Reflections on Conscious Leadership: A Conversation with Whole Foods CEO John Mackey
Recently, I had the pleasure of joining John Mackey,
Founder and CEO of Whole Foods Market, in a discussion about what it
means to be a conscious leader – to seek not only to succeed, but to do
When the Arts and Business Council for Greater
Philadelphia invited me to join their Strategy Salon, I jumped at the
chance because so many of John’s leadership principles resonated with me
as the Chief Human Resources Officer at CapTech.
We are a company that lives our values – servant leadership,
flexibility, intellectual curiosity, trustworthiness, enthusiasm – and
brings them to every interaction with our clients, colleagues and
The Conscious Leadership mindset John Mackey described
provides actionable guidance for companies who strive equally for profit
Lead with Love and Always Act with Integrity: These
two principles infuse every action and business decision for conscious
leaders. But they do not necessarily come naturally in a business
setting. They are skills – not emotions – that must be honed and
Seek out win-win-win opportunities:
It’s a flawed mindset that tells us that if someone is succeeding, that
someone else must be losing. Conscious leaders seek to create value for
multiple stakeholders simultaneously: customers, employees, investors,
suppliers, and communities.
Be upfront and transparent about your values: This
means also being prepared to walk away. If you make it clear that you
have no interest in deals that aren’t mutually beneficial, those who
seek to take advantage are often turned off. Involve colleagues and
trust their collective assessment of intent.
Learn continuously: Growth
and innovation are only possible when we seek to expand our knowledge.
Be humble and learn from others who are better than you. Lean into
change and acquire the skills you need to stay relevant.
The entire event was really fantastic and I encourage
anyone reading this to also click through to read the transcript of the
event. Below you'll also be able to see some of my favorite clips.
As Chief Human Resources Officer at CapTech, it’s my
responsibility to put these ideas into practice with our team of over
1000 consultants and by extension to our network of clients and
But as John observed, we must continually strive to
learn more and evolve. I look forward to continuing on the Conscious
Leadership journey and to amplifying CapTech’s impact.
John Mackey On What It Means to Be A Conscious Leader
"Defining Innovation Presents John Mackey, Co-Founder & CEO of Whole Foods Market" took place on Thursday, Sept 24 at 10 AM EST. More detail about the event and panelists can be found here. You can also read the transcript by clicking the button below.
As CHRO, Suzie is responsible for managing Human Resources and has 20+ years of experience in consulting and human capital management. She also has played a big role in expanding our business in the DC/Baltimore region.