Capitalism in America
Capitalism is under fire in America. The perception is that big business are greedy. In some cases they are correct, but history teaches us that no other economic system is better than capitalism at raising the standard of living, giving consumers choices, and allocating resources. This means that we must learn to use capitalism more consciously to benefit not only the shareholders, but also the health of the business, environment, and customers. Conscience capitalism is a complex business practice that combines the traditional foundations of capitalism, including entrepreneurship, freedom of exchange, and competition, with four additional pillars of the conscience business, including leadership, stakeholder orientation, culture, and purpose (Consciouscapitalism.org, 2016). Ethics is an integral part of all four pillars. As more business adopt the principles of conscience capitalism people will understand how business create value and benefit the entire community.
The CEO is the person that others want to follow and emulate. Conscious CEO’s and leaders are authentic, ethical, and open. They inspire employees and rely on their referent power to create loyalty and consistently high performance. The ethical behavior of the CEO and other top leaders is what creates a conscious culture in the organization. In a value based culture all leaders must be on the same page, and understand the values and ethics the company endorses. Greg Koch, the CEO of Stone Brewing Co., a successful and quickly expanding micro-brewery, and who subscribes to conscience capitalism, explains that he would rather leave a key position empty rather than fill it with a person who is not 100% aligned to the organizations ethics and values (Schawbel, 2015). By being ethical and making a conscious effort to make a positive impact on employees, customers, and the community, people will begin to trust businesses more and the perception of capitalism will change.