Conscious Capitalism Book Summary - Conscious Capitalism Book explained in key points
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Conscious Capitalism summary

John Mackey & Raj Sisodia

Liberating the Heroic Spirit of Business

3.3 (154 ratings)
7 mins
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    Conscious Capitalism
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    There’s a better way

    Over the last 200 years, free-enterprise capitalism has created extraordinary prosperity and innovation that has transformed life for billions of people. In just two centuries, businesses and entrepreneurs have helped increase global per capita income by 1,000 percent and the average life expectancy has risen from 30 to 68 years. Capitalism has enabled billions to earn a living and find meaning by creating value for others.

    Despite these achievements, capitalism has earned little affection. It’s often vilified as exploitative and blamed for problems like inequality, community fragmentation, and environmental degradation. The reputation of business has suffered as a result. For example, Americans’ confidence in big business had declined from 34 percent in 1975 to just 19 percent by 2011.

    Why this disconnect? A root issue is that too many businesses operate with low consciousness about their true purpose and impacts. In a narrow pursuit of profits, some companies have caused unintended negative consequences for people, communities, and the planet. Many businesses fail to recognize their significant environmental and social impacts, treating these as externalities.

    Within companies, symptoms of dysfunction abound, like low employee engagement, stagnant wages contrasted with exorbitant executive pay, and lack of workplace solidarity. It’s understandable that the reputation of business has suffered.

    That’s why we need better business practices: the path forward is to operate with greater consciousness of purpose and impact. Conscious leaders deliver value to all stakeholders – treating employees, partners, customers, and communities not as merely means to an end, but as ends in themselves. They build trusting relationships and understand the human elements of business, like creativity, collaboration, and a sense of higher purpose. Conscious businesses seek to create financial, intellectual, social, cultural, emotional, spiritual, physical, and ecological wealth. They have a deeper purpose that goes beyond short-term profits.

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    What is Conscious Capitalism about?

    Conscious Capitalism (2013) outlines a new vision of enlightened business built on higher purpose that serves all major stakeholders, not just shareholders. It provides insights and examples for creating passionate, value-driven corporate cultures that bring out the best in people.

    Who should read Conscious Capitalism?

    • Business leaders seeking purpose
    • Executives wanting to inspire employees
    • Entrepreneurs aiming for positive impact

    About the Author

    John Mackey, cofounder and former CEO of Whole Foods Market, grew the natural grocer into a Fortune 500 company with over 460 stores and 87,000 employees while earning many leadership accolades.

    Raj Sisodia is a business professor and cofounder of Conscious Capitalism Inc. He has coauthored two best-selling books on purpose-driven business and has been recognized as a top thought leader in trustworthy business practices.

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