John Mackey, CEO, Whole Foods Market: Being a Conscious Leader

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Many people are skeptical that companies set out to achieve a higher purpose other than profit and serve any group other than shareholders. But John Mackey, founder and CEO of Whole Foods Market, has always pushed back against this notion. In 2013, he co-wrote the best-selling book, “Conscious Capitalism,” which laid out a philosophy that businesses should be guided by the value and good they can contribute to the world, not solely the profits they generate. His new book, “Conscious Leadership,” applies this thinking to leadership and building purpose-driven cultures. Mackey joins the podcast to explain how leaders can become more awake and intentional (that is, more conscious) — creating greater value for companies and their employees, the customers they serve, and the communities they live in.

Listen to this episode to learn:

  • How to lead with love and create cultures in which people can flourish and maximize their potential — and how it’s done at Whole Foods Market
  • What Mackey told Milton Friedman he got wrong about the purpose of a business
  • Why applying a “win-win-win” framework to your thinking can open up creativity and innovation and reveal higher purpose
  • Why appreciation is the “gateway” to love — and companies could use a lot more of it these days
  • How to apply the Jungian psychological concept of “the shadow” to business and leadership
  • How an animal rights activist opened Mackey’s eyes to what needed to be changed at Whole Foods Market