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HOW TO ADD A MISSION TO YOUR BUSINESS

CONSCIOUS COM PA N Y

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WORLD CHANGING WOMEN

BECOME A BETTER LEADER CLOSING THE FUNDING GAP

ON COURAGE 18 VISIONARIES WEIGH IN

DERMALOGICA FOUNDER JANE WURWAND

LEADERSHIP | WORKPLACE | SUSTAINABILITY | ENTREPRENEURSHIP


TABLE OF CONTENTS

BUILDING THE BUSINESS

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INTERVIEW: HOW NUUN CEO KEVIN RUTHERFORD HELPS BRANDS FIND PURPOSE*

LEADERSHIP

SPECIAL SECTION: WOMEN IN POWER

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THE SECRET TO ENGAGED EMPLOYEES BY BRIAN SHERWIN

IS CIRCLEUP THE MOST EQUITABLE WAY TO FIND INVESTORS?*

WORLD-CHANGING WOMEN OF CONSCIOUS BUSINESS: THE LIST*

INTERVIEW: THIS IS WHAT HAPPENS IN FEMINIST BUSINESS SCHOOL

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MEET MASTER CONNECTOR MARIANNE SCHNALL

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ON COURAGE: 18 POWERFUL FEMALE LEADERS SPEAK*

*Cover Story

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INTERVIEW: LYNNE TWIST’S EXTRAORDINARY LIFE

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ACTIVATE YOUR LEADERSHIP POTENTIAL ONE STEP AT A TIME* BY JESSICA HARTUNG

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DIVERSITY HELPS ALL LEADERS, INCLUDING WHITE MEN WITH MICHAEL WELP


WORKPLACE CULTURE

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4 THINGS WOMEN DO TO UNDERMINE DIVERSITY BY MOE CARRICK

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HOW CONSCIOUS IS YOUR PARENTAL LEAVE POLICY? BY CHRISTINA BERNARDIN

GLOBAL IMPACT

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A QUICK GUIDE TO SEED-STAGE IMPACT INVESTING BY JED EMERSON, LINDSAY SMALLING, AND TIM FREUNDLICH


WE’VE GOT NEWS! A

GROUP COMPANY Winter 2018 | Issue 17 CO-FOUNDER & CEO Meghan French Dunbar EDITORIAL DIRECTOR Rachel Zurer ART DIRECTOR Cia Lindgren CHIEF COMMUNITY OFFICER Kate Herrmann CO-FOUNDER Maren Keeley STRATEGIC ADVISOR Aaron P. Kahlow EDITORIAL INTERN Christina Bernardin

COPY EDITORS Robin Dickerhoof & Shane Gassaway WEBSITE GURU Rolando Garcia TRANSCRIPTIONIST Carla Faraldo

I’m delighted that we’re beginning this year by officially announcing that Conscious Company Media has been acquired by the SOCAP Group. Through this merger, we are now part of a family of brands at the intersection of business, money, and meaning, including the world-renowned impact investing conference SOCAP (Social Capital Markets). What does this mean for Conscious Company Media? Of course we can’t predict the future, but we do know that this will strengthen our ability to create impact and reach a much broader audience, all while working in coordination with like-minded brands that are doing incredible work in the world. We truly wouldn’t have pursued this merger if it hadn’t seemed like a match made in heaven, and we’re confident that, in the SOCAP Group, we’ve found the perfect partners to take Conscious Company Media to the next level. And how will this affect the magazine? The short answer is, it won’t. Prior to the acquisition, we made the strategic decision to return to a quarterly production schedule, but beyond that, the magazine you’ve come to know and love won’t change a bit and remains under the guidance of our veteran editorial team. Stay tuned for exciting updates and announcements as we move forward, beginning with our first event of the year: the World-Changing Women’s Summit occurring February 20–22, 2018 (see consciouscompanymedia.com/womens-summit for more details). In the meantime, be well, friends, and thank you for your support on this journey.

DIGITAL EDITOR Mary Mazzoni

With gratitude,

NEWSSTAND CONSULTANT Curtis Circulation Company

Meghan French Dunbar Co-founder & CEO Conscious Company Media

PRINTING Publication Printers GENERAL INQUIRIES

info@consciouscomag.com / 844.522.4768 SUBSCRIBE ONLINE

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advertise@consciouscomag.com www.consciouscompanymedia.com facebook.com/ConsciousCoMag Follow us @ConsciousCoMag

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EDITOR’S NOTE ON WOMEN AND POWER

Rachel Zurer Photo by William Rochfort / Two Millstones

You may notice as you flip through the pages of this issue that it features a disproportionate number of women. This is not an accident. But don’t for a second think that this edition isn’t for men. As my colleague Aaron Kahlow recently put it, “We need more feminine leadership in the world, not just leaders who happen to be women.” What does that mean, exactly? I’m usually wary of dividing the world into neat little categories as the terms “feminine” and “masculine” seem to do, yet over the last few months, as we’ve been working on this issue, I’ve been finding the concept of “feminine leadership” a useful shorthand nonetheless. The Oxford English Dictionary defines “feminine” as “having qualities or an appearance traditionally associated with women,” which I think gets us lots of the way to a concept I can stomach even while keeping in mind the huge diversity of human traits that transcend sex or gender. Under that framework, the characteristics of feminine leadership aren’t inherently female, necessarily; they’re just tradition-

ally thought of that way — which means they’ve traditionally been absent from the world of business, a historically male and masculine endeavor. Some of these key “feminine” characteristics include cooperation, vulnerability, and empathy; for a longer list, see Jennifer Armbrust’s “characteristics of a feminine economy” on page 49. In my book, it’s not a coincidence that these principles are the same ones we mention again and again in these pages as key traits of conscious leaders and businesses. We usually define a conscious business as “one with a purpose beyond profit that’s committed to win-for-all solutions for all stakeholders” — in other words, a business committed to “feminine” traits like cooperation, empathy, awareness of impact, and thinking in wholes, not parts. Conscious leaders, meanwhile, balance their drive and vision with compassion, rest, authenticity, and vulnerability, among other traits. To me, there’s a strong case that the conscious business movement is, in many ways, working to welcome

the power of feminine leadership into the business world, for the benefit of all beings. Given that for the last several hundred years, at least, Western business culture has tended to disproportionately celebrate, elevate, and notice the accomplishments of men, we’ll hope you’ll forgive us for working to tip the balance back the other way in this issue. Hence, we present you with conversations with inspiring, powerful female leaders like journalist Marianne Schnall (page 55) and philanthropist and author Lynne Twist (page 64); motivational quotes on courage from a variety of female heroes (page 58), and our first-ever list of World-Changing Women in Conscious Business (page 26), to name a few. We hope you’ll find plenty in this issue to keep you inspired, hopeful, engaged, and moving forward towards a new relationship with business, work, and power — no matter how you identify. —Rachel Zurer, editorial director

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BUILDING THE BUSINESS

JUST ADD PURPOSE Kevin Rutherford transformed Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day and Nuun with his purpose-driven approach. Now he shares advice for incoming executives.

NUUN AT A GLANCE • Location: Seattle, WA • Founded: 2004 • Employees: 154 (54 full-time + 100 part-time Field Hydration Specialists) • Impact: In 2017, in tandem with their customers, Nuun saved over 72 million singleuse plastic bottles. • Key Recognition: In 2017, Nuun made the Inc. 5000 list of the fastest-growing companies for the seventh year in a row; it ranked on Outside’s Best Places to Work List for 2017; and the company reports being the top sports drink product in sports specialty retail. • Structure: Private for-profit; as of May 2017, all full-time employees have ownership through vested options/shares • Memberships: People for Bikes, Conservation Alliance, Clean Sport Collective, Challenged Athletes Foundation • 2017 Revenue: $25 million

Since Rutherford became CEO, Nuun has reformulated its electrolyte drink mix tablets to be made with entirely plant-based ingredients.

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• Mission statement: “Nuun is hydration that inspires you to move more.”


Kevin Rutherford knows a thing or two about taking strong brands and making them better by upping the level of purpose. After serving as marketing director of Kashi foods, Rutherford took the helm as CEO of Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day in 2010, where he introduced a new mission that helped transform the cleaning company into a purpose-driven brand focused on wellness for people and the environment. In 2013, Rutherford embraced a new challenge at Nuun, the Seattlebased purveyor of electrolyte tablets that turn water into a sports drink. Under his direction (he’s still CEO), Nuun reformulated its entire product line to remove artificial ingredients, become completely plant-based, and obtain non-GMO certification. In both stints as CEO, Rutherford emphasized a purpose beyond profit

— and the brands boomed as a result. Mrs. Meyer’s rose to cult-favorite status, upgraded the product with cleaner ingredients, and doubled its business in the time Rutherford led the brand, and Nuun raked in $25 million in revenue last year, representing a three-year growth rate of more than 115 percent. We asked Rutherford to elaborate on how executives can embed purpose from the top down, foster growth, and inspire a team. Both Mrs. Meyer’s and Nuun were successful when you arrived. Why take the risk of changing something that appears to be working? Kevin Rutherford: You’re right, they were working, for the most part. But moving to a more conscious business is much more sustainable as a

business proposition moving forward. People connect to purpose in a far deeper way. More than just creating a product for the sake of selling more, purpose-driven brands become personal to your team. I’m not suggesting that people don’t take pride in working for conventional businesses. They do. But when they’re connected to something at a deeper level — like figuring out how to make a difference in the world and getting people to buy into that solution — employees find meaning in their job every day. Did you always run teams with a focus on purpose? KR: It was actually Kashi that changed my paradigm on it. Before Kashi, I was more focused on questions like what’s the business we

Rutherford was CEO of Mrs. Meyer’s from 2010–2013 and helped the company re-orient to see its mission as related to wellness.

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need to drive, and what value system do we need to live by to make sure we accomplish that goal? I’d describe my current mindset as much more belief-based: start with convictions, loyalty will result, and the business results will follow. And at least in these two examples we’re using, Mrs. Meyer’s and Nuun, we amplified growth in a short period of time just by getting everyone on board with company values and why we do what we do. Once you gain clarity around the company’s purpose, then you can start making necessary changes to products, operations, and communication to align more closely with those values. How do you actually go about making this kind of change? Is there a playbook?

KR: For anyone coming into the CEO role, my advice would be don’t come in to change the business. Come in with an intent to understand what’s working. Tap into what people on the team are thinking, and find out what they love about what they do. The more you can do that, the more you can understand the DNA of the company and the platform from which you’re going to build. At Mrs. Meyer’s, for example, people were really passionate around this remarkable product that had amazing fragrances. They didn’t necessarily understand the difference they were trying to make in the world, but after peeling back the onion, I saw an underlying passion around the planet. Once you tap into that common passion, you can begin to address questions about the company’s overall purpose and why we do what we do.

Rutherford (second from left) and other members of the Clean Sport Collective showing off the nonprofit’s logo.

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For Mrs. Meyer’s, that meant transitioning from a cleaning company to what was, in my mind, a wellness company. Wellness made sense for us in that we had a holistic approach that centered around saying “There’s got to be a better way.” That became part of our mission: a better way for the planet, a better way for the community, and a better way for the team. How does that look? Do you meet with every employee? KR: It’s highly unlikely you’re going to be able to meet with everyone, but you do try to meet with many. Group lunches and conversations are great, because people want to be heard, and should be heard — but that doesn’t get to everyone. The way I got to everyone was through surveys. We asked questions


like “What’s the difference you want to make in the world?” “Why do you work at Nuun, or at Mrs. Meyer’s?” This gives everyone the chance to at least be heard. Is it challenging to get employees on board with changes like these? KR: You use intel from your team to develop a hypothesis about the purpose of your company. To gain buy-in, you need to find some key influencers in the team that you can vet your hypothesis against. This is going to sound bizarre, but there’s a little math to my madness on this one. Years ago, I attended a conference at the University of Minnesota. A student was presenting a social client case study about engagement and said, “If you want to influence an entire group, consider getting the square root of the total on board first.” I was confused. “The square root of the total?” Then he started using examples of how key influencers can rally the company at large around a collective mission. I’ll use Nuun as an example. I’m simplifying the math here, but let’s say that at the time we had 49 people and needed 7 influencers to preach the greater good, if you will. I asked these influencers to vet my hypothesis about the company’s mission and purpose, refine it, and ultimately present it to the wider team. That’s how you start to build your business plan, because — if you’ll remember — this all stems from what everybody was thinking at the beginning. With the backing of influencers, the new mission starts to permeate the entire company. The next thing you know, everyone’s living by it and incredibly passionate about it.

How long does it take to introduce a company mission and get everyone on board? KR: If you’re coming into the position, you want to start thinking this way in the first month. It doesn’t mean you’re making the changes in the first month. The timeframe could take up to six or 12 months, but there are iterations that happen throughout the process. Iterate, iterate, iterate, and keep refining to a point where you feel confident putting your new mission out there. How do you suggest that teams keep the conversation about purpose going? KR: We did monthly town-hallstyle communications at Mrs. Meyer’s, as well as constant written communication about things we were doing as a company for the greater good. And we do the same at Nuun. We ask employees to share their thoughts. We invite them to participate in purpose-driven programs like volunteering or customer engagement, and we encourage them to lead by example. We also continually remind them that we’re going to keep massaging this and getting it tighter and tighter. It’s not rocket science, at the end of the day. The biggest mistake people make is being too tentative about putting something out that’s not fully fleshed out. Put yourself out there and say, “Here’s what I think, and this is how it connects to the mission.” Even though it’s not complete, that’s okay. Put it out there, but tell people it’s not complete and invite them to be a part of the process. Talking is one thing, but how do you move from conversations to implementation?

RUTHERFORD’S 5 TIPS FOR INCOMING PURPOSE-DRIVEN EXECS 1 // BUILD ON THE GOOD TO BECOME REMARKABLE. Find the good in both the people and the brand. As an incoming executive, the idea is to find the company’s strengths and leverage them.

2 // BELIEVE. Help your team members believe they can accomplish more than what they previously thought they could. When the team believes in themselves and the company’s purpose, business results will naturally follow. 3 // BE CONSISTENT AND RESILIENT. Successful leaders can keep everyone focused on the mission, as well as the near-term tasks at hand. Those little steps are the mojo the team needs to sustain momentum.

4 // CELEBRATE. Find the wins and celebrate them ... often. Only do it for true wins. Trust me, they are out there if you are looking. But please don’t give artificial positive reinforcement. 5 // ISSUES ARE OPPORTUNITIES FOR IMPROVEMENT. In the spirit of positivity, some try to avoid inherent issues in the company, but that is not a pathway to success. Instead, use radical candor and self-reflection as a company and as individuals. Ask yourselves, “If we had to do it all over again, how would we do it?” Thoughtful analysis lets you address the issue and do it better moving forward.

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KR: Once you develop your mission and purpose and share it with the team, the question becomes, “You guys, how do we bring this to life?” My advice would be to over-communicate. Be very transparent, and approach implementation through the lens of the company’s business model and culture. Then, you can start to focus on how your purpose applies to your product, your external communications, and your customers. As the saying goes, “Culture eats strategy for breakfast.” If I had to make a choice, I’d take a resilient, strong, passionate culture over strategy any day. But the multiplier effect

Don’t necessarily think a new mission means abandoning where you were. Considering your position on purpose and company culture, what do you think makes a strong CEO? KR: To use a sport analogy, as someone coming in, you should think of yourself as a player-slash-coach. A lot of people who come into the leadership role as CEO feel as if they need to be very strong and directive. And that will work, in many cases, for a period of time. The challenge is that it doesn’t sustain itself. Eventually, a command-and-control approach falls

KR: It’s all about leading by example. You need to be willing to do everything from taking out the trash and putting dishes in the office dishwasher to meeting with the board and investors. I think that’s lost on a lot of folks. They look at minor tasks and say, “That’s not my role.” Actually, what you want to demonstrate is that everyone has a role to play, but sometimes you need to shift out of your position to help where there are weak spots and elevate the entire team. As a leader, your ultimate goal is to help bring people up. Help them believe in themselves. Help them believe that they can accomplish

“I’d describe my current mindset as much more belief-based: start with convictions, loyalty will result, and the business results will follow.” — a great culture aligned to an amazing strategy — is even more powerful, and it’s tough to beat a company like that. Take Nuun as an example. We didn’t have a purpose mission statement at Nuun when I came in. We were an electrolyte tablet company that was all about hydrating people. Today, we’re about hydration that inspires movement, which is very different than a functional benefit of an electrolyte tablet. We want to make remarkable products, but now our company is obsessed with getting people to move. When I came in, we were starting to push forward on expansion and scaling with volume. That’s a good thing; however, you can’t lose sight of your core. Just like with your teammates, you need to make sure you know your core customers. So I did a re-emphasis on the sport specialty segment, because it’s tightly connected to the core consumer, who we didn’t want to walk away from. Again, get back to your DNA.

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apart because you didn’t bring people in along the way. I think of myself as a player-slashcoach. As the coach, I’m going to help you understand where we can go. I’m going to help you dare to dream, help you see the possibilities, and get you on board to believe in them. Although it’s going to be a little scary because it’s change, I’m going to lead you with positive intent. As a leader, it’s also important to be okay with vulnerability. Express that, show some humility, and say: “I don’t know everything. That’s why I need you guys to help me.” Give them confidence to be a part of the solution. You need to make sure you are a player on the team, not just the one directing it. That’s why the playerslash-coach, not just the coach, is mission critical. How can CEOs take this to heart and present themselves as players on the team as well as leaders?

more than what they thought they could as individuals and as a team. That’s why you have to get intimate in terms of connecting with as many teammates as you can. Any parting words of advice for executives? KR: Don’t underestimate the power of the people. This happens all the time. As we transition, new executives almost start to think we need a whole new team, but you can build from your strengths, from your people, and also from the original mission of the brand. Leveraging your strengths, believing in your team, and remembering the culture will make you thrive in the long term, and the business results will follow. It’s not a flip-aswitch-overnight scenario. It takes investment of time and energy. You’re going to need to do it every single day, because it’s constantly evolving. Hopefully you’ll learn to love it.


eMoTi oNs WeLCoMe BY BRIAN SHERWIN

really consciously emotions If you

want engaged

employees, you must invite

into the workplace.

Here’s how.

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ust the other day I was ambushed by an emotion at work. I was listening to my colleagues provide feedback on the presentation I was prepping for a client. As I took notes on one colleague’s ideas — wham! — I was triggered by something he said. Suddenly my attention to the content of the meeting dropped to zero as frustration welled up in me. I felt my shoulders and arms tense and my breathing constrict. In a matter of seconds, I went from a fully engaged employee to a human grappling with feelings — disengaged from the work at hand. Here’s how a simple feeling like frustration becomes a bigger problem: in a typical work environment, where employees are required to repress emotions, I would have to pretend to be engaged in that meeting because it’s the “professional” thing to do. Other meeting participants would likely sense a shift in the emotional tenor of the room, but they would also pretend everything is normal and continue with the work at hand. After the meeting, the unprocessed frustration would linger. I might continue to repress the feeling, which would likely create a sense that being at work doesn’t feel good. Alternatively, I might vent to my co-workers, complaining about a particular person or about the company, which creates a toxic atmosphere, and doesn’t really resolve the emotion. Unprocessed feelings become bottled-up, zombie emotions that will continue to devour employee engagement, perhaps long into the future.

