay. Sixty-two percent of Passionates believe that business leaders should always take positions and speak out about global issues, regardless of the relevance it has to their business, as do 43% of the other respondents. That means a large majority of your customers, employees, and the public are watching.
“We used to think about leadership as an act of taking rather than giving. You rise up the corporate ladder to take over as CEO,” says Peshawaria. “But true leadership is not about what you can get from the world. It’s about what you can give to it. Real leadership comes from a burning desire to make things better.”