Whole Foods Market Co-CEO John Mackey.
- Sarah Meehan
- Reporter- Baltimore Business Journal
Whole Foods Markets Co-CEO John Mackey knows people don’t trust big businesses, and he’s on a mission to change that.
“Business is hated,” he said during a lecture at Loyola University of Maryland on Wednesday evening. But, he added, it doesn’t have to be that way.
Mackey recently published a new book, “Conscious Capitalism: Liberating the Heroic Spirit of Business,” with Raj Sisodia. His talk at Loyola before a combination of students and professionals centered on how businesses that take a more conscious approach can ultimately be more successful.
In order to thrive in the future, Mackey said businesses will need to exemplify more conscious ways of being. That means demonstrating a higher purpose, realizing all stakeholders matter, employing conscious leadership and instituting conscious culture within the workplace.
“People need to shift from profit maximization,” Mackey said. That shift will also change the perception around business leaders as “selfish exploitative money grubbers.”
A business’s purpose is at the heart of its quest to be more conscious, Mackey said, noting great companies have great purposes.
“Business is a value-creator, business has a higher purpose,” he said. “If you want to change the narrative about business, if you want to the way you think about business, it starts right there.”
Whole Foods’ (NASDAQ: WFM) higher purpose, for instance, is to improve the health of people, the food system and the planet.
“Whenever I get confused about the direction to take, go back to the purpose,” he said. “Go back to the higher purpose and the answers become very clear.”
Sarah covers hospitality/tourism, minority business, marketing and new media
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