A NEW APPROACH Luckily for me, my colleagues view emotional development as critically important to the work at hand. When my frustration appeared that day, I took a deep breath and signaled that I was triggered. They immediately paused the meeting and, per our agreed-upon process, asked me if I wanted to check in or step out of the 16

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meeting. I chose to check in, so we all brought up our Inside Feedback checkin app (on laptops or phones) and registered our inner states: mental, emotional, and physical. I noticed that in addition to a high level of frustration, I also had a medium level of anxiety and just an edge of sadness. As fMRI scans show, when we pause and label our emotions — especially challenging emotions like anger and anxiety — we engage our pre-frontal cortex, which helps reduce the impact of these emotions. Indeed, as I completed my check in, I noticed that the knife-edge of my frustration had dulled a bit. We all shared our check-in data anonymously and looked at the results together. I compared my personal check-in to the group’s median results, noting differences. I took another deep breath and noticed how my anger and anxiety were showing up in my body: an anxious knot in my gut and still some clenching in my shoulders and throat from the anger. As brain scientist Jill Bolte Taylor notes in her New York Times Best Sellers–list book “My Stroke of Insight,” the duration of even the most intense emotions is typically not more than 90 seconds. My colleagues asked if I wanted to debrief further, and I took a few minutes to talk in general terms about my emotional state. I took a few more deep breaths and noticed that I could bring my attention to the content of the meeting again. Later I would journal about the trigger I had experienced. “I’m back,” I said, and we continued the meeting.

ENGAGEMENT AND EMOTIONS Let me guess what you’re thinking: “What business has time for this nonsense?” Well, the whole process I described took less than 15 minutes, and the result was that I was able to recover and quickly be fully engaged again in the task at hand. If you haven’t noticed, disengagement at work is at epidemic proportions: in the US, seven of ten employees are disengaged, with about 18 percent of these people creating toxic work environments through their

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complaining and sabotage. Globally, the numbers are even worse — 87 percent of workers surveyed indicate that they are disengaged. These numbers should shock you. In the average company, only between 13 and 30 percent of employees are moving the business forward, and it’s costing $550 billion annually in waste in the US alone. Gallup has been measuring employee engagement for more than 15 years and the metrics have barely budged, which means that whatever we’ve been doing to try to improve engagement isn’t working. Perhaps this is because we have failed to recognize that engagement is fundamentally an emotional phenomenon. If you limit or block emotional experience and expression, as most workplaces do, you are blocking engagement. As my colleagues and I see it, businesses can either start engaging emotions, or they can accept zombie emotions and the sub-30-percent engagement they create as an acceptable business reality. Our wager is that organizations that welcome emotions are going to absolutely smoke the competition.

CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE DEPENDS ON EMPLOYEE EXPERIENCE If the impact on employees is not enough to motivate companies to welcome emotions at work, then perhaps the impact to customers will be. Returning to my personal example, if I’m an employee who engages with customers, I’m going to take my unprocessed frustration into those interactions. Customers, who are emotional beings themselves, will pick up on this tension, and you can be sure that this will negatively impact the customer experience with the company. In economies such as that of the US, a whopping 80 percent of companies are in the service business. The latest buzz term in the service economy is “customer experience,” which really comes to one thing: when you enter a place of business, bring consultants onsite, or interact with a business via


phone or web, what does it feel like? When our experience feels good, when we see that a company genuinely cares about our needs, we’re more likely to keep doing business with that company. This is as true for high-priced consulting companies and medical centers as it is for low-cost retail stores and restaurants. Above all, customer experience relies on employees who are engaged in their work and have positive attention available for customers. In other words, customer experience is fundamentally dependent on employees’ experience at work. Disengaged employees create disengaged customers.

A NEW EMOTIONAL STRATEGY For perhaps as long as business has existed — at the very least since the

Industrial Revolution — the primary business strategy regarding employee emotions has been to deny they exist. The more like robots employees can be, the better. For a brief period of corporate history, primarily during the ’60s and ’70s in America, psychologists were actually employed in-house to support employee emotional well-being. Today this idea seems as quaint and outdated as liquor cabinets in the office. If companies offer emotional support services these days, they nearly always outsource them. The message to employees is clear: keep your emotional self as far away from work as possible. When it comes to deep and troubling emotional issues, this strategy makes sense. We’re not trying to make the case that companies should try to tackle severe depression or anger issues in the workplace. Instead, we are advocating that organizations consciously

3 ESSENTIAL INGREDIENTS FOR CONSTRUCTIVELY ENGAGING EMOTIONS AT WORK 1. BUILD A CULTURE OF TRUST.

Sharing our emotions, especially uncomfortable ones, makes us vulnerable, so trust is essential for emotional engagement. One way to develop trust is for all employees, from the CEO on down, to identify their inner “backhands” — issues they are struggling with in their emotional growth. For example, a highly talented engineer might struggle with anxiety in social situations, or a very outgoing salesperson might struggle with frustration when it comes to technical issues. We at Inside Feedback took inspiration from the companies profiled in the book “An Everyone Culture” that put human development at the center of daily work life and have consistently outperformed their competition.

2. USE PEOPLE METRICS TO TRACK PROGRESS.

engage with the daily emotions that all healthy humans encounter as part of life. The fundamental shift we need to make is from a strategy of emotional repression to one of emotional engagement. If this seems daunting, consider this: emotions never disappear, so even if you try to ignore them, they’re still impacting your company.

CONSCIOUS ENGAGEMENT Remember that once my emotions engaged me, my attention for my work dropped to zero. This might be an extreme case, but it illustrates what emotions can do to employee engagement. Once I had a chance to process my emotion with support from my co-workers, I was able to recover my work engagement in a relatively short time. But it took us a while, and a structured approach, to get to this point. Now that we’ve alerted you to the dangers of zombie emotions, be on the lookout for them in your own workplace. Human engagement is, at heart, an emotional experience. Given that our current efforts to improve engagement aren’t moving the needle, isn’t it time we consider some bold new approaches?

The emotional intelligence (EI) app we use allows us to chart our emotional states over days, weeks, or months. Each of us can see if our frustration or anxiety is trending up or down, and we can take action to address trends that concern us. Considering all the metrics that companies use to track the performance of computer systems, it’s surprising how few companies measure the inner well-being of their employees on a daily basis. It’s really not that hard to do: if employees check in or respond to pulse surveys and anonymously share data with the company, managers can see which departments, offices, stores, etc. might be struggling with employee engagement.

3. PRACTICE EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE SKILLS DAILY — EVEN AT WORK. There are lots of great EI trainings and assessments out there, but we’ve found that the only way to effectively develop EI skills, including self-awareness and self-management, is to practice daily in the context of our work environments. New tools are making this easier than you might think. For example, EI apps can remind employees to check in and assess their emotional states, and these check-ins can be completed in less than a minute.

Brian Sherwin is an IT project manager who helps utilities build operations centers for multi-million-endpoint smart-meter projects. He is also a co-founder of Inside Feedback, an emotional intelligence technology company that works with businesses, schools, and therapists.

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IS CIRCLEUP THE MOST EQUITABLE WAY TO FIND INVESTORS? How one tech company’s merit-based investment platform is helping entrepreneurs across the country and highlighting venture capital’s bias along the way CIRCLEUP AT A GLANCE • Location: San Francisco, CA • Founded: 2012 • Team Members: 55 • Impact: 250+ consumer and retail companies connected to more than $390 million • Structure: Private for-profit • Mission: “To help entrepreneurs thrive by giving them the capital and resources they need.”

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C

ircleUp co-founders Rory Eakin and Ryan Caldbeck didn’t set out to tackle the funding gap that plagues female entrepreneurs (in 2016, only 2 percent of venture funding went to women). They just wanted to make it easier for any promising entrepreneur to raise money from accredited investors. “We saw that there were hundreds of thousands of fast-growing businesses across the US that faced a capital need and didn’t have a home in the capital markets,” Eakin says. So they started an investment marketplace to connect people with money to people with great ideas. Since its conception in 2012, CircleUp has helped more than 255 companies raise more than $390 million dollars in funding from its network of over 20,000 accredited investors. CircleUp’s platform uses a cluster of machine learning programs and algorithms called Helio to predict the financial performance of a company based on the strength of its brand, product, distribution, and management team in order to quickly determine whether that business is a fit


for the platform. By contrast, traditional investing relies on an investor making a series of subjective judgments while analyzing data from the early days of other successful companies and investing in businesses that show similar traits, trends, or data points. The problem with this “pattern recognition” strategy is that human brains are great at finding meaningful patterns even where they might not exist — like in the fact that many successful founders are straight, white, male, and based in the Bay Area. By assessing businesses in a more democratic, data-driven way, CircleUp is reducing the likelihood of unconscious bias factoring into investment decisions and evening the playing field for businesses led by people from traditionally underfunded groups, especially women (see sidebar, page 22). We talked with co-founder and COO Rory Eakin to learn more about how the platform works and his advice to entrepreneurs. How would an entrepreneur know if their business might be a good fit for raising capital with CircleUp? Rory Eakin: It varies from company to company, but we are

typically not the first capital for a business. A typical company appropriate for and successful on our platform has at least $1 million in revenue, is growing about 100 percent per year, and produces a packaged consumer product — a product that sits on the shelf. Within that, there are other factors like gross margin, the financial health of the business, how quickly they’re achieving net sales growth, where they’re distributed, the type and nature of their products, and the engagement of the customers with those products. Ultimately, to make sure we attract the highestquality investors, we need to have a high quality bar for our platform. Is this a platform that’s especially good for conscious businesses — those that think about all stakeholders and have a purpose beyond profit? RE: One of the things I’m most proud of is that we’ve been the number one source of capital for B Corps in the country. Companies that are integrating social, environmental, or labor standards into their charter or mission have a much higher percentage of the

RORY EAKIN’S ADVICE FOR SOCIAL ENTREPRENEURS 1 // HAVE YOUR MISSION BE YOUR NORTH STAR

From the start, our mission has always been to help entrepreneurs thrive by giving them the capital and resources they need. We’ve reformulated that at times, but the anchor always has been, “How do we help solve a problem that we see in the market today for these entrepreneurs?” Having that North Star and staying true to it as we grow the business has been an important piece for us.

2 // ADVANCE SOMETHING EVERY DAY

If you have tasks A through Z on your plate, there’s always more to do than you can deal with on any given day. What is it that you can advance that day, right then, even if it’s not task A? Push something forward. That mantra helped us tremendously, especially early on.

These companies have all received investment through CircleUp’s platform.


BUILDING THE BUSINESS

CIRCLEUP’S GENDER-EQUITY REPORT CARD CircleUp’s data-driven funding marketplace helps correct for gender bias.

3%

3%

fraction of loans made by banks to women

fraction of venture capital funding that goes to women

35%

portion of female entrepreneurs on CircleUp’s platform

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capital than just the B Corps themselves, and we have historically been a conduit for that type of investing. What about the entrepreneurs who don’t fit the screen? Do you have any offerings for them? RE: Our mission is to help entrepreneurs thrive, and we want to find ways to help all the entrepreneurs we can. Today we do that through our community forum, an open set

RE: The move towards the digitalization of industries is a powerful one, and it’s going to continue. What CircleUp is ultimately doing is taking a process that was analog and moving it to digital. It was individual meetings and emails and spreadsheets and face-to-face investors all flying around the country. It’s now becoming part of a digital environment, allowing us to do data analysis and enabling an entrepreneur in Boise to seamlessly connect with a

“We’ve been the number one source of capital for B Corps in the country.” of resources that help all entrepreneurs, whether we can work with them to raise capital or not. There’s information there about growing your business and scaling your team, and a common set of resources for all entrepreneurs, whether in the consumer space or beyond. What trends do you see for your industry?

family office in North Carolina. I’m optimistic that the use of technology to make it more efficient on both sides is something that’s only going to continue. Do you ever get pushback from people who want the personal connection? RE: I don’t mean to imply it’s not personal. CircleUp is simply starting the


process. It’s making that spark. Eventually it’s still highly personal. When we engage with the CEO to come on the platform, it’s typically face-to-face or over email. It’s not just computers making that decision. What I’m speaking about is the ability to leverage technology to create a better, more objective end-to-end process. It doesn’t displace the personal side of the investment, but it enables that connectivity of investors to entrepreneurs in disparate [areas]. Data doesn’t replace the personal side, it supplements it and makes it more efficient.

MEET CIRCLEUP’S HELIO HOW HELIO WORKS: PLATFORM

PREDICTING FUTURE This series of machineSUCCESS learning algorithms BUSINESS and datasets predicts future success for consumer businesses.

A series of machine learning algorithms and data sets for evaluating consumer business

What’s giving you hope right now? RE: If you look at long-term trends — global development indicators like entrepreneurship, small-business growth, and opportunities for different populations to raise capital — they are demonstrably better in virtually every measure, making things possible that weren’t ten years ago. Business models for good are also becoming more robust and more acceptable than they were five, 10, or 20 years ago. There are opportunities for companies to differentiate themselves on values, how they produce goods, how they market, and what they stand for; and reaching an audience of scale is much more possible than ever before. We’re coming to a point now where the informed consumer choice and increased selection will lead to meaningful shifts in market sharing, commercial power, and the way consumers and investors support new approaches to capitalism and to economic growth.

1.2 Million Companies

Billions of Data Points Product

Algorithms

Insights by: Brand ND

BRA

Financial

Category Sales

$

Brand

Stores

Geography

Product Social Media

Across North America

Team

Projected Performance

Proprietary

Distribution ...and more

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WORLDCHANGING WOMEN IN CONSCIOUS BUSINESS

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These thought leaders, investors, CEOs, intrapreneurs, founders, and social entrepreneurs are making the world a better place by leveraging the power of business.

H

alf of all humans born on this planet are female. You’d think that would mean that half the heroes we hear about — at work, in school, in the media — would be, too. But we all know the truth is far different, especially in the business world. Only 32 of the Fortune 500 companies have female CEOs. Women receive less than 1 in 5 Academy Award nominations. Even at Conscious Capitalism’s CEO Summit, only three of 19 speakers last year were female. We’d like to change that. Perhaps because we’re a women-led company, we’ve had no shortage of powerful female business role models to inspire and encourage us, especially lately — many of them have already graced our pages, some more than once. And when our co-founder Meghan French Dunbar joined an all-female journey deep into the Amazon rainforest last summer, she returned even more convinced of the importance — for both men and women — of witnessing heroic female leadership. Thus was born the first World-Changing Women’s Summit, an in-person gathering happening at 1440 Multiversity this February, where 200 established and emerging female leaders will convene to nourish themselves, find each other, and strategize about how to elevate humanity. But we know only a small fraction of you will be able to join us in that room

— plus the event excludes men, the other half of our tribe. So we decided to create a virtual gathering, a who’s who of female heroes right here in these pages, where everyone’s invited. In assembling this list, we reached out to an ever-growing network of allies in all corners of the conscious business world, from industry groups to up-andcoming entrepreneurs to our partners at other media organizations. We added our own picks to the mix, then had the joyous, daunting task of deciding whom to feature. We make no claims on comprehensiveness. We know without a doubt that dozens, if not hundreds, of other faces could have justifiably appeared in these pages. And yet we’re very excited about the fabulous group we’ve gathered here, a mix of household names and people we think the world should start hearing more about. Creating this list has left us feeling inspired, optimistic, and more aware than ever that women are kicking ass in the business world, on their own terms. We hope that their examples help give you a new model of what changemakers in business can and do look like.

Here’s to the heroes and the mission we all share.


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WORLD-CHANGING WOMEN IN CONSCIOUS BUSINESS

SOCIAL ENTREPRENEURS These women are improving the world through the mission-driven businesses they’ve launched. This was a particularly hard category to narrow down; we decided to emphasize founders who have a long history of success and demonstrate commitment to this type of work, including those whose projects help

empower other entrepreneurs.

1 VICKI SAUNDERS, 53 FOUNDER OF SheEO // TORONTO, ON Saunders is an entrepreneur’s entrepreneur. Most of her work over the last few decades has involved creating organizations that empower and inspire others to make a difference in the world by starting a business. She has co-founded and run four ventures, including KidsNRG/The NRG Group, an incubator for youth-run ventures that went public on the Toronto Stock Exchange in 2000. Her latest project, SheEO, exists to radically transform how we finance, support, and celebrate women-led ventures that benefit humanity. She’s rallying a community of radically generous women who each donate $1,000 (now $1,100) to build a perpetual fund to support innovative womenled ventures. In two and a half years, the program raised $3 million from 3,000 women ages 14–93, funded 32 women-led companies with zero-interest loans, and saw a 100 percent payback rate.

FAVORITE LEADERSHIP ADVICE “If you want money, ask for advice; if you want advice, ask for money.”

Photo by Dahlia Katz

= See her live at the World-Changing Women’s Summit in February. Learn more at consciouscompanymedia.com/womens-summit

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SOCIAL ENTREPRENEURS

Favorite leadership advice “Make business decisions from the heart and consider the impact on the wellbeing of customers, employees, suppliers, community, animals, nature, and future generations.”

2. DONNA MORTON, 51

CO-FOUNDER AND CEO OF CHANGE FINANCE // LONGMONT, CO

Morton has spent more than 30 years working on using business to solve climate change and promote social justice, indigenous rights, and women’s leadership. In 2009, she co-founded First Power, which creates partnerships to put energy, jobs, and equity in the hands of indigenous communities. These days, she’s CEO of Change Finance, a majority-women finance company that is creating affordable, easy-to-access investments that democratize impact investing. This pending B Corp recently launched the first fossil-free, diversified, impact-focused exchange-traded fund on the New York Stock Exchange. WHAT MAKES A GOOD LEADER? “Good leaders listen; they share power; they lead from the front, back, and sides of organizations. Good leaders know and hire to their weaknesses and appreciate the heck out of their people. Good leaders become worthy elders.” ADVICE FOR SOCIAL ENTREPRENEURS “Anyone left out of the dominant economy — women, people of color, indigenous, poor people — is essential to building a new economy that is more clean, more just, and more capable of regenerating Earth’s life-support systems. The world is starved for a lack of us; we have to know this, carry this fire, and drag systems to sanity.”

3 JUDY WICKS, 70

FOUNDER OF WHITE DOG CAFE, AUTHOR, ACTIVIST, MENTOR, RETIRED ENTREPRENEUR // PHILADELPHIA, PA Wicks is a true pioneer of the responsible business movement. In 1983, she founded the White Dog Cafe, and for 26 years operated this farm-to-table trailblazer that, among other best practices, uses 100 percent renewable electricity, pays a living wage, and runs educational programs for its community. Wicks has also helped kickstart a wider movement of local economies and socially conscious entrepreneurship through the networks she helped establish, including the continent-wide Business Alliance for Local Living Economies (BALLE). After selling her company in 2009, she started a local loan fund called Circle of Aunts & Uncles, which provides capital and business advice to entrepreneurs who don’t have family members who can do so.

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4 MIYOKO SCHINNER, 60

CEO AND FOUNDER OF MIYOKO’S KITCHEN // PETALUMA, CA

For decades, Schinner has delighted in cooking and feeding people. In 1991, she produced her first vegan cookbook, before most people even knew what the word vegan meant. She’s owned a vegan restaurant and a natural food company, and even produced cookies for United Airlines. Now, her latest venture combines traditional cheesemaking techniques with modern technology to produce plant-based cheese and butter with 90 percent fewer precious natural resources than the dairy-based equivalent. In just three years, her product has become a leader in the alternative cheese category. She does her best to ensure that her company exemplifies food justice, sustainability, and animal rights, not only to its customers, but to its employees.

WHAT’S THE ROLE OF BUSINESS IN IMPROVING THE WORLD?

“While activism can identify problems and fight for change, business must be the driver of change by providing viable solutions that make it easy for consumers to empower themselves through their choices and adopt lifestyles that transform the world.”

HER ADVICE FOR FEMALE ENTREPRENEURS

“Put your mission at the forefront of your business. Don’t be afraid to talk about it at every opportunity and don’t water it down because you’re trying to sell a product and don’t want to come off too strong. The product is the vehicle that makes achieving the mission possible, but the mission is the goal. And don’t underestimate your strength or abilities — I see women give away their power all the time through self-doubt. It’s good to reflect honestly about your abilities and how they could be improved, but don’t doubt them. After all, you are the one who had the balls to get the business started.”

