Business leaders are taking up the mantle to lead not just companies but society. This is the moral imperative of our time.
Trust in government is broken. Efficacy of government is broken. Truth, justice and transparency in government are broken.
Business leaders are stepping into the void.
You might feel skeptical that “titans of industry” will direct us toward the future we need. History is riddled with unscrupulous business practices. And yes, we have some modern-day robber barons in our midst.
Nonetheless, we’ve passed a tipping point when the torch was passed to one of the few groups left that maintains the public’s trust: business leaders.
I’ve advised hundreds of C-suite executives and I’m working with them now to transform what it means to lead a business as a steward for civilization.
Cynics who think business leaders only care about the bottom line aren’t paying attention. Only the least mature leaders in the world still focus exclusively on profit without regard to purpose, people, and planet. Those stuck in the old view will fail the test of time.
As political partisanship and extremism wash across the globe, we can take heart by finding inspirational leadership elsewhere. Bold, empathic, thoughtful and action-oriented leaders from across the business world are signing up and stepping out to lead us forward.
Yes, collaboration across sectors, including public-private partnerships, is required to meet the demands of this moment. Yet it’s leaders of the business community raising the bar for governments to act more quickly and more audaciously to tackle the existential threats we face.
Governments around the world need to sort themselves out. But we can’t wait.
Though we need to set aside some doubts, and at times we’ll put our hopes in the wrong hands, we can follow visionary executives to a fair, secure, sustainable, just, and caring society.