We can all learn from Trump … really

Let me sheet my colors to the mast: I don’t like Donald Trump. I think he is bad for the United States and bad for the world.  Not a day goes by when I don’t shake my head in wonder and to paraphrase the 70’s alternative rock band, Talking Heads, ‘how did we get here?’

But for now it’s beside the point, because regardless of what we think about “The Donald” the plain truth is: he is a master communicator. Why …

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#OptOutside – linking business and the environment. It just makes sense!

Over the course of this year I have attended and participated in various sustainability forums – on finance and green bonds, on the role of the private sector, on the relationships with NGOs and on the need for a shared vision for sustainable agriculture.  At each and every event, the call for businesses to step up to sustainable development was loud and clear. A common theme has been that businesses can do more to partner across industries, join hands with NGOs and work with the public sector. The overriding message is that it is not just the responsibility of governments because businesses must also do their part – individuals in businesses have the economic, social and environmental obligation to ensure our society and the global economy continues to grow in a responsible way.

What is perhaps more energizing is the fact that sustainability and profitability can and should, go hand-in-hand. There are opportunities and business advantages for the private sector to do well by doing right and create “shared value” with the community.

A clear standout for me has been the powerful message delivered by the CEO of Recreation Equipment Incorporated, a US based outdoors cooperative. REI’s CEO Jerry Stritzke is advocate in chief to support REI’s 17 million members to #OptOutside, for their belief that a life lived outdoors is better for everyone and better for the environment.  In REI’s most recent report to members, Stritzke says:

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Listen twice as much as you speak: emotional intelligence and stakeholder engagement

“…While the impulse may be to say that this is unfair, one of the lessons I’ve learned over time is that change comes from self-reflection. So it’s worth examining how we got here. The truth is that there is a high cost to a bad reputation. Irrespective of whether we did everything that is being said about us … it really matters what people think of us, especially in a global business like ours, where actions in one part of the world can have serious consequences in another…”

It’s rare one sees such #emotionalintelligence from a CEO, let alone one who has been in the job just a few weeks, but this came from newly installed Uber CEO  Dara Khosrowshahi after just a couple of weeks in the job. It came in an email to employees after the announcement that the City of London would not be renewing Uber’s operating license.

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