FAVORITE LEADERSHIP ADVICE “Let others think it was their idea, even if it was yours. Always give credit.”


SOCIAL ENTREPRENEURS

Photo by heroshotphotography.com

5. AUDETTE EXEL, 54

FOUNDER OF THE ADARA GROUP // SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA While many US readers may not be familiar with Exel, in Australia she’s a social impact legend. First, she was one of the youngest women in the world to run a publicly traded bank. Then, when she founded the Adara Group (originally called the ISIS Group) in 1998, she created one of the earliest examples of a hybrid social enterprise; in this case a corporate advisory business established entirely for the purpose of funding a nonprofit. All of the profits from both Adara businesses, Adara Advisors and Adara Partners, are directed towards covering the core support costs of Adara Development, which every year delivers services to improve health and education for more than 50,000 women and children living in extreme poverty. FAVORITE LEADERSHIP TIP “Never listen to the voice that tells you no — in your own head, or from others. Use that voice to spur you on to greater achievement.” HER ADVICE FOR SOCIAL ENTREPRENEURS “This is the most exciting space you can be in, and the space of massive change and creativity in the decade ahead. When you connect your head and your heart amazing things happen, and your life and the life of those around you will be hugely enriched.” WHAT MAKES A GOOD LEADER? “Humility. Compassion. Humor. Tenacity. Listening skills.”

KIM JORDAN, 59

CO-FOUNDER, FORMER CEO, AND CURRENT EXECUTIVE CHAIR OF THE BOARD AT NEW BELGIUM BREWING

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Photo via New Belgium Brewing

// FORT COLLINS, CO In some ways, Jordan’s is a classic entrepreneurial success story: an idea that started as a passion project in a basement has now grown into one of the most successful businesses in its industry. But what makes the rise of the US’s fourthlargest craft brewery special is the way Jordan has again and again ignored conventional wisdom to create one of the most equitable, sustainable, and community-focused companies around. Jordan was a social worker before launching New Belgium with her former husband, and that human-centered perspective shows in her leadership. In 1996, they opened the books to employees; by 2012, the company was 100 percent employee-owned, and it became a B Corp in 2013. HER ADVICE FOR SOCIAL ENTREPRENEURS “As quickly as you can, have the confidence to be who you are and take chances. Until you’ve had some successes, it’s easy to think ‘I can’t do that, I can’t say that, businesspeople don’t do these things.’ It’s ok to make some choices that feel on the margins.” ONE SECRET TO HER SUCCESS “I’m always thinking about how things fit together, what the root cause is, and how we might change the system to have a better outcome.”

PERSONAL MISSION “Let my life speak.”


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WORLD-CHANGING WOMEN IN CONSCIOUS BUSINESS

INTRAPRENEURS These women have found ways to drive change for the good within existing large organizations, even without being in the C-suite.

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LYNELLE CAMERON, 48

PRESIDENT AND CEO OF THE AUTODESK FOUNDATION; VP OF SUSTAINABILITY AT AUTODESK // SAN RAFAEL, CA

After 10 years in the nonprofit sector, Cameron read “The Ecology of Commerce,” by Paul Hawken, and realized that to create the transformative environmental change she wanted, she needed to work in the private sector. After earning an MBA and landing a CSR role at Hewlett Packard, Cameron wrote a letter to the CEO of Autodesk, which makes design software, about the company’s potential to integrate sustainability into the business. It worked. For the past 10 years, she has led the charge to incorporate a sustainability lens into a wide variety of the company’s offerings, including programs that invest in and support people designing solutions to today’s most pressing social and environmental challenges. The Autodesk Foundation, which she helped launch, has invested millions in entrepreneurs and innovators who are designing a sustainable world, while Autodesk’s sustainable design education has reached over 2 million students and professionals worldwide. WHAT MAKES A GOOD LEADER? “Listening is an undervalued leadership trait.” HER ADVICE FOR OTHER INTRAPRENEURS “Driving transformational change doesn’t happen overnight. Play the long game, keep your eye on the ball, and don’t give up.”

Photo via Autodesk

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FAVORITE LEADERSHIP ADVICE “You are only as good as your team.”


INTRAPRENEURS

MICHELE BOUSQUET, 40

9. ELAINE DINOS, 36

// SAN MATEO, CA

// ATLANTA, GA

SENIOR DIRECTOR OF ORGANIZATIONAL DEVELOPMENT AT GOPRO

8 When Michele Bousquet arrived at GoPro in 2016, she was a little skeptical that she was the right person for the HR role she was stepping into. The person hiring her said, “How about you come here and do you, and we’ll call that HR” — and that’s what she’s been doing ever since. In a 1,300-person organization built on passion, she’s had the courage to lead from the heart. In addition to heading an HR team focused on building organizational trust, belonging, and mindful leadership, she launched the company’s first learning and development program, called Opportunity Lab. The program includes content on mindfulness, resilience, extraordinary communication, leading from the inside out, and embodying higher levels of leadership. “Things that matter to me,” as she puts it. HER ADVICE TO INTRAPRENEURS “Even if you feel afraid or it seems unpopular, be courageous enough to embody your whole self at work. Do away with the pretense of a corporate persona. If you lead with an open heart, others will take your example, and you might find you can shift the norms, however modestly, from wherever you are.” Photo by Jennifer Toll

PRINCIPAL FOR PURPOSE COMMUNITY AT KORN FERRY

Dinos has worked for a decade in executive recruitment at Korn Ferry, a global people and organizational advisory firm with 7,500 employees. Guided by her passion for the conscious business movement, two years ago Dinos created Korn Ferry’s Purpose Community. Thanks to her leadership, more than 200 employees globally now collaborate in bringing purpose and conscious business practices to their clients and the firm. In 2016, she led a research study (“People on a Mission,” Korn Ferry Institute) in which 30 conscious business leaders and 20 of her colleagues shared best practices about how humans enable success in purpose-driven organizations. “There are amazing people inside all sorts of companies who are trying to find ways to use their business for positive impact,” she says. “We need to think outside the boundaries of our organizations to build momentum on our shared mission.” HER ADVICE TO INTRAPRENEURS “Wherever you are right now, in this moment, this is your platform for having the impact you desire. If you put all your energy into what you’re doing right here, right now, then the future you desire will find its way to you.” WHAT’S GIVING YOU HOPE? “The collaborative spirit and trust among the conscious business community.” Photo by Emily Corey Photography CONSCIOUS COMPANY MAGAZINE

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INTRAPRENEURS

10 TEODORA BERKOVA, 35

DIRECTOR OF SOCIAL INNOVATION AT PEARSON // NEW YORK, NY At Pearson, Berkova isn’t merely an intrapreneur herself; she’s also helping the rest of the global education company’s 32,700 employees across 70 countries innovate from within. In 2016, she led the launch of an internal incubator for social innovations that can be profitable (or which deliver business value) for the company through meeting untapped learning needs around the world, especially for underserved populations in lower-income markets. More than 160 self-selected teams submitted ideas from across the company. “These were all people willing to go above and beyond their day jobs to help solve the many educational challenges facing the world today,” Berkova says. Pearson invested in 17 teams to proceed, has provided over 1,800 hours of coaching in social innovation skills and approaches since the program’s inception, and plans to run a new round of submissions in early 2018.

HER ADVICE TO INTRAPRENEURS “Don’t try to do this alone. Always work with partners, mentors, and advisors from both within your company and outside. Surround yourself with smart, positive people and you can make magic happen even amid a tough environment.”

11. NIDHI RAINA, 40

HEAD OF PERSONAL EXCELLENCE AND ORGANIZATIONAL TRANSFORMATION AT TATA CONSULTANCY SERVICES // MUMBAI, INDIA By 2014, Raina had already risen to head of growth and innovation at one of world’s largest employers, Tata Consultancy Services (TCS). But as she finished a leadership program at international business school INSEAD, she became convinced that the next evolution of business was strengthening employees’ inner cores, taking them on a journey from self-mastery to leadership mastery to business mastery. With no HR experience, she soon designed, launched, and earned top management support for a demanding Personal Excellence academy involving 20 workshop days over 6 months, plus an online support component. Over the last few years, the program has scaled rapidly from having 50 associates in each session to having 600. People sometimes fly across states to attend, and many report that it was a life-changing program both personally and professionally. “Before, business impact was largely being linked with domain expertise and technological competence,” says one of her colleagues, Gunjan Wadhwa. “Nidhi stood up for inner transformation and changed the paradigm.” FAVORITE LEADERSHIP TIP “For any initiative, return on reputation — values and beliefs, as an organization and as an individual — is as important, if not more so, as return on investment.” WHAT MAKES A GOOD LEADER? “A good leader follows a purpose or calling to lead an impact. She works with an organization for a cause, not for an organization with people.”

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WORLD-CHANGING WOMEN

CORPORATE LEADERS Fitting the traditional definition of “power players,” these women are making the world a better place by changing the leadership paradigm from inside the C-suite of mid-cap and large organizations.

TERRI KELLY, 56

CEO OF W. L. GORE & ASSOCIATES, INC. // NEWARK, DE

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12. MARY POWELL, 57

PRESIDENT AND CEO OF GREEN MOUNTAIN POWER // COLCHESTER, VT Is it just a coincidence that the first electric utility to become a B Corp is also one of the few led by a woman? We don’t know, but since she took the helm at Green Mountain Power (GMP) in 2008, Powell has continued to break barriers and shake up assumptions about what a utility can be — going as far as to call the business an “un-utility.” In one example of her obsessive focus on knowing customers, she moved the company HQ from a steel-and-glass fortress into a building shared with line-workers — in other words, the ones who meet customers every day. Under her leadership, GMP also became the first utility to partner with Tesla on Powerwall home energy solutions, and the first to offer a battery/solar off-grid package to its customers. Her focus on “leading with love” seems to be working: in a survey required by Vermont regulators in 2016, GMP received a 94 percent customer service satisfaction score and a 96 percent on providing reliable electric service. HER ADVICE TO CORPORATE LEADERS “Be bold. Don’t think of yourself — think about the impact you can have. Make the mission larger than yourself.” WHAT’S GIVING YOU HOPE? “Love. I have long believed in the power of love: the power it holds to transform lives, the power it holds to transform companies, the power it holds to solve problems and to innovate a future that is better than our present or past.”

A big reason Terri Kelly became CEO of a $3 billion, 9,500-person organization? Because her peers nominated her. Kelly joined W. L. Gore & Associates — best known for its GORE-TEX breathable waterproof fabric — in 1983 as a process engineer, and she’s never worked anywhere else. That means she’s had ample time to learn the company’s unusual non-hierarchical structure, in which leaders emerge based on who’s willing to follow them. Under her leadership, the partly associate-owned company has been recognized globally by the Great Place to Work® Institute for more than 20 years straight. “She leads by example in her daily interactions,” says Gore associate Amy Calhoun. “She’s not about command and control, but rather about inspiring people to do their best work.” WHAT MAKES A GOOD LEADER? “The best leaders I have worked with are authentic, approachable, and strike a good balance of confidence and conviction, but also humility. They appreciate that real business success is not strictly measured by the financial outcomes, but a balanced set of metrics that encompass the customer, employees, and impact to all stakeholders. Many companies tap into a fraction of the talent and capability they have within their organizations. The best leaders appreciate that a key part of their job is not putting themselves at the center, but distributing leadership broadly and empowering others to make a difference.” Photo via W. L. Gore & Associates CONSCIOUS COMPANY MAGAZINE

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14. DENISE MORRISON, 63

PRESIDENT AND CEO OF CAMPBELL SOUP COMPANY // PRINCETON, NJ

SALLIE KRAWCHECK, 53

CHAIR OF ELLEVATE NETWORK, CEO AND CO-FOUNDER OF ELLEVEST // NEW YORK, NY

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Remember those 32 female CEOs of Fortune 500 companies? Morrison is one of them. Under her leadership, the Campbell Soup Company first articulated a purpose beyond profit: “Real food that matters for life’s moments.” According to Morrison, “These seven words have fundamentally changed the way we think, talk, and act about our food, and serve as a filter for our decision making — from the ingredients and suppliers we select to our positions on important issues facing the food industry.” Case in point: Morrison actually encouraged Plum Organics to become a benefit corporation, after Campbell acquired the mission-driven baby food brand. HOW HAVE YOU SEEN THE CONCEPT OF “BEING A GOOD LEADER” IN BUSINESS CHANGE OVER THE COURSE OF YOUR CAREER? “When I started my career, business was much more hierarchical and leadership more straightforward. Leaders set the direction and people followed. Today, most organizations are not so linear. Rather than a ladder, we have a lattice, and leaders must learn a cross-section of skills and be more inclusive, transparent, and agile in their decision making. “I’m from the generation of women who shattered the glass ceiling. We didn’t wait for doors to open or rungs on the ladder to appear. We moved back and forth, up and down, and across the lattice. We sought new experiences, learned the skills we needed to lead, built important relationships, and shaped the business environment — then and now. We helped redefine what it means to be a leader. “Authenticity and purpose serve as inspiration for employees to ultimately deliver better results and greater shareholder value. In a world where disruption is the new normal, people are seeking authentic, purpose-driven leaders to encourage and enable them to make a difference and do good in the world, regardless of the headwinds they may face.” 36

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While she’s not operating inside any corporations these days, after two decades on Wall Street including time as CEO of Smith Barney, CEO of Merrill Lynch Wealth Management, and CFO of Citigroup, Sallie Krawcheck knows a thing or two about leading big business. She has been called both “the most powerful woman on Wall Street” and “the last honest analyst.” These days, she’s using her skills and influence to help women advance in the workplace, for both themselves and the greater good. Her current projects — Ellevest, the Ellevate Network, and Pax Ellevate Global Women’s Index Fund — strive to change the culture of business from the inside out by investing in women. The Ellevate Network is a community of 80,000 professional women who are committed to lifting each other up, celebrating the power of diversity, and getting things done. WHAT MAKES A GOOD LEADER? “Good leaders make difficult, messy, uncomfortable decisions all the time. It comes with the territory. When you find yourself facing a dilemma, think about the kind of person you want to be. More than that, think about what you would do if your children were watching. Think of yourself as a role model, and make the ethical choice. If something doesn’t feel right, trust your gut.” WHAT IS THE ROLE OF BUSINESS IN MAKING THE WORLD A BETTER PLACE? “There are so many things that businesses can and should do. They should practice diverse, inclusive hiring and promotion. They should seize every opportunity to do right by their clients. They should evaluate success based on their positive impact.” Photo by A.E. Fletcher


CORPORATE LEADERS

WHAT IS THE ROLE OF BUSINESS IN MAKING THE WORLD A BETTER PLACE? “I believe in three Ps — people, planet, and profits — in that order. We have a responsibility and a huge opportunity to use our business platforms as a voice and our resources to fund and collaborate for positive change.”

S

kin care might not seem like the most obvious mechanism for changing the world, but it’s worked well for Jane Wurwand. In 1983, the UK native came to the US and saw a huge opportunity for offering better training and a focus on health in the booming professional skin care industry. She and her husband first built a training institute (The International Dermal Institute), then a product line (Dermalogica) to empower salon professionals and owners to offer customers a skin regimen based on education, personalization, and human touch rather than pretty packaging, miracle claims, or an outdated beauty paradigm. Today Dermalogica, which was acquired by Unilever in 2015, sells its products through small salons in over 100 countries. By selling products through professionals and offering education through 40 training centers worldwide, Wurwand’s initiatives have helped cultivate female entrepreneurs globally — the salon industry is 64 percent women-owned and is a blueprint for women’s entrepreneurial success. In 2011, Wurwand pushed the company’s commitment to women’s small businesses a step further when she launched the Financial Independence Through Entrepreneurship initiative to help women and girls around the world access education, vocational training, loans, and leadership opportunities. To date, the program has helped fund more than 91,000 loans and has given educational scholarships to women and girls in 15 countries. Now, Wurwand is finding her voice as a leader in the entrepreneurial philanthropy world, pushing common-sense approaches to investing in education and apprenticeship as

16 JANE WURWAND,60 FOUNDER AND CHIEF VISIONARY, DERMALOGICA // CARSON, CA

pathways to entrepreneurship. Rising Tide Capital founder Alfa Demmellash describes Wurwand as “a woman who is fully in her purpose,” helping spread a heart-centered kind of entrepreneurship and the empowerment that comes with it to women as far and wide as possible. WHAT MAKES A GOOD LEADER? “A leader has empathy to be able to understand the other person’s point of view and seeks a negotiation that reaches a win–win solution. It’s not about getting the best deal, it’s about reaching a solution where everyone walks away feeling they got the most out of the end result. A leader is decisive; armed with enough information needed to make the hard decision, they do it. A leader has vision and takes the team on the journey with a clear compass, value system, and inspirational message.” WHAT’S GIVING YOU HOPE? “This new generation is what I call ‘the Giving Generation.’ Unlike the Boomers, they are not just focused on ambition and financial success, and they intend to change the world though a shared economy and empathetic social impact. This is a generation of community and social media and their connectedness gives me hope and huge excitement to empower them!” Photo via Dermalogica For an in-depth interview with Wurwand, go to consciouscompanymedia.com/wurwand CONSCIOUS COMPANY MAGAZINE

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WORLD-CHANGING WOMEN IN CONSCIOUS BUSINESS

INVESTORS These women are changing the world through thoughtful, strategic,

and innovative deployment of capital.

17 KESHA CASH, 40

FOUNDER AND GENERAL PARTNER OF IMPACT AMERICA FUND // OAKLAND, CA The first entrepreneur Kesha Cash helped launch was an African-American fashion designer who was selling his high-end dresses at a flea market. Cash had just left a job on Wall Street and couldn’t believe the designer was working just as hard as her well-off colleagues but seemed stuck instead of advancing. She became consumed with helping him get a proper store, and joined forces with one of her Wall Street mentors to help him. That was the start of a career raising funds and offering capital to underserved communities, first through a fund called Jalia Ventures and now through the $10 million Impact America Fund (IAF). By providing capital for founders building game-changing, tech-driven businesses that create positive social and economic impact in underserved communities, including those who have been previously overlooked by traditional venture capitalists, IAF is not only helping them build individual wealth, but helping them to lift up communities that have also been left behind.

LEADERSHIP ADVICE YOU’VE FOUND MEANINGFUL? “I think it’s important to remember that true leadership is really about working together with the people whose lives you are hoping to impact. As Christopher Emdin says, ‘Never work for marginalized communities. Work with them.’”

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INVESTORS

19. AMY DOMINI, 67

FOUNDER OF DOMINI IMPACT INVESTMENTS LLC // NEW YORK, NY

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Domini is perhaps the best-known long-term advocate of the idea that “the way you invest matters.” After working as a stockbroker, in 1984 she wrote a book called “Ethical Investing.” In 1989, she co-launched the first benchmark for social investing, the Domini 400 Social Index. Analysis of the long-term record of the Domini 400 Social Index demonstrated that investing in accordance with social and environmental standards has led to strong individual stock selection and potentially higher returns. Almost 30 years later, Domini is still a powerhouse in the impact-investing world. She founded Domini Impact Investments LLC, a majority women-managed mutual fund company; authored several more books; and co-founded KLD Research & Analytics (now a subsidiary of MSCI), an influential source of corporate accountability research.

BERRY LIBERMAN, 39

FAVORITE TIP “There is no substitute for hard work. When you hit a brick wall, study what makes it so strong, find its weak spots, and learn how to convert it into a staircase.”

// MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA

HER ADVICE FOR INVESTORS “If you’re going to excel at impact investing, don’t try to look like a conventional investment; find that new path — or hack your way through the jungle and create it.”

CREATIVE DIRECTOR AND CO-FOUNDER OF SMALL GIANTS, PUBLISHER AND EDITOR-IN-CHIEF OF DUMBO FEATHER MAGAZINE AND PODCAST Liberman was born into one of the wealthiest families in Australia, but it wasn’t until she walked away from a promising career in Hollywood, met her future husband Danny Almagor, and went through a deep personal journey that she paid attention to her power to influence the world with her resources. After the financial crash of 2008 emboldened her to experiment, Liberman and Almagor founded Small Giants, which she calls a “family impact office.” Before beginning their investment work, she and Almagor decided how much money was enough for them and resolved to contribute to a legacy of justice with the rest. Their mission is to lead the community towards empathy and a new economy by creating, supporting, nurturing, and empowering businesses and entrepreneurs who are shifting us to a more socially equitable and environmentally sustainable world. Their portfolio of change-oriented businesses (which, full disclosure, includes Conscious Company Media) has performed at a high level of profitfor the last ten years.

WHAT’S GIVING YOU HOPE? “The surge of impact investing is global. It is creating healthy communities, delivering needed goods and services, rebuilding social structures destroyed by war, creating entrepreneurs who will build the next generation of answers. I love the fact that almost every day I learn of a new firm or initiative in my firm that has an entirely new approach.”

HER BEST ADVICE TO FEMALE LEADERS “You are the company you keep. If you want to live a conscious life, authentically aligning who you are with what you do, then surround yourself with the best people who model a way of being in the world that inspires you and makes you want to be better.” Photo by Lucy Spartalis

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20 21

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21. SALLIE CALHOUN, 61

MANAGING MEMBER OF CIENEGA CAPITAL // BERKELEY, CA

22. ESTHER PARK, 44 CEO OF CIENEGA CAPITAL

FREADA KAPOR KLEIN, 65 PARTNER AT KAPOR CAPITAL // OAKLAND, CA

Kapor Klein has been working for decades at the intersection of social justice and technology. After co-founding, in 1976, the first organization in the US to advocate against sexual harassment in the workplace, she was recruited to the software company Lotus to help make it the most progressive workplace in America. Years later, she married former Lotus CEO Mitch Kapor, and the two began a long partnership investing in startups committed to closing gaps of access, opportunity, or outcome for low-income communities and communities of color. She’s out to prove that impact companies can be tremendously profitable, that the lived experience of founders can provide a competitive business edge, and that Silicon Valley’s dismal lack of diversity is not just bad for society, it’s bad for business. WHAT MAKES A GOOD LEADER? “The best leaders know how to identify and harness talent wherever it can be found. We’ll always give a second look to a company that is fixing a problem based on the founders’ lived experience. They already understand their market, and their personal connection makes them stick to their vision when the going gets tough. This often means that founders from diverse backgrounds — the very people who are too often ignored by traditional investors — make the best entrepreneurs.” WHAT IS THE ROLE OF BUSINESS IN MAKING THE WORLD A BETTER PLACE? “Silicon Valley likes to talk about itself as being a transformative force in the world — and it has been, but not always with positive results. We’re now seeing a long-overdue questioning of tech’s role in furthering income inequality, undermining rather than promoting democracy, and substituting elitism and bias for a real meritocracy.” Photo via Kapor Capital 40

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Calhoun had capital to deploy after she and her husband sold their software company. Park had experience in mission-based financial services. Both shared a passion for integrating investment and philanthropic capital to make change. Since 2014, the duo has deployed more than $25 million in grants, loans, and equity investments to approximately 50 organizations and small businesses, mostly farmers and ranchers or their customers. The women’s mission is to develop systems of food production that improve soil health, sequester carbon, and produce great food. “This is an incredibly important part of the food system that badly needs patient and knowledgeable capital,” says Park. Calhoun is also the owner and manager of Paicines Ranch, a 7,600-acre regenerative ranch in central California. The two investors and their team recently launched the #NoRegrets Initiative (noregretsinitiative.com), an invitation to other investors and philanthropists to incorporate soil health into their decision making. ADVICE TO FEMALE IMPACT INVESTORS “Truly embrace the possibility of using financial capital to make the world a better place. Think outside the current box of return and risk.” — SC “At the end of the day, it’s all about people, so use your intuitive skills and trust your gut and inner voice when it comes to the people you choose to work with, whether on your team or in your portfolio. And given the choice or opportunity, always go with the answer to ‘how would a woman do this differently than a man?’” — EP Photo by Elaine Patarini


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THOUGHT LEADERS

WORLD-CHANGING WOMEN

THOUGHT LEADERS These women are spreading ideas that inspire and empower others to

create a better world.

FRANCES HESSELBEIN

CHAIR OF FRANCES HESSELBEIN LEADERSHIP FORUM, EDITOR-IN-CHIEF OF LEADER TO LEADER JOURNAL // NEW YORK, NY

23 When Peter Drucker, the godfather of modern management, calls someone the “best CEO in America,” people listen. At the time, in 1990, Hesselbein was near the end of her career as CEO of the Girl Scouts of the USA and had led the organization through a major revival by focusing on inclusiveness and mission. In the decades since, Hesselbein went on to lead the Peter Drucker Foundation for Nonprofit Management, which now bears her name; win the Presidential Medal of Freedom; deliver thousands of keynote addresses; and spend more than 20 years publishing the quarterly Leader to Leader journal. These days, she travels six blocks each morning from her New York City apartment to 320 Park Avenue, her offices for more than 25 years. She is as energized as ever, and recently partnered with The Graduate School of Public and International Affairs’ Johnson Institute for Responsible Leadership at the University of Pittsburgh to further her work on an even more global platform. She prefers not to have her age mentioned, because to quote her grandfather, “Age is irrelevant, it is what you do with your life that counts.”

KEY TIPS

“Think first, speak last.” “Leadership is a matter of how to be, not how to do.” “To serve is to live.”

WHAT MAKES A GOOD LEADER?

“Focus on mission, innovation, diversity.”

Photo by Michele Mattei

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FAVORITE TIP “To stop and listen before responding to something that makes me uncomfortable, and to be careful to separate my wisdom from my assumptions.”

AKAYA WINDWOOD, 61

PRESIDENT OF THE ROCKWOOD LEADERSHIP INSTITUTE // OAKLAND, CA

If you’re part of the social impact space, odds are high that you or one of your mentors has been touched by Windwood’s wisdom — she’s an influencer of influencers. Her Rockwood Leadership Institute has more than 7,000 alumni (of which 68 percent are women and 52 percent are people of color), making it the nation’s largest, most diverse provider of multi-day leadership trainings for the social change community. As its president since 2008, Windwood has become nationally recognized as an expert in elevating the effectiveness of leadership and collaboration in the nonprofit and social benefit sectors. She leads trainings nationally and internationally, and has more than 30 years of experience cultivating leaders. Impact-investing and social-change pioneer Joel Solomon calls her gatherings “exceptional and extraordinary.” HER ADVICE FOR FEMALE LEADERS “Trust yourself. Honor your intuition. If it feels right, the chances are that it is. If it feels wrong, the chances are that it is. Be as brave as you can, and gather other brave women around you for mutual support. You are more wise than you probably know.” Photo by Susan Freundlich

25 LYNNE TWIST, 73

CO-FOUNDER OF THE PACHAMAMA ALLIANCE // SAN FRANCISCO, CA

Twist has raised hundreds of millions of dollars for ending world hunger, empowering women and girls, exploring the dimensions of human consciousness, protecting the world’s rainforest, empowering indigenous people, transformational education, and more. Her book “The Soul of Money” has influenced many leading CEOs and C-suite executives in large, medium, and small companies throughout the world. Through talks and webinars Twist has inspired millions of people to transform their relationships with money and with their goals in life. For an extended conversation with her, see page 64. WHAT MAKES A GOOD LEADER? “If you’re a leader, you’re leading even when you don’t want to. Much of leadership is the way you live, the way you speak, the way you think, the way you behave, the way you are. To be a conscious leader is to have integrity with all aspects of your life. You’re modeling all the time.” Photo via The Soul of Money Institute

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THOUGHT LEADERS

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27

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26. JENNIFER BRANDEL, 36 27. ASTRID SCHOLZ, 46 28. ANIYIA WILLIAMS, 32 29. MARA ZEPEDA, 37 // CONVENERS OF ZEBRAS UNITE

Brandel, Scholtz, Williams, and Zapeda are all co-founders and CEOs of their own enterprises that each exist to solve a real-world problem. By the end of 2016, they were each fed up with the unicorn paradigm that’s dominant in Silicon Valley: that the highest good is finding, starting, or investing in unicorn companies that exist for the sake of exponential growth, 10x returns, and a quick exit. By the time the four met through a series of serendipitous encounters, each of them had been working on alternative models and narratives. They decided to join forces to give name and shape to their shared vision for an alternative business culture. They chose the zebra as their symbol, because, as Brandel and Zepeda explain, “they are not black and white, but both, combining profit and purpose; they come in many different stripes; are collaborative as well as fierce; and represent the ethos of solving real-world, systemic problems rather than chasing a quick buck.” In March 2017, the team published the movement’s manifesto, “Zebras Fix what Unicorns Break.” It immediately struck a chord. In the nine months that followed, they raised close to $150,000 from government, investors, companies, entrepreneurs, and leading foundations like MacArthur, Knight, Rockefeller, and Long Now to convene over 250 founders, funders, and thought leaders to DazzleCon, their 2017 inaugural conference in Portland, Oregon. “DazzleCon is not ‘our’ conference,” says Scholtz, “but the expression of the answer to our question ‘I wonder how many others think and feel as we do?’ It’s our effort and offering to create a generous, welcoming container where we can co-create the community and tools that entrepreneurs like us need and want.” FAVORITE LEADERSHIP ADVICE “Leadership is the willingness to be yourself in all circumstances, and to create an environment for others to do the same. Not leaving your true self and desires at the door gives permission for others to bring their full vision forward, too. ” — JB WHAT ARE THE KEY TRAITS OF A TRULY CONSCIOUS LEADER? “They treat others as others wish to be treated. They do so by caring enough to actually ask how others wish to be treated, and they are extraordinary listeners.” — JB

JACQUELINE NOVOGRATZ, 56 FOUNDER AND CEO OF ACUMEN // NEW YORK, NY

Novogratz’s impact work began in 1986 when she quit her job on Wall Street to co-found Rwanda’s first microfinance institution, Duterimbere. The experience inspired her to write the bestseller “The Blue Sweater: Bridging the Gap between Rich and Poor,” and create Acumen, a social venture fund that uses philanthropic capital to invest in entrepreneurs and startups that serve the poor. Under Novogratz’s leadership, Acumen has invested $111 million in 104 companies across Africa, Latin America, South Asia and the United States since 2001. In 2017, Forbes listed Novogratz as one of the World’s 100 Greatest Living Business Minds. FAVORITE TIP “My mentor told me regularly to ‘focus on being interested, not interesting.’ I’ve passed on this adage to every Acumen fellow and many others. Today’s leaders have to commit themselves to something bigger than themselves. If you go where your true longing meets the world’s pressing needs, you will find before you even realize it that you are living a life of meaning in a world that needs you more than you know.” ADVICE FOR FEMALE THOUGHT LEADERS “If you really have the daring to make change and reject the status quo, you have to learn to not only be uncomfortable with yourself but let other people get uncomfortable. You can hold them through that discomfort, but if you are not willing to go there, you are not going to create the change you want to see, not fast enough.” Photo by The Human Geographic

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COULD A MORE

Feminine Economy SAVE THE

WORLD?

A lot of people believe they have to compromise their values in order to survive. Jennifer Armbrust’s radical question is:

WHAT IF YOU DON’T?

Jennifer Armbrust runs the online Feminist Business School and also offers “embodied business consulting.”


L

et’s get clear from the start: Jennifer Armbrust, the founder of the Feminist Business School, does not like capitalism. Yes, she’s a serial entrepreneur. Yes, the gallery ownerturned-consultant and educator thinks running a business is a form of art. Yes, she works extensively with other entrepreneurs and business owners and gives talks about the economy. But that’s all in service of radical social transformation — to move away from the mechanics of capitalism that she says have created the economic and social inequality we see today. “My idea is that through innovation, iteration, experimentation, and working with practices deeply embedded in our values, we might begin to agitate those systems and find our way out of capitalism into something new,” she says. “I’m not an economist and I don’t know what that structure will be, but I’m interested in working in collaboration and coalition with other people who want a different way to see if we can find new practices that will lead us to new models.” Armbrust first publicly articulated her vision for a feminine — and explicitly feminist — economy in 2015 when she was asked to give a talk about the art of business. That same year, she launched Feminist Business School, now an online course that’s part of her company Sister, also home to her “embodied business consulting.” But the ideas had been percolating for years. Her bachelor’s degree was focused on critical theory, and after college she opened an art gallery in Portland, Oregon, and worked with emerging artists for five years. She parlayed that into running a small design firm, and from there, she transitioned into helping businesses. “Strategy is a place of play and ideas,” she says on her website, “and I realized I had an opportunity to bring back feminist theory in a way that might be useful and interesting.”

She’s quick to point out that by using the word “feminist” she doesn’t just mean that she’s pro-women. “‘Feminism’ as it currently exists in the lexicon vaguely means something about women’s empowerment,” she laments. “But ‘feminism’ is a thing. It’s a movement. It has a history. There’s scholarship around it. There is feminist art. There’s feminist theory.” As she says on her site, “This is about redistributing power and resources. This is about radical social transformation. A feminist business can model new ways of living, working, and being together. This is about transforming our relationship to money,

reflectiveness, and a willingness to put the work in towards my own healing and expansion and intellectual understanding of the world I live in. That word [growth] does get bandied around quite a bit. I would distinguish linear/financial growth as a masculine/capitalist model, versus cyclical growth, which is a more earth-based type of growth that our bodies and the plants around us experience. There is a cyclical quality to nature that hasn’t, of yet, been drawn on in business. I’m interested in business not undertaking an ambitious growth plan, but instead flowing down, being

“A business can be a prototype of the world you want to live in. As we honor feminine and feminist principles in our practices, we reshape the business archetype.” to work, to the Earth, to our bodies, and to each other. A business can be a prototype of the world you want to live in. As we honor feminine and feminist principles in our practices, we reshape the business archetype.” We were intrigued by the overlap between Armbrust’s work and the visions we see conscious companies enacting, so our editorial director Rachel Zurer spoke with Armbrust about entrepreneurship, social change, and her vision for a new kind of company. You’ve said in your talks that you have “a passion for growth.” How is the type of growth that you’re talking about different from an out-of-control capitalist growth mentality? Jennifer Armbrust: I have a passion for personal growth. I’m talking about my own consciousness, self-

more intentional, and leaving room for things like fallow periods, death, and sunsetting. When we talk about personal growth, it’s clear that we mean change, evolution, deepening, or, as you said, healing. It’s not just about getting bigger. It’s funny how we have the same word for both. I wonder if that’s part of our challenge. How do you understand the importance of our language in this process of changing capitalism? JA: Language is really important, and exploring the meaning of language is crucial. Capitalism, particularly advertising, has alienated words from their meaning. For example, “feminism” right now is popular, but what I quickly learned when I launched Feminist Business School is that feminist literacy is low. All the

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history, all the rich, rich thought that has particular ideals, that has an agenda, that is what feminism is about — those have all fallen away, and now it’s [just] a rallying cry for women. I think that’s unfortunate. That has happened, too, with the terms feminine and masculine. You hear “the divine feminine” a lot, but we don’t know exactly what that means. All of a sudden it has something to do with buying yoga clothes, maybe. Stealing words back from advertising and understanding their meaning and their historical context is crucial. That education piece is a

t-shirt, and call it done. This is a lifelong project. This is the commitment to a totally different way of being. You have a particular definition of business: “An experiment in survival involving money and the creative impulse.” For a lot of people, the idea that you can be capitalism-critical yet probusiness is a tricky tension or paradox. Can you speak to that? JA: My work exists not as an endorsement of or a reinvestment in the business paradigm. It’s more

“It’s about people choosing to learn to survive on their own terms without compromising their values.” big part of what I’m doing; it’s why my work involves the school and teaching, not just consulting. That’s a lot of levels of nuance to be asking of people, especially as you think about spreading these ideas, creating change in a bigger, systemic way. This isn’t very marketable in some ways. What are you going to do about that? JA: My work is about critical consciousness and it’s about people choosing to learn to survive on their own terms without compromising their values, and that’s why it is capitalist-critical. It’s not consumptive. I’m not creating unnecessary needs. I’m not fulfilling temporary addictions. This is about a commitment to self, to personal growth, to critical consciousness, to social change. It’s not shallow work. It’s work that’s been going on for years. There’s a legacy of civil rights, of feminist movements, people who have lost their lives for labor rights. This isn’t glib. It’s not meant to be a product that you’re going to pick up, wear a

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that I see entrepreneurship as a site of opportunity for those who have previously been excluded from it — women, people of color. I see it as a place of experimentation and play, where there is a lot of agency and freedom to create new models and to make new rules. It’s what’s available. The tool of the era. Is that a fair way to put it? JA: It’s a tool, for sure. I just want to mention that other people are working in other capacities in a similar vein. People are working in academia, government. This just happens to be my particular home, my niche, the place that I’m comfortable, and what I have to offer to the bigger project. I’m interested in business, in gender, in art, in money and economics. And entrepreneurship is where those converge.

to be asking questions about how we use money, how we use power in business. But as far as an actual feminist business goes, I don’t have one that I can conjure at the moment. First, this entire idea of taking feminist scholarship, the lessons of feminist movements, and the ideals of feminism and applying them to business in an explicit way is new. I only know of a couple of other people who are thinking about these ideas. There may well be people who have explicitly taken feminism and begun to embed those ideals in their practices, but they haven’t promoted it, so I’m not aware of businesses that are explicitly merging feminism and entrepreneurship. That said, I see part of the goal of feminism to be a redistribution of money and power on a large scale. There are some businesses working in alignment with that goal. Things like profit-sharing — we almost all know and love a food co-op somewhere. The co-op model is one of shared power, of shared resources, of shared ownership. I would consider on-site child care to be a feminist issue. Or I think of companies that are building giving into their profit models, giving to Planned Parenthood … Reproductive rights is a fundamental feminist ideal. There are companies that are doing things like that. This is why I see this as a huge opportunity. I’m personally working on a framework, and I’m asking my students to co-author it with me, of what kind of business can be feminist, and what that would require. It’s a wide question. It’s deep. There’s a lot to it. It’s taking a while to flesh out the scaffolding of what that means.

Do you know any businesses that you would consider truly feminist?

One of your 12 Principles for Prototyping a Feminist Business (see page 51) is “institutionalized empathy.” What does that mean to you in practice?

JA: No. There are companies working consciously that I think do want

JA: Institutionalizing empathy is about going into an individual busi-


ness and looking at places where the structure of the business, the way the business was set up, is overriding the needs of people’s bodies, their emotional needs, their creative needs. Business structure gets a lot of authority. The business itself becomes this entity that we all then bend our bodies, our days, our lives around. The truth is we make those structures, and we can make them differently. So institutionalizing empathy is asking, what does it mean to have a body in business? What does it mean for the way we structure our businesses or the way we work with others? Are the bodies in the business happy? Are they in pain? Are they tired? Are they getting fed? Are they rested? How many hours do we work? What does it mean if we need to spend less time in front of

computers for our bodies not to be in pain? How does that change our entire business structure? Then it’s looking at, when do we create situations of stress or of disease or fear in our business? Then we can even zoom way out to social issues when we start to ask, when is our business complicit in institutionalized sexism or structural racism? When are we complicit in the larger systems that are embedded in structural white supremacy? It requires a lot of self-critique, but it’s about connecting to our humanness and not letting the business be an imposing structure that we all bow down to. Instead, the business becoming a responsive structure that meets needs and that brings people together and deepens our humanity.

