Ultimately, what we achieve as corporate leaders, even in the form of social impact, must work hand in hand with how we go about achieving it. How we act along our journeys is at least as important as–if not more so than–the destination. For example, if we are donating a portion of profits to at-need communities, but not being open-minded, respectful, and honest in how we lead in the workplace, we risk undermining our larger goals by contributing to a disrespectful, intolerant, or unethical culture. In fact, a company with no stated social mission that is modeling positive values like integrity and respect may be doing more good for our world than one with a big ESG commitment failing at the basics of kindness.Read More
In 2000, President Clinton hosted a peace conference at Camp David that gave many hope for peace in Gaza; but a few months later, the Second Intifada, a major Palestinian uprising against Israel, began. Having been working in the region for decades to found and build PeaceWorks, a company that used market forces to foster peace between neighbors in the Middle East, I was confused and depressed by the news. On Western television, I saw pictures of ruthless violence and terrorism from Palestinians, giving me the impression, at least initially, that the moderates I knew had succumbed to extreme ways. But when I went to talk to my Palestinian friends, and they showed me what they were seeing on the television, I was shocked:. Their news programs depicted all Israelis as merciless killers.
On both sides of the conflict, the news media seemed like it exclusively published stories portraying the worst of the other side, characterizing all Palestinians or Israelis as hateful enemies. It turned out that my friends hadn’t changed at all; they just weren’t the ones the media were showing. And in portraying things falsely in such a negative light, the media fed the conflict rather than helping resolve it.
We Americans are now facing this same problem, with potentially devastating repercussions for our democracy and our ability to lead the free world.Read More
Imagine this: you step into the elevator and instinctively reach for your smart phone, only to discover that you’ve mistakenly left it at your desk. A sense of panic sets in as you wonder what to do. What will you think about when you can’t have your “thoughts” fed to you?Read More
Throughout my life, I have sought to build bridges between people, seeking to help both sides uncover common ground....Read More
Today, I want to talk about a light and fluffy subject: your generation’s role in steering humanity in the right direction. No pressure, Dalton.
But in all seriousness, Dalton, I love what you shared about “leaving everywhere you go better than you found it…and finding ways to give grace and inspiration to the people around you.”
I want to talk today about HOW to do that as you are all simultaneously challenged and blessed with graduating as our world is re-entering a stage of dramatic consequence.
The ship of humanity is moving in the wrong direction, and it will be upon all of you to steer it back on track.
To illustrate this point, I want to compare the circumstances when my father’s generation came of age, to those when my generation and your generation graduated from college.
My father was fifteen-and-a-half when he was liberated from the Dachau concentration camp by American soldiers. He was barely alive. He never got to go to school past third grade, let alone college. Several of your grandparents were around your age when they were sent to free Europe from tyranny and darkness.
By contrast, when I was fifteen years-old, my family immigrated to America from Mexico. I was able to attend college during a period when passionate but cordial debate was the norm. I remember observing political leaders vehemently disagree on a particular topic, while maintaining a friendship rooted in respect. Our world was far from perfect – but the arc of human progress trended in an upward direction. Freedom, open markets, human rights, civility, and the quest for knowledge were all advancing.
It seemed almost too good to be true. In fact, it was so good that we began to lose sight that Our Great American Experiment isn’t so much a fixed state of affairs as it is a purposeful daily affirmation – something that we opt into, live out, and vote for not once every four years, but every single day – through how we engage with one another.Read More
Fishing for opportunity? Across all entrepreneurial pursuits, The Rule of Moby Dicks, Mackerels, and Minnows applies. Use it to help you allocate your time and resources to ensure that you are never starved for growth.
Think of Moby Dicks as transformative once-in-a-lifetime targets like the giant national retail account you want to land or the big funder who can also be a powerful strategic partner. If you spent all of your time hunting only for Moby Dicks, pursuing just the impossible deals with no guarantee of materializing, you might never be able to feed yourself – and could eventually starve. On the other hand, if you strictly played it safe, going after only the tiniest, easy-to-catch accounts – call them Minnows – you might also wind up with a grumbling stomach, staving off hunger from living snack to snack.Read More
At a time when our world is facing unprecedented challenges, from climate change to political polarization to a global pandemic, entrepreneurs and nongovernmental organization (NGO) leaders cannot afford to operate in silos. Entrepreneurs possess resourcefulness, creativity, and initiative; heads of nonprofit organizations are equipped with depth of knowledge, purpose, and the patient determination that comes with that purpose. Together, these partners can turbocharge impact if they properly calibrate their respective contributions to create new social enterprises.Read More
Shocking news emerged this week from the bipartisan committee investigating the January 6 attack: On that dark day, Fox News hosts and former-President Donald Trump’s son sent text messages begging for Trump to address the nation and stop the violent riot. Yet many Republicans continue to downplay the insurrection that dangerously undermined electoral integrity and the rule of law and threatened our democracy.
But minimizing violence isn’t only happening on the Republican side. From Philadelphia to Los Angeles, District Attorneys promoting an anti-police narrative and lax crime-fighting policies have contributed to an alarming rise in homicides and spiraling crime rates. Yet despite the skyrocketing crime in liberal bastions, many of us have family and friends living in these cities who refuse to accept that controversial policies to suspend prosecution for many crimes may have played a role in the violent wave.
There is no comparing an attempted insurrection with day to day crime; one is significantly worse, and a much bigger threat to our democracy. But both sides are suffering from a partisan blindness that has led to minimizing any violence that appears to implicate their leaders. And it presents a huge threat to our country.Read More
Decades ago, hatred began to build in online chat rooms, where people (protected by the anonymity of their computer screens) could post judgmental vitriol with little accountability. We thought these ugly conversations would stay contained to small virtual spaces; but when millions of people adopt the same bad habits, those behaviors add up to define who we are. Hatred begets hatred and nasty words based on nastier (and often false) sentiments, have since spread through social media – and bubbled over into the offline world, too.
Today, we seem quicker than ever to judge one another, and slower than ever to forgive. We often assume negative intent instead of positive, and point our fingers before we’ve taken the time to explore the nuances of a situation. More and more, we’ve replaced trust in one another with chronic skepticism and defensiveness. We have become accustomed to pitting “us” against “them,” and dividing the world – and its complex issues – into two incompatible halves.Read More