A CEO with a $1-a-year salary. Interesting. What is even more interesting is John Mackey´s business paradigm, offering a different kind of leadership. He calls it Conscious Capitalism. He believes in free enterprise but focuses on empowering employees and building a culture of care and trust.
It is a mode of doing business that attempts to create value for employees, customers, community and shareholders—rather than sublimating the needs of the first three to those of the last.
Take organic food. Organic is a great system, he says, but it’s not a complete solution. So he rolled out a new KPI through a rating system called Responsibly Grown, which measures factors like energy conservation, waste reduction, and farmworker welfare. He looks at the whole value chain, not just avoiding the use of pesticides.
It is the entire system that brings out better results. Think about Olympic champions who thank their ‘teams´, an assembly of coaches, therapists, trainers, advisers, managers, agents and publicists, says Anne-Marie Slaughter in Financial Times
this week. And behind them are the parents, teachers, talent spotters and coaches who found and launched them. Over the past year my colleagues at customer service have taught me this valuable lesson. That caring can lead to even better results than hunting for profits. A year ago we decided to move the retention team from an external call center to the internal service department. Many were worried that the service people didn´t have “what it takes”. They were considered too nice, too caring of the interest of the customer. They get no bonus for their sales, where the other team did (they had a lower base salary so the cost was the same).
This very week, the new customer service team has reached a new record, retaining 51% of the people who emailed us to stop their subscription. They almost doubled the score of our external and bonus driven sales team. I am so proud of them. And they teach me so much. Believe me, this caring thing has a great future in business.