How are modern life and civilization as we know it not going to collapse if we stop working so hard and start paying so much attention to bodies instead? Our whole modern world was built on capitalism. JA: I would argue that if we stay on the path we’re on, we’re going to self-destruct. We have reached critical unsustainability with the way we treat the Earth. We are on an untenable track. We are treating our bodies horribly. People are sick. People are angry. People are unhappy. People are depressed. People are on painkillers, opioid addiction. Things are not going well, so I don’t see that we have a lot to lose. We will lose our stuff. The capitalist addiction is part of what will go. We’re consuming things we don’t need, that we don’t want, that

Armbrust imagines a feminine economy would include these characteristics.

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we buy for ourselves as rewards for overworking. We eat rich foods. We drink alcohol after a long day. We’re in a constant state of rebalancing and rebalancing and rebalancing, because we’re out of balance. What I’m proposing is a return to sanity, not a departure from it. I think capitalism has made us gluttons. It has made us narcissistic. It has made us selfish. It has made us terrible stewards of the Earth. It has made us competitive with one another. Slavery exists because of capitalism. It has definitely shaped our social relations, our racial relations. We’re on a path to destruction. I see what I’m offering as an antidote to that. What are the roles of men in feminist business and the Feminine Economy? JA: There is unquestionably room in feminist entrepreneurship for men. But in the same way that women have to unlearn their patriarchal and masculine thinking, men need to do that too, and even more so because they are the ones who have benefited from it.

of the hero model or the charismatic leader, and humility and an openness to working in collaboration, to working in coalition, and to being in a constant state of learning and listening. Your thesis is that we’re horribly out of balance between the masculine and the feminine. But is there room for the masculine in a Feminine Economy? What would be the danger of going too far toward the feminine? JA: My idealized future is clear: a beautiful, unique mix of masculine and feminine qualities in each of us. Just because we’re born with male or female bodies wouldn’t mean we are masculine or feminine. Instead, we all as human beings would have access to and capacity for both masculinity and femininity. With the Feminine Economy — sure, there is the possibility that it can swing too far, but I would argue that most Americans have no idea what it actually feels like to be in a feminine workplace or in an environment that really, deeply honors feminine values and feminine principles.

“We know what the masculine feels like. We’ve all been in it our whole lives.” Part of what it requires is selfwork, an acknowledgement of male privilege, and an understanding of what that is. An understanding of what masculine principles are, and how those have been tied to success, to monetary value. Then there has to be a concerted effort by men to reclaim and allow for their own feminine qualities and to see the value of those in others and to begin to embed those qualities in their business models. It’s going to take a step out of ego, a step out 50

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Most of us don’t have a felt sense of what that even is. We need to cultivate spaces that allow people to feel that in their bodies. We know what the masculine feels like. We’ve all been in it our whole lives. In fact, I’d say that right now we’re in a really amplified state of it. Ultimately, we will be in a more yin–yang balanced place. But first we have to feel what the feminine is. We need to hang out in that place so that we have a deep knowing of it, and then can combine that with our

longstanding knowledge of what the masculine feels like and find a facility in between. There are not a lot of feminist businesses yet, but there probably are still some places out there to feel that feminine energy. What are those to you? JA: Nature is the first place to feel that. Deep communion with nature. The ocean is one of my favorites. The ocean is a deeply feminine place. Or spirituality not tethered to religion: to be in a deeply spiritual state, a state of meditation or ecstatic reflection, is a feminine experience. To be in a state of awake rest. To be relaxed and aware, like an open receptiveness, is a feminine state of being. Those are the first ones that come to mind. What makes a good feminist business leader? JA: Feminine entrepreneurship requires vigorous self-reflection and thinking critically about our business practices. It requires a willingness and an eagerness to engage with questions of sexism and exploitation, of race, of class, of elitism, of access, of how we circulate money, and how we treat others and ourselves, how we use our natural resources. It requires that we quit equating masculine principles with success and strength, and feminine principles with inadequacy and weakness. Ultimately, it’s about curiosity, self-reflection, and then eagerness to engage with larger systems of power and the commitment to come up with solutions that redistribute that power. It requires a lot of accountability and responsibility for what you’re creating and its effect in the world. And that’s where I feel a real lack of genuine leadership, particularly in the tech industry, but even beyond, in liberal capitalism. The question of accountability is crucial, and I just see all these men building these quick-scaling companies that


12 PRINCIPLES FOR PROTOTYPING A FEMINIST BUSINESS 1. YOU HAVE A BODY

Create structures that support and nourish your body and all the other bodies you know.

2. YOU ARE CONNECTED TO THE EARTH, THE PLANTS, AND ALL LIVING BEINGS Cultivate loving, healthy relationships with plants, animals, people, and the Earth. Commune. Think about our shared future.

3. INTEGRATE!

Gather all your parts. Reclaim the pieces you have lost or forgotten. Forgive yourself. Come home to your body. Own your skills, talents, and abilities. Step into wholeness.

4. INSTITUTIONALIZE EMPATHY: BUILD FRAMEWORKS THAT SUPPORT FEELINGS

As we learn to empathize with ourselves, we naturally begin to empathize with others. Attunement to feelings guides us to the fulfillment of needs. The regular fulfillment of needs is the foundation of a sustainable life.

5. EMBODY YOUR VALUES

Cultivate your inner authority. Act with intention. Innovate new business practices rooted in your principles. Making choices in alignment with your values is the root of healthy self-esteem. Thriving economically while living your values is deeply disruptive to the current social and economic order.

6. RECLAIM HAPPINESS: MAKE NEW DEFINITIONS OF SUCCESS

Release the life you were told you would, could, or should have, and imagine anew. Seek happiness, pleasure, and the fulfillment of your needs. Move towards the things that bring you nourishment and joy.

7. CONSIDER EVERYTHING AN EXPERIMENT

Do not wait until you know to act — anything you don’t know you will learn in the process. Improvise. Iterate. Ask questions. Ask more questions. Explore! Give yourself permission to not know and to make mistakes. Find freedom in uncertainty. Be receptive and responsive instead of predictive and protective.

8. FREE YOURSELF FROM THE MYTH OF THE MERITOCRACY

There is no earning. There’s no deserving. There’s no reward. Divest your ego of the want to prove itself through struggle, sacrifice, and hard work. Become attuned to your needs and honor them as they arise. Feel into your body. Let inner wisdom be your guide. Go where you are called. Eat when you are hungry. Rest when you are tired.

9. TELL THE TRUTH

We are being so thoroughly lied to, it’s an epidemic. Say how you’re feeling. Admit when you don’t know. Speak your truth. Repudiate lies, deceptions, and misrepresentations. Hold yourself and others accountable. Own your talents and abilities. Advocate for the people and things you believe in. Use your voice.

10. CULTIVATE ABUNDANCE CONSCIOUSNESS

Feel your deep connection with the Earth — nature is abundance embodied. Scarcity teaches us gratitude and responsibility. Be grateful. Remember, wealth has nothing to do with money. Practice radical self-love. Nourish, nurture, savor. Feel how rich you are already.

11. A BUSINESS CAN BE A HEALING FOR YOURSELF AND OTHERS

Everything that you are needing, someone else is needing, too. Everything you are healing for yourself, you are healing for someone else, too. Make your business a medicine, a salve.

12. A BUSINESS CAN BE A MODEL FOR A NEW SOCIAL AND ECONOMIC ORDER

As entrepreneurs, we have the opportunity to agitate the current social, political, and economic order by experimenting with new business models that honor our values, our humanity, and the earth.

To learn more or buy a poster or pocket card of these principles, go to sister.is/supplies.

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are bent on breaking things. That’s irresponsible. I’m not interested in breaking things. We need leaders who want to build things, who want to work in coalition with other people, who are already engaged in these larger questions of these larger social movements, these larger problems, and who are productive instead of destructive.

Armbrust turns to nature to find the feminine energy she’d like to see embodied in business.

One of your principles here is creating new definitions of success. What does success mean to you? JA: My long-term goal and commitment with my work is to learn to survive on my own terms, with my personal and creative integrity intact. As I endeavor to learn how to do that, that’s what I’m trying to teach others to do. How can we survive with our personal and creative integrity intact? That’s my purest definition of success. It’s also important to me to enjoy my body while I have it, and to nourish it. To work with ease, to contribute meaningful work, to live in abundance, to attain surf mastery by the age of 50, and to retain a sense of awe and wonder and a dry sense of humor until my final days. You were just able to list off a lot of clearly articulated goals there. Do you have any advice for people who feel less clear about their personal definitions of success? How can they start to create them? JA: It’s about starting to look around the landscape of your life and identify where you’re making choices based on what other people want you to do. That’s where it starts. It starts with a reclamation of choosing to live life on your terms, for you. The first part of it is: reclaim happiness. Reclaiming happiness means to really, truly find where your pleasures lie, where your passions lie, not what you’re told will make you happy. Not the car, the house, the two-and-a-half kids or whatever. But what happens when you let go of the life you were told you would, should, or could have — other people’s scripts for you? 52

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What happens when you let that go and start to follow your pleasure, your passions? That’s when a new definition of success starts to become available — because you start to remember what feels good. That initially sounds really selfish. But once you begin that project, you start to hear your own inner voice. You start to hear your colleagues connect with why they are here on earth. That’s really when your life begins. I suspect that there’s a shallow version of “reclaiming happiness”; things that make you feel good in the moment, those coping mechanisms you mentioned, versus the things that really bring you deep happiness. How do you make sure that you’re not settling for the shallow? JA: The easiest way for me to look at that is through the lens of addiction. Capitalism puts us in an addictive state. I see an addiction as a habitual action taken towards the promise of a reward. And it’s that promise that keeps us going back to the same action over and over. We may have received that reward once, and then we want it to come back again. And sometimes it does, and sometimes it doesn’t, but we end up in these ruts. Capitalism feeds that behavior. It does require a certain amount of deep work; of stepping out of that

system of earning and deserving and reward, out of the things that temporarily feel good but in the long term don’t nourish our bodies. It requires a recalibration and attunement to ourselves, being honest about what really does feel good. What is nourishing? What provides us with a sense of pleasure that endures, not that acts as a hollow promise? Say somebody reads this and is totally excited about feminist business. What would you recommend as the first step for somebody whose life looks nothing like this? JA: Of course I’m like, “Please come work with me. We need you. We want you. There’s a community waiting for you at www.sister.is.” I don’t want to do this alone. I can’t do this alone. This is about community. This is about collective momentum. If nothing else, spend a little time with my talk on the Feminine Economy, and just notice where you feel called. Notice the things that light up in you, that inspire you. There’s a great quote by civil rights activist Howard Thurman: “Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.” If nothing else, if you want to start something today, start noticing when you’re most alive. Photos by Aubree Bernier-Clarke


SPECIAL SECTION: WOMEN IN POWER

LESSONS FROM A

MASTER CONNECTOR For decades, Marianne Schnall has been interviewing powerful women about the topics they care about most. Now we’re turning the lens back on her.

I

n 1992, the National Organization for Women convened an abortion rights march that brought approximately 750,000 people to Washington, DC. At the time, Marianne Schnall was a young reporter for Us Weekly, and was used to interviewing celebrities on the red carpet about their latest movie releases. At the march in DC, as she spoke to some of these same influencers about a cause they cared about, something clicked for her: this was way more interesting. Over the following decades, she established a rewarding niche as a journalist, interviewing powerful women about the issues they cared most about and founding Feminist.com along the way. Her conversations with leaders such as Eve Ensler, Gloria Steinem, Oprah Winfrey, Maya Angelou, Natalie Portman, and many others have appeared in dozens of national media outlets and in two books, “Daring

to Be Ourselves: Influential Women Share Insights on Courage, Happiness, and Finding Your Own Voice” (2010) and “What Will It Take to Make a Woman President? Conversations About Women, Leadership and Power” (2013). After Beyoncé publicly recommended “What Will It Take to Make a Woman President?” Schnall realized that the brand had big potential. She’s now launching What Will It Take as a website and movement to ignite and empower a new generation of female leaders. Her goal is to create a hub for promoting women’s leadership across sectors, from media to philanthropy and from finance to politics. We spoke with Schnall about her vision for What Will It Take and about the leadership lessons she’s picked up over the years. Tell us the story behind What Will It Take, both the book and the movement.

Marianne Schnall: After Barack Obama was elected president, I was talking with my eight-yearold daughter, Lotus, about how wonderful it was having our first African-American president. She asked why we’ve never had a woman president. That question led to a journey of exhaustive interviews, trying to get to the heart of why we don’t have more women leaders. Women hold less than 20 percent of top business leadership positions. We absolutely need women in politics, in finance, in media. If you want to run for office, we need you. But also just in our own communities, in our lives as citizens, we need women to rise up as positive forces for change in the world. Every woman is a leader and has a valuable voice. Oprah talked about how we sometimes think of being a leader as a particular job, but that you can be a leader in so many different ways: in your community, as a citizen voting, in your kids’

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Schnall (left) with actor and activist Jane Fonda in 2015.

school, whatever. A lot of people feel if they’re not being a “traditional” leader, it doesn’t count. Even if you just speak out against a sexist or racist comment, that’s leadership. It’s a global movement that has never been more necessary. The thing I always stress is how interconnected the status of women is with so many issues that face our planet, whether it’s violence, poverty, war, the environment. If we had more equity, it would transform our world in important and powerful ways. It’s not just a women’s issue. This is a human issue. As much as I talk about women’s leadership, we need men to be part of this movement, and men increasingly want to be. They’re showing up at events. They’re trying to be our allies. They understand that we would benefit from equality in the workplace and politics and in the world. But men, too, suffer from all of the destructive gender stereotypes that limit their abilities to be who they are. We need men to be able to embrace their full circle of qualities, including their feminine ones, and these values that have not been as valued around cooperation, caring, compassion. These are not just embodied in women; we all have these qualities. We need 56

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to help men be their full selves and break out of their destructive gender stereotypes and roles. You’ve spent a lot of time talking with famous, powerful people about the things they value deeply. What has that taught you about the place of purpose and mission in leading a meaningful life? MS: When I talked to celebrities on the red carpet, I’d have my little autopilot questions and they would have their rehearsed answer. When I started interviewing these celebrities about causes they were passionate about, it was a completely different experience. It’s amazing how much their whole spirit lights up. I interviewed Meryl Streep at a harvest festival about an organization she co-founded called Mothers & Others for a Livable Planet, which works to fight pesticide use in foods. I think she might have been wearing overalls, and she had no makeup on. I had interacted with her in a different capacity, and now I felt like I was connecting with her as a real person. She came alive when she was talking about something she felt so connected to. Again and again that has happened.

I remember interviewing Natalie Portman for Entertainment Weekly. She was the global ambassador for an organization called FINCA International that promotes micro-lending to women in developing countries. She had done a lot of traveling and working with them. I asked her, “How does it feel to know you’re making such an impact on these women’s lives?” She immediately turned it around and said, “Oh no, I feel like they’re doing more for me than I’m doing for them.” She talked about how it had become her deepest, most fulfilling work. In our society, we’re often taught that being rich and famous is the pinnacle of goals. For the types of public figures I’ve interacted with, what’s ironic is that they get to that place of being rich and famous and they find it’s actually not that fulfilling. What winds up being the most fulfilling is being able to use their visibility to give back to a cause or an organization. The word “activist” sounds a little exhausting, like another thing to do. Actually, it’s something nurturing and fulfilling that brings you deep reward. That would be a great thing for us to get out to the masses: skip the striving for being rich and famous and realize that some of the most deeply nourishing, fulfilling work is being connected to a like-minded community working together towards positive change. It’s such a powerful thing for us to remember. From all these interviews you’ve done, what have you learned about what makes a good leader? MS: What’s true for many of the women leaders I’ve spoken to is you can’t be an effective leader and always try to please everybody or be popular and liked. First, it’s impossible. Second, then you’re not true to your voice and vision. In the interview I did with Sheryl Sandberg, she talked about how the more successful a woman gets, the less liked she is, whereas a man doesn’t have that same likability hit. You have to develop a tougher skin


because being a woman leader particularly, you often find yourself the subject of criticism, attacks, or unfair media coverage. For women leaders today, growing your self-esteem and your confidence and realizing and honoring that your voice and what you think counts seems to be important. We also want women to feel like they can bring their authentic selves or authentic voices to their leadership. Amy Poehler talked about how “vulnerability is power.” Talking truthfully, honestly, and candidly about our own experiences, being genuine and authentic, is necessary right now. People need that from our leaders.

we grow and learn lessons about ourselves and about life. It’s how we develop our courage, strengths, vision, and voice. Maya Angelou said to me: “Suffering defeats and getting back up is how you keep getting stronger, and you get to know who you really are.” That’s an important message, because women are often scared to risk failure. When you reframe those very challenges, failures, and setbacks as what actually makes us stronger, that’s where we grow. That seems to be a pretty common denominator for how the people I’ve spoken to have developed themselves.

they’re universal. One more thing I think about a lot — and I’m not sure who I can attribute it to, it was a combination of everybody — is about quieting the internal voice of self-doubt. Arianna Huffington called it the obnoxious roommate in your head. For probably lots of cultural reasons, as girls we’re taught to doubt ourselves, to not feel like we’re expert enough, whether it’s in our careers or running for office. Sometimes we’re our worst enemy. Becoming more aware of how we’re thinking about ourselves, how we’re talking to ourselves, and trying to develop our own inner self-worth has

“FOR THE TYPES OF PUBLIC FIGURES I’VE INTERACTED WITH, WHAT’S IRONIC IS THAT THEY GET TO THAT PLACE OF BEING RICH AND FAMOUS AND THEY FIND IT’S ACTUALLY NOT THAT FULFILLING.”

Another thing: I interviewed Maya Angelou twice, and the one sentiment she repeated in both interviews was the importance of courage, and how you can’t practice any other virtue consistently without having courage. This is a time when we need to be bold and have courage. Are there any themes or lessons you’ve noticed are common to the women who have risen to these positions of influence? Do they have particular coping skills for these systemic issues you were just talking about? MS: Having courage and not caring what people think are two big ones that stand out. Also believing in a cause greater than yourself. These women tend to not be using their influence just to gain more power for themselves. It’s usually for a greater cause, and that gives them an extra fuel and energy. They also seem to be working in networks of support with other allies and like-minded people. Another thing I’ve noticed is that going through struggle or hard times, as we all do in different ways, is how

Is there something someone said to you over the years that you’ve carried with you or find yourself repeating all the time? MS: There were two pieces of whispered advice I got from Gloria Steinem. One was at the launch for my first book. It was this incredible room of women trailblazers and influencers, and everybody was saying nice things about me and my work. Gloria came up to me afterward and said, “How does it feel to have everybody celebrating the work you do?” I said, “I’m just a conduit for the amazing work you all do,” and she stopped me. “Marianne,” she said, “this is your moment. Take it in. This is yours.” It reminded me of the importance, not just for me but for all women, of owning our accomplishments and our value. The second time was when she hosted a fundraiser for my organization. We were talking about how I had been working on a shoestring budget, and afterwards she came up to me wanting to hear more about it. She told me, “You have to learn to ask for what you need.” That stuck with me. She’ll say these little things just to me, but

value. Society tells us to be like everybody else, just fit in, that what makes us different is somehow bad. It’s actually the reverse. Our uniqueness, our specialness, is what we should be celebrating. Those are some examples, but I’ve taken something from literally everybody I’ve talked to. What’s giving you hope? MS: All the chaos of the moment, all of the messiness and ugliness, can be very concerning and disturbing. But it’s all out there now — racism, sexism, other inequities, the problems with the environment. We knew these things were going on, but at a low-level hum, and we were like, “Oh, someone else is going to fix it.” Now, people who weren’t as aware are engaged in these issues and wanting to be part of the solution. Rather than tune out, if we take this as an opportunity to realize that change is mandatory and we are all potential changemakers, it’s hopeful and galvanizing and energizing. That’s why I’m doing the What Will It Take project. We need to consciously view it that way.

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On Courage From the archive of Marianne Schnall

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POWERFUL FEMALE LEADERS WEIGH IN ON THE PRACTICE MAYA ANGELOU CALLS “THE MOST IMPORTANT OF ALL VIRTUES”


“It’s a courageous act to just be with whatever is happening at the moment — all of it, the difficult as well as the wonderful.” — Eileen Fisher, founder and chairwoman, Eileen Fisher Inc.

It’s okay — in fact, it’s better than okay — to make mistakes, really big mistakes sometimes. … That strikes me as where all the good stuff happens.”

It is tough to be a trailblazer and to be on the front end on a regular, ongoing basis, but somebody’s got to do it.”

If you want something and you’ve never had it before, you’re going to have to do something you’ve never done before in order to get it.”

— Marsha Blackburn, US representative, Tennessee

— Tiffany Dufu, author, chief leadership officer at Levo

— Melissa Harris-Perry, professor, author, political commentator

“We may encounter many defeats, but we must not be defeated. It may even be necessary to encounter the defeat so that we can know who we are. So that we can see, ‘Oh, that happened, and I rose. I did get knocked down flat in front of the whole world, and I rose. I didn’t run away; I rose right where I’d been knocked down.’” — Maya Angelou, poet, writer, civil rights activist “Being brave is not being unafraid but feeling the fear and doing it anyway. … When you feel fear, try using it as a signal that something really important is about to happen.” — Gloria Steinem, feminist icon, writer, co-founder of the Women’s Media Center

“Don’t be patient and don’t wait for someone to ask you and don’t think everyone’s going to like you, because if you’re not pissing someone off, you’re probably not doing your job! And that’s how change happens, because people are bold and audacious.” — Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood

“I always go back to my grandmother’s advice to me … the first time I fell and hurt myself. She said to me, ‘Honey, at least falling on your face is a forward movement.’” — Pat Mitchell, media executive, producer, curator of TEDWomen CONSCIOUS COMPANY MAGAZINE

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“I am constantly amazed at how courageous and radical speaking the truth is.” — Melissa Etheridge, singer/songwriter, activist

Be passionate about what you believe in and do not be afraid to stand alone, because you may find yourself in a position one day where you have to stand alone. … That doesn’t mean it’s easy; it isn’t.”

When you talk about people who do things that others perceive as really courageous, most of the time what motivates them is not the risk … of what might happen, but what’s the importance of what it is you’re trying to achieve? [It’s] not the consequences of doing a thing as much as the consequences of not doing it.”

— Olympia Snowe, former US senator, Maine

— Anita Hill, attorney, professor

“The way to get back to yourself is to literally get still and be alone and to drown out the voices of the world so that you can find your own way, because your own way is always right here. … You can spend all the years of your life looking outside of yourself for the answers to ‘why am I here?’ and ‘what am I really supposed do?’ but only when you are conscious enough to connect to the stillness can you really find the answers.” — Oprah Winfrey, media mogul, philanthropist

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I learned the power of the word ‘we.’ Not saying to people, ‘You are going to get through this,’ but ‘We are going to get through this.’ That is such a different message, because it makes people feel less alone, and all of these forms of hardship, it’s not just the hardship itself but the isolation that comes with it. ‘We’ changes that.”

“It took me quite a long time to develop a voice, and now that I have it, I am not going to be silent.” — Madeleine Albright, first female US secretary of state

— Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook COO, author, activist

“One thing that I hear from women of all ages is a lot of self-doubt. And [I share] with them my own experience — I didn’t go through any political training — … but I understood what the most important qualification was: a sense of purpose and motivation toward serving others. The rest you can learn. [If] you’re rooted and grounded in understanding and knowing why you’re doing what you’re doing, then you’ll have the correct perspective to be able to persevere and let the arrows that are shot at you bounce off of you; it gives you that protective armor.” — Tulsi Gabbard, US representative, Hawaii

“The sooner you realize that everything changes — that the things that happen to you are not you and that everything will be different all the time and you have such little control over the next wave, then you’ll just kind of stay in the moment, find your gravity, and be open to what’s coming. Just don’t turn your back on the wave — it’s coming no matter what; you can’t hide from it. So face the waves, try to catch one [and] ride it.” — Amy Poehler, actress, writer, co-founder of Smart Girls

“If you’re always trying to please everybody around you, all you end up being is a pretzel, twisted into the shape of a pretzel. If you do that enough, you’ll end up not even knowing who you really are. So have the courage to be who you really are, no matter where you are.” — Jody Williams, Nobel Peace Prize laureate

These quotes are condensed from interviews by journalist and author Marianne Schnall (see page 55); the originals appeared in her articles and the books “Daring to Be Ourselves: Influential Women Share Insights on Courage, Happiness and Finding Your Own Voice” and “What Will It Take to Make a Woman President? Conversations About Women, Leadership and Power.” To find out more about her work and her platform, What Will It Take, which works to ignite and empower a new generation of women leaders, visit marianneschnall.com and whatwillittake.com.

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THE EXTRAORDINARILY COMMITTED LIFE OF

LYNNE TWIST This author, philanthropist, and thought leader is one of the most inspiring we’ve ever met. Here’s how she’s changing the world, one day at a time.

A young ​Achuar ​warrior with his spear shows Lynne Twist a medicinal plant.

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W

e get to meet a lot of amazing, powerful leaders in our work here at Conscious Company — and yet some people stand out even more from that rarified group. Lynne Twist is one of those standouts. She’s a rare combination of driven and playful; flexible, yet clear. She brings a laser-sharp focus to living her values. She’s relentless in her pursuit of changing the dream of modern society, and it’s not all talk — she’s authentic about living it day to day. She sees the core worth of every person she’s with, whether they’re a billionaire or a poor orphan (and she’s spent plenty of time with each). If you’re with her, she’s with you, and she wants to know you. “I’ve never looked up to any leader as much as I do Lynne,” says Conscious Company co-founder Meghan

remarks from two recorded conversations with Twist, including one on stage at the 2017 Conscious Company Leaders Forum. Enjoy. Give us a little context about who you are, what you care most about in this life, and how that has shaped your professional journey. Lynne Twist: I call myself a proactivist. By that I mean an activist for, not against. I’m drawn by a vision. I like to call myself a person who’s living a committed life, a life where my commitments have shaped me — commitments that I could never accomplish in my lifetime, ways of being and living that move us all forward. When you’re living a committed life, your own small desires start becoming petty. They move to the background and your commitment wakes you up in the morning and tells

LT: [In the late 1970s,] I got involved The Hunger Project. I became completely and totally dedicated — you could say obsessed — with ending world hunger. That was a huge change in my life: from being a mom and a substitute teacher and supporting my husband Bill and having three little kids to being someone who really took on ending world hunger. That was the first big commitment that shaped and governed my actions, my life, my way of being, and in order to be worthy of that kind of a commitment, I had to become somebody I didn’t know I could ever become. The more recent commitment is the Pachamama Alliance. We have a beautiful statement, part of our mission, that I consider my commitment now: to bring forth an environmentally sustainable, spiritually fulfilling, and socially just human presence on this planet.

“When you’re living a committed life, your own small desires start becoming petty. They move to the background and your commitment wakes you up in the morning and tells you what to wear, who to meet with, why to go here or there.” French Dunbar, who recently spent 10 days traveling with her on a Pachamama Alliance trip to the Amazon rainforest in Ecuador. There was a moment on that journey, after the group had just landed in indigenous territory, when it looked as though they might end up stuck without food or potable water for at least 24 hours. “Lynne’s way of handling it,” says French Dunbar, “was to get people together, be transparent, and tell us what was happening with no fear in her voice. Her energy and careful words turned a situation in which 99.9 percent of people would have freaked out into a fun adventure.” In the end, the trip went smoothly, but that moment encapsulated Twist’s powerful leadership style. We could tell you more about her background, but we’ll leave that up to her; what follows are condensed

you what to wear, who to meet with, why to go here or there. It has given me the most amazing journey. I’ve worked at the feet of Mother Teresa. I was at Nelson Mandela’s inauguration. I was in South Africa the last day of Apartheid. I couldn’t have planned the stuff that’s happened to me. And I’m now working with the Nobel Peace Prize laureates who are women, and I’m the co-founder of the Pachamama Alliance, and I am president of the Soul of Money Institute, and I do all kinds of stuff, like all of you. Most of all, I’m grateful to have commitments that are bigger than my little life starring me, and that has given me a path that has been a great gift. Can you tell us more about what those commitments are?

My other central commitment is to constantly do everything I can to facilitate the reallocation of the world’s financial resources away from fear and towards love. Talk to us about the process of how you came to one of these commitments, and the first steps you took once you realized the commitment you were going to make. LT: The one that’s easiest to talk about is the Pachamama Alliance. It began 22 years ago. I was deeply engaged in ending world hunger. My energy was focused on sub-Saharan Africa, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka — places like that. I wasn’t thinking about the Amazon rainforest or environmental issues at all. In 1994, I did a favor for my friend John Perkins and took a little leave

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from my Hunger Project work in Africa and Asia to go to Guatemala and train the development director for an organization there. We ended up in a shamanic ceremony together, my first ever. In this ceremony, we were asked to lay down around a fire. The shaman didn’t use any medicine. He told us to close our eyes, listen to his voice, and to journey. I thought that meant take a nice long nap. But no: the chanting, the drumming, the night air, the crackling fire ... I started to feel in an altered state. I started to feel my right arm shake and turn into something that soon became a gigantic wing. Then my left arm. Then I felt this beaklike thing grow on my face, and I absolutely had to fly. I started to lift myself up with these gigantic wings, and I began to fly into the night sky towards

woman who fell asleep and dreamed of her grandchildren. It was bizarre and weird and wonderful. When it was my turn I told the story I’ve just told you, and then it went around to John, and he shared a story almost exactly the same as mine. The shaman then completed the ritual, dismissed everybody else, and sat John and me down. He told us that we were being communicated to, that it wasn’t a normal journey, that someone was reaching out to us and that we needed to go to them. I had taken leave from ending world hunger. I did not have time for this idea. But John Perkins was totally into it. He said, “Lynne, I know who they are. I know where they are. I was just with the Shuar people in the south-central Amazon of Ecuador. An Achuar warring party came in; they told the Shuar, ‘We’re ready for contact. We’re going to

happening. I thought, “Oh, my God. I’ve gone nuts.” I excuse myself, go to the ladies’ room, get my act together, and come back. Everybody’s normal. They’re still talking. Then maybe ten minutes later it happens again and I just burst into tears. I thought I had lost it. I told everybody, “I’m feeling very ill. I need to go back to the US. Too many time zones, too much travel, I’m so sorry. I can’t stay, I’m going to go home.” I got a plane, and the whole way, the faces just kept coming. I was a wreck when I got home. I told my husband, but not the way I’m telling you because I didn’t think it was real. He just said, “You need a break,” which I did, actually. But it didn’t stop. Then it was constant, happened every day. I was driving through Marin County and I pulled over and just started sobbing.

“In order to be worthy of that kind of a commitment, I had to become somebody I didn’t know I could ever become.” the stars. There was no stopping me from flying. I couldn’t not do it. Then it turned into dawn and I looked down and I was flying in slow motion over a vast unending forest of green. Then these disembodied faces of men with orange geometric face paint and yellow, red, and black feather crowns on their heads started floating up, calling to the bird in a strange tongue, and disappearing back down into the forest. This went on and on and on. I remember being startled by a loud drumbeat and sitting up and realizing that I was not a bird, I’m a human being, and looking around, and the fire now had gone down to embers. I was completely disoriented. We went around the circle and shared our experiences, and every person — there were 12 of us — had become an animal, except for one 66

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start seeking it.’ These are dream cultures, Lynne, this is how they communicate. It’s the Achuar, I recognize the facial paint, I recognize the headdresses. We have to go.” And I said, “You are completely nuts. I am not doing that. I have a meeting in Ghana. I’m all about Africa.” So he said, “You’ll see. They will not leave you alone until you go.” I thought, “You know, he’s a nice guy and everything, but he’s a little weird.” So I went on to Ghana. I’m with my Hunger Project colleagues, sitting around a table, five men and three women. I’m not leading the meeting, thank God. At a certain point, the men, just the men, start having orange geometric face paint appear on their blue-black faces. It just starts to show up. And everyone kept talking as if this was not

I thought, “I don’t know what to do,” and I tried to reach John Perkins, but he was back in the Amazon. He finally came home to I can’t tell you how many faxes. He called me and said, “They’re waiting for us. It’s the Achuar, we have to go to them.” They asked John and me through this dream to bring them 12 people including ourselves — people with global voice, with open hearts, people who know the rainforest is critical to the future of life, people who know that indigenous people have wisdom that’s vital for sustainability of the human family, people who would respect the ways of the shaman. We picked 10 other people including my husband Bill and we went down to Quito and flew in small planes into Achuar territory, landed on a dirt strip near a river. Once we


Achuar boys in Ecuador Photo by Andy Isaacson

were all there, [the actual Achuar people] came out of the forest with their orange geometric face paint; they were all wearing black feather crowns and had spears. That was the beginning of an encounter that changed my life, obviously, and became the Pachamama Alliance. I’ll say one more thing about it. In that first encounter, they said in their way, “If you’ve come to help us, even though we invited you here, don’t waste your time. But if you know your liberation is bound up with ours, then let’s work together.” Once you felt this call, how did you actually create the Pachamama Alliance? What is it, and what were some of the tangible first steps once you heard the call to commit? What should one do next?

LT: I like the word “call” because this is really a calling, and it was a call from the forest, from the Achuar people. What they wanted to know was how to navigate the outside world. They knew contact was inevitable, so they initiated it on their terms and in their territory. We agreed to support them for a while. They were forming a political federation so they could relate to what they were learning was the government of the country they were in, which didn’t mean much to them at the beginning; “What’s Ecuador? We live in the rainforest.” But in order to preserve their land, territory, and culture, not only for themselves but for the future of life, they needed to know they lived in Ecuador. They needed to know about this strange stuff called money, which has the modern world completely by

the throat. They didn’t even know there was such a thing — they used to say to us, “You can’t hunt for it, you can’t eat it, why does anybody want it?” We were basically going to finance their nascent political federation for a year, maybe two. It required, for example, getting a phone line in the town on the edge of the forest, which cost money. We created a little fund called “Friends of the Achuar Nation.” Bill, my husband, said he would open a bank account for them and educate them about simple accounting. He took the money down every three months and had a meeting with them about how to be intelligent with this stuff called money. The more we worked with the power of the Amazon rainforest — this magnificent, incredible treasure — the more we realized that this call that

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we thought came from the Achuar actually came through the Achuar from the forest, from the spirit of life. Once we felt that that was what was calling us, I knew this was the next chapter of both of our lives. Bill was a business guy. He had three companies. He was very involved in yacht racing. I was running 50 countries for The Hunger Project. We had kids. We had no time to do this. But once it became clear that it was coming from this spirit of life, we couldn’t not do it. Extracting myself from The Hunger Project was so hard; it was my life’s work. What saved me is I got malaria. I don’t recommend it, but I was an unstoppable person. I was so committed to the stuff I was doing, I was like a maniac. But I had two

A young Achuar girl harvests the achiote plant to make paint for faces and decorating pottery.

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strains at the same time and I was really, really sick. I had to stop — like really stop. It was nine months of being sick. I stopped for long enough that I got it. I saw that this was the future of life we were talking about here. It wasn’t a little tribe in a small region in the Amazon rainforest, it was something much bigger than that, something much more fundamental. They told us, “The most important work you can do to save the Amazon and to support us is to change the dream of the modern world; the dream of consumption, of acquisition. People can’t change their everyday actions without changing what they’re dreaming for. You actually need to change the dream.” I got that this wasn’t our plan for

ourselves. We knew nothing about the environment. We hadn’t even been thinking about the Amazon. This wasn’t our plan, but it was so clearly our destiny. And we surrendered to it. It’s now become clear that this region where we were called is the sacred headwaters of the entire Amazonian system. It’s the beating heart of the climate system, and it’s absolutely the most bio-diverse ecosystem on earth. It’s roadless and pristine to this day, and it absolutely must not be touched. Now that we realize we’re not in the middle of nowhere, that we’re at the heart of everywhere, we have totally surrendered to this work and we proliferate the messages that we’ve learned from the indigenous people in 82


countries. We work in southern Ecuador and northern Peru with the Achuar, the Shuar, the Shiwiar, the Sápara, the Kichwa. We take [outsiders] into the Amazon. We have a program called “Awakening the Dreamer” that we take into businesses to awaken people [to the notion that business] can be environmentally sustainable, spiritually fulfilling, and socially just. And now we have the Game Changer Intensive [a donation-based 8-week online course.] To pivot a little, let’s talk about how you’ve been able to become such a leader. First of all, what does conscious leadership mean to you? LT: I think we’re all trying to figure out what that is. It’s a question as well as an answer.

really need your private time.” And I have that too, but even there, I feel I don’t have the right, really, to be small and petty and inappropriate, because that’s inconsistent with what I’m standing for. So the constant challenge of a conscious leader is to be internally and externally consistent with the stand you’ve taken, internally and externally authentic, and constantly expressing yourself in a way that continues to develop not only your leadership skills, but your skills to be an ever more effective human being. I think a conscious leader is also someone who’s committed to something way larger than their own life, way larger than their own company, committed to some stand or vision greater than they can accomplish in their lifetime so their identity isn’t based in it. Gandhi and Martin Luther King, Jr. and Nelson Mandela

have the opportunity, the privilege, the responsibility to give our best to life. Someone who’s committed to an environmentally sustainable, spiritually fulfilling, socially just human presence on this planet can’t indulge themselves in taking things personally. When that shows up, it’s much easier for me to let go of that kind of feeling because I’m standing in a place that’s so much bigger than my own personality, identity, wants, or desires. It’s so unproductive. It’s unproductive for anyone, but if you have a big commitment, it’s super unproductive. How are you going to end world hunger or preserve the Amazon rainforest or bring forth a new kind of human presence on this planet when you’re stuck about being angry with your colleague? It’s not that I don’t have those moments. I just get over them pretty fast —

“How are you going to end world hunger or preserve the Amazon rainforest or bring forth a new kind of human presence on this planet when you’re stuck about being angry with your colleague?” One way I deal with it is: if you’re a leader, you’re leading even when you don’t want to. Much of leadership is the way you live, the way you speak, the way you think, the way you behave, the way you are. To be a conscious leader is to have integrity with all aspects of your life. When you’re having a bad day and you don’t feel like leading, you’re leading others to have a bad day and not feel like leading. You can’t not lead when you’re a leader. You’re modeling all the time. I don’t consider that I have what you might call a private space to be grumpy or ornery. I don’t think I have that right, and I love that about being a conscious or committed leader. I love that the scope of my leadership encompasses my personal life. Now some people wouldn’t agree with that. They would say, “You

and Jane Goodall and the people we truly admire are up to something larger than their own life, and their life is a contribution to that continuum rather than their identity. That gives you a reason to develop yourself other than just wanting to be better. You’re honing your life because you know it’s a gift you’ve been given so you can give it away. You say there’s no room for being small or petty. That idea sounds so appealing, yet in practice so far from reality for most of us. How did you get to that point? How do you stay in that integrity all the time in practice? LT: It’s not that I don’t get petty or grumpy or small. What I said is not that I’m never like that, but that I know I don’t have the right to be that way. I’m not entitled. We all

faster and faster the older I get. I work with women who’ve won the Nobel Peace Prize, and you don’t win the Nobel Prize unless you’re extraordinary. One time, I was working with Shirin Ebadi, who won in 2003. She was the number two person in the supreme court in Iran, and she fought for the revolution. She thought the Shah was totally corrupt. And then when the revolution came, they took all women off the supreme court. She was stripped of all her power. She couldn’t even be a judge any longer. She left Iran, her office was burned down. Many women lawyers were killed or sent to jail. [At this meeting,] she had been to something like 11 countries in 16 days. I said, “Aren’t you just exhausted?” She scolded me, you might say, for indulging in wanting her to say how exhausted she was,

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which I was doing. I was trying to get her to say, “Oh, I’m exhausted.” It was like she found that inappropriate. It shocked me, because I was “trying to be supportive.” But what I was doing was I was trying to enroll her in being tired. She just said, “Don’t indulge me in that conversation. I’m working for the liberation of women in prison, women who are being tortured, women who can’t even leave their homes. I have to keep myself in good enough shape to do my work, but I don’t want anyone feeling sorry for me because I’ve been to too many countries in too short a time. I’m fine and I’m going to be resting this afternoon.” Something about that conversation shifted my whole sense of myself.

capacity to serve. That’s the other thing I feel responsible to take care of: to nourish my own capacity to serve, and that comes from Source. That comes from meditation. That comes from being in nature. That comes from being in touch with the love I have for my husband and my children and my family. My love for God. My love for the spirit world. My love for the shamans. When I’m in touch with that, I can do anything. And then that’s a source of enormous joy. We once had a conference in Ireland with the Nobel laureates. We sponsored women to come from war zones all over the world. This conference was very confronting. At one point on the second day, I was having lunch with colleagues

experience, and I’ve had many experiences like that, is that the pain and the joy are one. It’s all connected. And often the deeper people have allowed themselves to go into the pain, the greater capacity they have for joy. I’ve seen that particularly with African women, with their incredible burdens in many cases. But when they celebrate — which they find a way to do every day, through singing, through dancing, through feeding each other — the joy is just breathtaking. I’ve been in Rwanda after the genocide and found the joy there in those people. I’ve been in Ethiopia after the famine. The capacity for human joy is probably unlimited. I find it in myself. I find that my

“You’re honing your life because you know it’s a gift you’ve been given so you can give it away.” I’m noticing a fear come up in myself around that idea — a fear of burnout or a fear that that attitude could, misused, perhaps lead to joylessness. LT: Burnout, in my view, is being disconnected from Source. I don’t think it’s as related as we think to working too long or too hard or eating pizza and Coke instead of veggies and water. All those things play into it — I don’t recommend working yourself to death or anything. But true burnout is being disconnected from Source. That’s really where it happens. We all know times when we were soaring: we were working 24/7 and we wanted to work 24/7, and what we were producing was so exciting that we couldn’t stop. That’s one example of being connected to Source in a way that your body will go with you. At the same time, I do think it’s important to take care of one’s 70

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from Iran, four lawyers who worked with Shirin Ebadi. A group of six women arrived in a van. My colleagues saw the van pulling up and they ran across this green lawn crying with joy. They were all lawyers who had worked together for years before they got arrested. As the women got out of the van, women who had been in prison for years and tortured, they all ran towards each other and they hugged and they rolled around on the grass and they cried and they danced. It’s making me cry thinking about it. Then that night we had a party, the most joyous, raucous, wild, wonderful party of all women dancing with each other that I’d ever seen in my life; women from the Congo, women from Ethiopia, women from Honduras, all of whom had been through hell — the kind of things they’ve been through, you can’t even talk about. My assertion from that enormous

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capacity for joy is enhanced by my capacity to face the suffering world and engage with it. My capacity for joy and lightheartedness and fun and release is strengthened by my capacity to face the darkness. And my capacity to face the darkness is strengthened by my capacity to celebrate joy. The harder I work, the more I love. Also as a leader, it’s my job to create possibility in every situation. Not just positive thinking, not a Pollyanna hug, smoothing over things that aren’t working. Generate possibility. See possibility. Find the goal. Find the teaching. Find the love. Find the joy in everything. For a chance to meet Lynne Twist in person, join us at our World-Changing Women’s Summit, February 20–22. Learn more at consciouscompanymedia. com/womens-summit.


LEADERSHIP

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POTENTIAL POTENT TO

Make Small Shifts In Identity to Become the Leader You Want to Be BY JESSICA HARTUNG

Greg is a paramedic, a brilliant mechanic, an artist, a husband, and a dad. He cares about doing the right thing and supporting people on and off the job. He doesn’t yet see himself as a potential high-powered leader, but that’s exactly what he can be. Someday, this ethical, caring, purposedriven person might inspire the next generation. He would lead from a position of natural authority born of character, a solid work ethic, and consistent choices to do the right thing — all hallmarks of highperforming conscious leaders. But what happens if Greg never embraces that role? How do we make sure people with promise don’t get sidetracked or lose their way, and believe in themselves enough to reach their leadership potential?

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GAME-CHANGING STRATEGIES REQUIRE POTENT LEADERSHIP Changing ourselves, at least a little bit, is a first step in changing the game. People enter the business world with great potential every day, but they frequently fail to realize that potential. What gets in the way? In my experience, a key component is identity: how we see ourselves. The identity we hold may not reflect the reality of our potential or our progress. We may under- or overestimate our abilities. We see ourselves as incapable or lacking in some way, or we are so certain of what we “already know” that we stop being curious or pushing boundaries. Why not upgrade our perceptions of ourselves as we grow on the job? In work processes, the old buzz phrase “incremental improvement” describes how companies keep up with changes and get better along the way. Making micro-shifts in identity is the parallel in our careers. It’s not just about acquiring new skills and developing capacity to handle more complex challenges; it’s about upgrading how we see ourselves as leaders, one micro-shift at a time. And the good news is that opportunities to do that are all around us.

EVERYDAY WORK CHALLENGES OFFER OPPORTUNITY TO BUILD LEADERSHIP For example, let’s imagine that Greg faced an extremely complex situation at work last week. The danger to his program and its funding was real. The

situation was politically and emotionally messy, and it was full of professional and relational landmines. He got through it, but he was bruised and beaten up by the process. He didn’t feel like the outcome was a success. He felt his failures more acutely than anything he may have learned through the experience. All he could think of were the “woulda, coulda, shouldas.” Regret and guilt about what he had done wrong and worries about what would happen next filled his thoughts to suffocation. It was something he was sure he never wanted to go through again.

IT STARTS WITH AWARENESS AND CHARACTER These emotions, coupled with a drive to do things differently in the future, are signs of high character in action. Those who care enough to feel the pain of awareness — and then use that pain as motivation to do something to grow their abilities — may avoid similar negative situations in the future, or at least navigate them with less personal wear and tear. Reflecting with an intention to learn and grow ourselves from the situations work throws at us gives us constant on-the-job professional development. Who we are evolves as we learn more, do more, see new perspectives, do better, grow, and develop as conscious professionals. What is authentic to us shifts. While Greg had honest and valid regrets about what he went through, he would benefit from seeing the other sides of the situation as well. He did survive — and, in a sense, triumphed. These are qualities worth enhancing and building.

Perhaps there were times he stepped in and prevented the situation from getting worse. He helped calm several co-workers and prevented further escalation by framing the issue from a neutral perspective. He used self-restraint to stay outwardly calm and forward-focused. He took on a tough situation and made it to the other side — and if he faces something similar in the future, he now knows at least one way to succeed, next time with more margin. Someone like Greg is better because of such an experience. He is wiser, more capable, and battle-tested. But which part of the experience will he let define him? Will he come out resolved to use the lessons he learned to do better in the future — recognizing his strengths and drawing on them? Or will he let the anxiety and pressure of his missteps win the day? What will he allow to define what sort of person he wakes up as tomorrow morning? If Greg is to get the best out of his ordeal, he needs to embrace the new awareness and growth he experienced and let that redefine how he sees himself. That’s a conscious choice any of us can make in situations we face every day. How we see ourselves matters, and if we want to reach toward our potential and gain new insights from our experiences, our identity can be upgraded — and each of those upgrades is a micro-shift in our identity. Realizing potential — especially leadership potential — is a matter of having a mindset of choice in our experiences. Decisions define our leadership. If you feel you have no choice in your identity and it’s just “who you are,” this is a great place to begin to see more options.


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EVERY CHALLENGE AND EXPERIENCE IS A CHANCE TO GROW In her book “Mindsets: The New Psychology of Success,” Dr. Carol Dweck defines the two basic human reactions to challenge as adopting either a growth mindset or a fixed mindset. Those with a growth mindset see themselves as malleable beings in the act of becoming greater than they are right now. Tackling tough problems is an opportunity to grow. Failures are merely stepping-stones to eventual success for these individuals because they know they can apply what was learned from the experience when faced with future challenges. In contrast, those with a fixed mindset see their intelligence and skillsets as static and somewhat permanent. They are trapped in the “tyranny of now.” Their minds whisper: “What you have now is all there is and the best you can do. Manage it wisely.” Thus, challenges aren’t opportunities to grow; they are risks of being exposed. A person with a fixed mindset might say: “I’m just not good at [some task or challenge]. Some people were born good at that, and I’m just not one of them.” Rather than a starting point for learning, this perception of ability is the end point. Those with a fixed mindset also solidify their traits as unchanging. They may say things like, “I’m always so impulsive!” or “I’m not a people person.” Do you see how having a fixed mindset can rob a person of his or her potential? For those who wish to deliberately develop themselves to meet the demands of their personal mission, identity micro-shifts account for an evolving sense of self in which we have slightly new intentions, slightly new levels of understanding, and a resolve to experiment with new approaches every day. Whether we have had work experiences that strengthened our self-confidence or traumatic

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events we have had to recover from, we build meaning and become more fully ourselves based on how we interpret what happens from our current vantage points. Sometimes we grow because we set our sights on a positive future, and sometimes we make shifts because we never want to experience the same ordeals again. How we choose to see our current and past challenges drives the impact they have on our evolving capability and identity. As we develop ourselves over time to build the skills we need to support the causes we care about, the process of doing so changes our beliefs about who we are and transforms our identity. These changes then influence how we see situations in the future, providing new levels of depth and choice to deal with the issues we encounter. If you think back over your career — however long or short — you will notice times when your sense of your capabilities shifted. Like Greg, you may not have seen yourself as a leader, but you found yourself acting as one. Eventually an updated identity — as a competent leader able to make decisions and address complex problems — catches up with your skills, one identity micro-shift at a time.

the file” we keep on ourselves and our capabilities. As we do that, we make a small change in how we see ourselves; we make an identity micro-shift. Many small shifts added up are how we change careers, break into new markets, or build the courage to try what we could not have done before. This inner transformation of a gradually shifting and evolving identity is reinforced by the outer transformation of our abilities. Which comes first? It depends. Sometimes you “fake it ’til you make it” and try on new skills before you can update your internal perspective. Sometimes you believe yourself forward. You take a leap of faith that you are someone who can take on that next challenge, and then you work to achieve it. Getting familiar with the territory of identity micro-shifts is an important tool for the self-directed individual. Congruence between your inner sense of self and your outer capabilities strengthens your ability as an authentic leader to craft your own developmental trajectory. Regardless of where you started, or where you are right now, these small shifts in identity help make you an ever more powerful leader of change.

WHAT ARE YOU CAPABLE OF? Growth comes through pausing and reflecting on why we do what we do. When we take a reflexive, autopilot response and bring it under review, it gives us some perspective. Looking at situations objectively, we can choose what we want to do with them: Is it something we want in our lives or not? Is it consistent with our values? Do we want to change how we respond? Is there something we need to learn or practice? We grow each time we do this, and we change who we are just a little bit. What is authentic and genuine for us changes. Each time we do this, it’s perfectly legitimate to “update

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Jessica G. Hartung is the founder and CEO of Integrated Work, a company that partners with mission-driven organizations to apply leadership development in everyday work experiences, accelerating impact and achieving measurable results. Building customized, real-time, applied leadership development systems for executive teams is their passion. They help clarify focus, codesign strategic options, provide tools and mentorship, and build leadership capacity to accelerate positive impact.


LEADERSHIP

DEAR WHITE MEN Feminine leadership, inclusion, and diversity in the workplace are often framed as issues only for women and people of color. They’re not.

M

ost diversity efforts at work target women and minority groups. Too many men — especially straight white men — are, at best, unengaged with diversity and inclusion efforts or, worse, feel threatened by them as they find themselves targets of anger and frustration or watch women and minorities rise seemingly at their expense. Yet white men hold the overwhelming majority of leadership positions at US companies. The math doesn’t lie: if more equality is the goal, white men need to be involved. That’s why Michael Welp co-founded his consulting and training firm, White Men as Full Diversity Partners (WMFDP), more than 20 years ago. One problem the company hopes to solve is that white men turn almost exclusively to women and people of color to educate them about race and gender issues. “That’s a huge burden,” says Welp. He also points out that a dynamic emerges in many companies where white men fear that if they ask any questions or challenge anybody on diversity, they’re going to be seen as being anti-diversity or

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W.M.F.D.P. AT A GLANCE Location: Portland, OR Founded: 1995 Team Members: 39 Impact: WMFDP team members have presented workshops in more than a dozen countries worldwide. Key Recognition: Two long-term clients won the Catalyst Award for positive changes to their workplace culture that advance women and diverse groups. Mission statement: “To inspire leaders (especially white men) to examine their mindsets and assumptions in order to shift behaviors that create sustainable and inclusive work cultures, which in turn drives business results.”


racist. “Therefore, they just shut up and sit back and walk on eggshells,” he says. “The problem with that is no learning happens.”

THE FIRST STEP: RECOGNIZE THAT “WHITE MALE” IS A CULTURAL IDENTITY The solution, suggests Welp, is to explicitly talk to and about “white men” as a group. “When you call out the words white men, people don’t know what to do with it,” he says. “When we focus on gender, it’s always talking about women. When we focus on race, the conversation is always about people of color.” When people do talk about white men, it’s often in the context of white supremacy — to the point that participants in Welp’s “White Men’s Caucus” workshops are often embarrassed to name where they’re going. That’s a mistake, says Welp. “We [white men] have a culture. But we live and breathe in our own cultural waters so much that we don’t even see it as a culture. We just equate [what we value] to being a good American, or being a good human.” By making explicit the implicit assumptions of white male culture, white men are then able to see how those assumptions have affected them and the others who must change their norms and behaviors to fit them. “To be white and to be male is not to have to think much about being white and male. It’s just a normal thing. The world is set up for us,” says Welp. “We don’t have to work hard to buy greeting cards of people of our race. People know how to cut our hair. When we travel on business, we don’t worry about arriving after dark in a city we don’t know or about having a hotel room on the ground floor. We have this assumption that everybody in the world feels as safe. We over-attribute sameness, and that has us blind to the things that others are dealing with that we’re not. We don’t have to step out of the water that we swim in. Others are more bicultural. They have had

to understand a lot more of our culture to fit into it.” Most white men believe in equality and would say they treat everybody the same, without realizing that what they perceive as normal or standard is in fact what Welp calls “a cultural box” they’re asking others to fit into or assimilate with (see right). “It’s not that we don’t care. It’s that we don’t see it,” he says. “We don’t see that we are literally not having the same experience in the world, that others have to face a lot of additional challenges.”

DIVERSITY BENEFITS EVERYONE Welp is careful to stress that improving diversity and inclusion within our society and workplaces can have many benefits for the majority group. “[As white men,] our default thinking about diversity is we’re helping other people with their issues,” Welp says. “When really there’s as much at stake and as much to gain for us as for anybody else. Learning about diversity for white guys will make us better humans, better parents, better spouses, and better leaders.” WMFDP points to twelve new mindsets and eight critical leadership skills, such as incorporating multiple perspectives and integrating head and heart, that white men can tap into to better thrive in an increasingly diverse world (see page 80). For example, at one company where Welp’s team ran workshops, a survey four months after the events found that, according to their co-workers, the white men who’d participated listened 33 percent more. “If I’ve learned to listen 33 percent more in my life,” asks Welp, “how does that impact my relationships and my partnerships and my customers?” He tells stories of fathers transforming their relationships with their sons after getting the chance to see and question their default culture in a WMFDP workshop. Just being made aware of their default expectations was enough to allow them to make different choices.

6 CHARACTERISTICS OF WHITE MALE CULTURE IN THE U.S. 1. Rugged individualism 2. Low tolerance for uncertainty 3. Valuing action over reflection 4. Prioritizing rationality over emotion 5. Seeing time as linear and future-focused 6. Valuing status and rank over connection

PLAY FOR THE LONG HAUL Welp cautions people not to try to “solve” diversity and inclusion issues in their companies. Instead, look at the process of addressing them as being a laboratory for conscious leadership. “We wouldn’t look at safety or quality in any company and say, ‘Oh, we’ve done that session once now. We’re done,’” he points out. “Diversity is an ongoing thing that we have to focus on all the time. Let’s do it in a way where we grow the ability to have powerful dialogue and authentic relationships with each other. That’s the merger of leadership development and diversity.” In an increasingly politically polarized world, Welp sees the work of tackling diversity conversations with all parties as being more important and valuable than ever. “When people come together with vulnerable courage and transparency and humility, I see a lot of powerful partnerships take place,” he says. “People are learning to trust love as much as they trust anger or fear, and that creates a lot of hope for me.”

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EIGHT CRITICAL LEADERSHIP SKILLS:

A SELF-RATING Welp and his organization, White Men as Full Diversity Partners, help demonstrate to white men that expanding their perspective and skills when it comes to diversity can benefit them by helping them access the following critical leadership skills. Assess yourself: for each behavior, rate yourself on a 1–5 scale (1 = low, 5 = high). Assess yourself realistically, based on how you would demonstrate the behaviors. Then look back and select three behaviors you want to focus on strengthening.

White Men as Full Diversity Partners co-founder Michael Welp

1. COURAGE I visibly demonstrate the principles that are most important to me. I choose to act on my beliefs despite my fears, aware of the risks involved. I own my discomfort and acknowledge what I am feeling. I enlist others in answering difficult questions and say “I don’t know” when necessary. I act to create change by speaking my truth, even when doing so may cause discomfort or conflict. I consistently speak my truth in a way that acknowledges it as my perspective, not the only perspective.

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2. INTEGRATING HEAD AND HEART I value and demonstrate feelings (from the heart) as well as knowledge, thoughts, and concepts (from the head). I show vulnerability that allows openness and authentic connections with others. I am able to talk about diversity and inclusion from my personal perspective. I respond using both my head and heart as the situation requires. I acknowledge my blind spots when I become aware of them. I validate the viewpoints of others whether I agree with them or not.

3. LISTENING I repeat the essence of others’ perspectives back to them so they know I hear them. I listen to the perspectives of others without interrupting to defend or clarify my own position. I actively learn about my colleagues — who they really are. I notice and successfully control my reflex to debate instead of listen. I recognize the difference between listening to solve a problem and listening to understand, and I am willing to ask which one is needed.


4. BALANCING KEY PARADOXES I use a “both/and” mindset (instead of “either/or”) that allows for multiple viewpoints or options.

I lean into discomfort as a way to deepen my learning and understanding. I display patience with conflict and recognize its potential to bring about productive change.

I am able to see contradictory goals and needs as equally valid.

6. MANAGING DIFFICULT CONVERSATIONS

I ask open-ended questions that help me learn new perspectives and think more broadly.

I initiate direct, honest, and timely conversations.

I recognize when a situation is less a problem to be solved and more a paradox to be managed.

I acknowledge when something is not working and search for a better approach/outcome.

I validate the perspectives of others, even when they contradict my own.

I stay aware of my assumptions and stereotypes to avoid dismissing and invalidating the perspectives of others.

I realize that my ability to see and apply both sides of a paradox is important to my success as a leader.

5. LEVERAGING AMBIGUITY AND TURBULENCE I acknowledge when I’m confused, rather than trying to change what is confusing. I manage discomfort with uncertainty and change — both that of myself and of others. I don’t wait to get everything right before taking action; I can take action before I feel fully prepared. I am able to resist the urge to oversimplify situations, and I work through complex issues with an open mind.

When listening, I recognize when I am just observing behavior and when I am attributing to another my own interpretation of their behavior. I recognize that when interacting with others I may have a different impact than intended. I do not use lack of time as an excuse to avoid difficult conversations.

7. SEEING AND THINKING SYSTEMICALLY I understand that I am part of many different diversity groups and that this affects both my experience of the world and how others see me.

I understand unconscious bias and systemic privilege and the way it affects how I hear others and how they hear me. I understand that my view of a situation is incomplete until I understand the perspectives of the other people involved. I notice and understand how inequities of systemic privilege — including race, class, gender, or other factors — impact how I assess and interact with others. I recognize when someone is talking to me as an individual or as a member of a diversity group. I encourage people throughout the organization to pay attention to issues of privilege, bias, and inclusion at work.

8. BEING AN AGENT OF CHANGE I encourage others to see new possibilities and take action. I accept change as a neverending process in all parts of my life. I model creating inclusion, ownership, and commitment while implementing change. I build commitment to new approaches rather than imposing compliance. I recognize that when I commit to being an agent of change I am going to change too.

For more resources on this topic, check out Welp’s book “Four Days to Change,” watch his TED talk,or visit wmfdp.com.Plus, you can find “5 Reasons White Men Should Care about Diversity and Inclusion” at consciouscompanymedia.com/whitemen.

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4 THINGS WOMEN DO TO UNDERMINE EQUALITY EFFORTS Despite good intentions, women sometimes exacerbate issues stemming from lack of diversity instead of improving belonging for everyone at work. Here are four things to watch out for.

1

BY MOE CARRICK

WE CARETAKE MEN In our society, women are trained from a young age to take care of boys and men in a host of ways. As Sheryl Sandberg and Adam Grant wrote in a New York Times opinion piece, “This is the sad reality in workplaces around the world: women help more but benefit less from it.� While at its best this tendency makes us empathetic nurturers who hold the emotional keys to the kingdom at work and home, it also robs men of the skill-building work of becoming fluent in emotion and talented at forming healthy relationships. We often make the coffee, take the notes, apologize, and soften our messages to help men feel secure and supported. These may all be fine, but support must be balanced by challenge. Women often back away too soon from conflict with men, and rescue them from their own discomfort far too often. Men do not need our caretaking, even as they need our care at work and home. Men in our society today are in trouble, experiencing elevated rates of depression, addiction, suicide, and gun violence. They need our help as partners and allies and as mothers and daughters to work with each other to redefine what it means to be a man today. When we over-care and caretake, we rob men of doing their work with one another.


2 4

WE ACT LIKE MEN Assimilation means that most women can “do (white) guy” at work with ease (see page 79). We learn from a young age to bring data to the conversation, not use too many words, act strong, and be decisive and direct. The problem is, when we act as we see successful men acting at work, it doesn’t play as well for us. Where they are seen as commanding, we are seen as domineering. When men are seen as decisive, women risk being seen as rash. And where men are seen as directing and leading, women are often labeled “a bitch.” Women will benefit from exploring their own natural and authentic tendencies and practicing these qualities for powerful impact, rather than emulating the dominant culture of men.

3

WE COMPARE OURSELVES The culture of comparative shaming for women is intense. Most women I have talked to about this swiftly say “yes!” when I ask if they are comparing themselves to the other women in the room in that moment. We compare body size, hairstyle, pay, job title, parenting skills, makeup fluency, clothing sophistication, and more, and almost inevitably find ourselves wanting. We do it quietly and often indirectly. We do it in the privacy of our own minds in ways that rob us of self-compassion and courage. And when we compare ourselves to others and find ourselves lacking or inadequate or imperfect, we silently hustle to do better, do more, and win. The amount of energy these comparisons take in the culture of women is very high and erodes our capacity to see possibility and abundance. What would happen if women stopped comparing ourselves to other women and instead tried to see the beauty of one another, even in our differences?

SOME OF US FORGET OUR WHITE PRIVILEGE White women have made more gains in equity at work than any other non-dominant identity group in the past 50 years. We make more money and have more economic parity than women of color. And yet, our sisters deal not only with the gender dynamics of systemic advantage but also with those of race. Too often, white women fail to see themselves as a group whose privilege can be used to help right wrongs and change the world. We must courageously align with women and men of color to use our privilege with grace. This includes standing up to racism and bias at work and naming it to other white men and women.

I confess that as a lifelong white woman, I sometimes unconsciously contribute to these four forms of sabotage. I call them out here in hopes that we can work together to create more inclusive and diverse workplaces.

Moe Carrick is Principal and Founder of Moementum Inc., a Certified B Corp consulting firm dedicated to the vision of creating a world that works for everyone using business as a force for good. She believes work can and should be a place where we can thrive. Her book, “Fit Matters: How to Love Your Job,” co-authored by Cammie Dunaway, was released in May 2017 by Maven House Press.

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IS YOUR PARENTAL LEAVE POLICY REINFORCING

OUT-OF-DATE GENDER ROLES?

How to craft an intentional parental leave policy that supports gender equity at home and in the workplace BY CHRISTINA BERNARDIN

hen Gary Barker’s first daughter was born, he was earning his Ph.D. in child development. As a part-time stay-at-home dad, Barker took his role as father and co-parent seriously, but he quickly felt the societal lack of support for fathers as caregivers. “I’m doing a Ph.D. [in child development],” he

says. “And colleagues were like, ‘You’re going to babysit, so you’re going to miss the study group?’” Two decades later, he still recounts the story with astonishment and a sense of irony. “Even in spaces like that, [caregiving] was secondary work,” he says. “The care of children was somehow in the way of more important stuff, which, in this case, was studying children.”

Barker’s experience was not uncommon, but his response to it was: he started support groups for fathers, began focusing his research on how men and boys could be more engaged in promoting gender equality, and co-founded Promundo, a global research and advocacy organization that extends that work worldwide. He spoke with thousands of fathers and their


partners from all class levels and across cultures. The more people he interviewed, the clearer his findings became: when men share the role of caregiver and do an equal amount of housework, women are happier and more likely to return successfully to full-time work; men are physically healthier; and children are physically healthier, more engaged in school, and less likely to use violence against women as adults. His findings made it clear that engaging men in caregiving is essential for high-functioning communities and societies. The further he dove into the research, the more troubling he found the way the US system is currently designed. Though women in the US are entitled to time off after the birth of a child (see below), their partners rarely are. When a child is born, this drastic life change requires adjustment from both partners. Yet with a father’s quick return to the workplace, mom becomes the default caregiver. Research has shown these patterns of caregiving established early are

surprisingly permanent. Today, though 70 percent of mothers with children at home are actively in the workforce, on average women still have two to three times the amount of caregiving work and domestic duties men have. This imbalance in home responsibilities contributes to gender bias in hiring, bias against mothers in the workplace (see page 87), the gender wage gap, and reduced gender diversity in the workplace and in leadership. “We need to give more attention to the question, ‘What is this caregiving role and how do I, as a father, do it in some 50/50 way?’” Barker says. And this isn’t just an issue for individuals to wrestle with; it’s one that companies need to address as well. “On a policy level, anything that says ‘We expect more of women and less of men’ is ultimately reinforcing inequality,” add Barker. If your goal as a conscious company is to keep your workforce genderdiverse and thus thriving, it is time to radically reframe parental leave and support mothers by supporting their partners and encouraging more

equal co-parenting. Luckily, a handful of pioneering countries, businesses, and advocacy groups like Promundo are proving that alternatives to our current system of parental leave not only exist, but can work for organizations of all sizes. Here’s how to get started.

8 STEPS TO A MORE CONSCIOUS PARENTAL LEAVE POLICY

1 Make paid leave available to employees regardless of gender Becoming a parent is just like learning any new skill: it takes time and practice. A good basic plan can be simple and cover just two categories: disability leave for women who are physically unable to work due to pregnancy, childbirth, or related conditions, and paid parental leave

STATE OF PARENTAL LEAVE IN THE U.S.

BEST CASE

Employees of companies like Facebook, Netflix, Spotify, or the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation are entitled to anywhere from 26 weeks to an indefinite amount of paid time off in the case of serious family illness, adoption, or pregnancy.

TYPICAL CASE

For workers at companies with more than 50 employees, both men and women are entitled to 12 weeks of unpaid family leave through the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) if they have worked there for at least 12 months or 1,250 hours.

WORST CASE

As much as 40 percent of the US workforce doesn’t qualify for any policy-mandated time off and relies on the goodwill of employers not to replace them should they take any. This typically leaves the most vulnerable workers rushing back to work within days of giving birth or being forced out of the workforce at a time when their expenses increase significantly.

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THE SOCIETAL IMPACTS OF UNEQUAL CO-PARENTING

that’s equally available to both partners. There are a variety of effective partner leave models: for example, some organizations offer 6–12 weeks of partner leave and allow for 2–3 weeks of that time to be used flexibly. For some couples that will be directly after birth, and for others it may be later.

2 Distribute the leave equitably to all employees and all types of families

Women spend:

2–10x

more time on unpaid caregiving work than men For each child a woman has, her wages will decrease by about

4%

No one is dispensable. By providing a paid leave option inclusive of all workers, not just a select group, your company sends a powerful message to all new parents — mothers and fathers, biological and adoptive parents, salaried and hourly workers, and LGBT partners — that they are valued and supported in their decision to start a family.

3 Set a tone at the top: create a culture of taking the leave that is offered

When a man has a child, however, his earnings increase by

Median weekly wages of fulltime women are

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6%

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Though 11 percent of fathers are already offered partner leave by their employers, many choose not to take it out of fear of being perceived as less committed or fear that their position would be jeopardized. But one study by the American Economic Review found that if a man had a co-worker who had taken paternity leave, he was 11 percent more likely to take it himself. Cultivate a culture that expects employees to use their parental leave without fear of retribution or career suicide. This entails support before they leave, reassurance that their job will be there for them when they

return, and encouragement when they come back.

4 Have a plan With 80 percent of people in the US destined to be parents, it is likely a teammate will be absent at some point. Preparing for this absence, having a plan for who will take on which responsibilities, and discussing how the teammate can be reached if needed will ease the transition for everyone involved.

5 Rid your policy of “primary caregiver” language Many current forms of parental leave require employees to name a “primary caregiver” for their child. This is typically the mother, immediately loading her with the bulk of the caregiving and leaving her partner out of luck on parental leave. The use of primary-caregiver policies reflects the assumption that families will have one primary caregiver supported by a partner with few or no caregiving responsibilities. By striking this language from your policy, you send a clear message: we support you in co-parenting.

6 If you don’t know, ask As your organization explores new ways of supporting parents, one way to learn more is by asking your employees directly. One executive at professional services firm E&Y asked parents through


a survey what would make them feel supported and was surprised to discover that new dads wanted confidential coaching support to be successful working fathers. With each organization’s differences, going directly to the source could reveal some low-hanging fruit or innovative ideas unique to your employees.

7 Consider needs of new parents as they transition back to work With a new addition to the family, parents experience a drastic shift in priorities and needs. As parents figure

out how to balance work and family, flexibility in terms of hours and location can be a huge support. Ask yourself if your company is able to accommodate new parents by allowing employees to work from home on certain days or manipulating their schedules to support their evolving home lives. Is it built into your organization that new parents should discuss with their manager how their needs may have changed before or shortly after their return to work? Are there areas available at the office to privately pump breastmilk? Are options for onsite or subsidized childcare available for both parents? Start by asking new parents how you can support them to ease their transition back to work.

8 Be a corporate advocate Use your position as a business leader to advocate for local, state, or federal policies that support working families, such as equitable paid parental leave. For more on how to do this, download “Step Up, Speak Out, Impact Policy — An Advocacy Guide for Responsible Business Leaders” at consciouscompanymedia.com/ advocacy.

Nina Bernardin is a corporate finance professional turned Conscious Company intern. After years studying the in’s and out’s of GE corporate finance, she chose to put her skills, curiosity and enthusiasm to work to further the conscious business movement. She is a proud career-changing millennial dedicated to storytelling, social justice, and ushering in the future of business as usual.


GLOBAL IMPACT

Seed-Stage Investing:

BY JED EMERSON, LINDSAY SMALLING, AND TIM FREUNDLICH

The opportunities for putting investment capital to work for environmental, social, and financial gain have never been greater. Impact investing has matured to the point that there are even sectors within the sector; offerings span from industrial applications to social applications to financial applications. One great place to make an impact is with seed-stage investing, as the returns in both impact and money can be huge. For many impact entrepreneurs, the seed stage is the first outside money they will take in. So seed-stage invest-

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ing can be high impact, but it’s not for the faint of heart. This is an intrinsically risky stage of the business. Firms are barely investment-ready, sourcing and monitoring deals is expensive, and investors trying to diversify by allocating funds to several investments conclude it is more of an art than a science. So how should an impact investor take the leap into seed-stage impact investing? Below is an excerpt from “The ImpactAssets Handbook for Investors” (Anthem Press, 2017) highlighting three ways to participate in this exciting investment sector.


USE A SEED-STAGE FUND

USE A DONORADVISED FUND TO MIX AND MATCH ImpactAssets has seen an increasingly wide range of its clients using their donor-advised funds (DAFs) to reach both seed funds and direct company investments in concert with accelerator relationships. Because DAFs aggregate among multiple accounts, they can drive down minimums even further. And, since individuals receive a tax deduction when they open a DAF (since it is in fact a charitable donation), one might view the tax benefit as an initial “return” of sorts at the point of investment, and then have more support for patience over the long term that these early-stage investments demand.

Finding a seed-stage fund can be a way to reach a large, professionally managed portfolio of ventures, allowing investors to place more capital both better and faster. A fund may make upwards of 20 company investments, and may accept as little as $50,000 minimums (though many will be higher than this). Seed funds anticipate many of their investments will fail; they know the ventures will require extensive mentoring and support; and they are willing to accept proxies as evidence of an entrepreneur’s capability and potential. Seed funds have found their best investments are often sourced by referrals from prior investees. Many of the strongest prospects don’t identify as social entrepreneurs or even realize there are investors specifically seeking social or environmental return. An entrepreneur getting a new business off the ground oftentimes looks to peers for actionable business advice rather than spending time to understand the landscape of investors. For this reason, established entrepreneurs often have the first glimpse into the next great businesses. To identify promising early-stage deals, seed funds have built field networks, in addition to their portfolio companies, to gather this street-level intelligence. All in all, funds can add a lot of value to investors.

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CAMP ONTO AN ACCELERATOR PROGRAM OR ANGEL NETWORK For those investors who have a high level of appetite to do direct company investments but need help in sourcing and diligence, an accelerator program can be good way to tap into an ecosystem of investment deals, ride along with high-engagement support programs, and find co-investors to share in diligence. However, though leveraging programs and networks may help reduce some of the pain points, investors are still left making somewhat sizable investments. There is increasing viability in the area of direct investing, with the JOBS Act increasing access for non-accredited investors to direct company investments, and development of crowd-funding infrastructure to drive down per-deal sizes to as little as $5,000. Investing in early-stage impact businesses requires specific, often industry- or market-level expertise on the part of the investor, as well as portfolio diversification. Therefore, this type of investing has intrinsic challenges for small and large investors alike. Simply put, it is not for the faint of heart. But seed-stage investing is at least plausible — and increasingly viable for those who find it compelling — by leveraging seed funds, accelerator programs, and investor networks that can provide support, reduce investment sizes, and bring great diversification to the investor, and by exploring new modalities available through crowdfunding platforms and donor-advised funds that are similarly aligned with alleviated pain points. Accelerators are iterating their models to more accurately match entrepreneurs with investors and providing ongoing services to support follow-on financing. Additionally, relationships between seed funds and accelerators which provide a more immediate and ongoing feedback loop between entrepreneurs and investors are being developed on top of the more efficient vetting resulting from accelerators sharing experiential knowledge of the teams and their ventures. When all is said and done, there remains a tremendous opportunity for innovation and for intermediaries to alleviate the friction in seed-stage impact investing. A small shift in the allocation of capital can make a significant difference, and it is the authors’ hope that new products and services will be developed to support increased seed-stage impact investing. Directing a steady flow of capital toward promising early-stage ventures is critical, for otherwise how will we see the great companies of tomorrow get funded today?

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IMPACT-ORIENTED SEED FUNDS AND ACCELERATORS This list is a jumping-off point for deeper exploration of current options as the landscape is quickly evolving. ORGANIZATION

WEBSITE

HQ LOCATION

Agora Partnerships

agorapartnerships.org

Nicaragua/DC

Ashoka

ashoka.org

Washington, DC

Better Ventures

better.vc

Oakland, CA

Civic Accelerator/ Points of Light

cvcx.org

Atlanta, GA

Code for America

codeforamerica.org

San Francisco, CA

Echoing Green

echoinggreen.org

New York, NY

Fledge

fledge.co

Seattle, WA

Global Social Benefit Incubator

scu.edu/socialbenefit/ entrepreneurship/gsbi/

Santa Clara, CA

GoodCompany Ventures

goodcompanygroup.org/ residency/program

Philadelphia, PA

Investors’ Circle/ Patient Capital Collaborative

investorscircle.net

Durham, NC

IDEAx Accelerator/ Idea Village

ideavillage.org

New Orleans, LA

Impact Engine

theimpactengine.com

Chicago, IL

NESsT

nesst.org

San Francisco, CA

New Ventures

new-ventures.org

Washington, DC

Rock Health

rockhealth.com

San Francisco, CA

Unreasonable Institute

unreasonableinstitute.org

Boulder, CO

VentureWell

venturewell.org

Boston, MA

Village Capital

vilcap.com

Atlanta, GA

Jed Emerson is an internationally recognized thought leader in impact investing, social entrepreneurship, and strategic philanthropy. He is lead author and editor of “The ImpactAssets Handbook for Investors: Generating Social and Environmental Value through Capital Investing” (Anthem Press, 2017). He co-wrote this excerpt with ImpactAssets president Tim Freundlich and Lindsay Smalling. As producer and curator of Social Capital Markets (SOCAP) conferences, Lindsay Smalling curates all content and also oversees production, marketing, and business development. Lindsay was previously strategic initiatives officer at ImpactAssets, where she was focused on building knowledge resources that advance the field of impact investing. Lindsay is a graduate of Columbia Business School and Pomona College. Tim Freundlich is a longtime innovator in new financial instruments in the social enterprise sector, which he now applies as the president of ImpactAssets, the $350 million boutique donor-advised fund focused on impact investing. He also co-founded and serves as managing partner for Good Capital, and founded Social Capital Markets conferences and the network of Impact Hubs in the US.


parting thought...

“It is more rewarding to watch money change the world than watch it accumulate.” — Gloria Steinem


Profile for Conscious Company

Conscious Company Magazine | Issue 17 | Winter 2018  

Winter 2018 brings us a special look at the forefront of feminine leadership — and it's not just for women.

Conscious Company Magazine | Issue 17 | Winter 2018  

Winter 2018 brings us a special look at the forefront of feminine leadership — and it's not just for women.