By Michelle Micalizzi
When I dreamt up the Art of Fearlessly Giving Back concept two years ago, I thought I would focus on one socially responsible company and one charity that they support. My partner on this year’s project, Tyler Butler of 11Eleven Consulting, and I agreed that WebPT is the kind of company we both wanted to shine a light on. Founder Heidi Jennanga is such a giver that she chose not one but six charities to focus on. I love that! The complexity of having six worthy organizations to focus on makes this project extra special and dynamic for me!
Conscious Capitalism AZ Chapter is the first WebPT Partner organization that I am focusing on in this project. I first heard about the book Conscious Capitalism, Liberating the Heroic Spirit of Business from Conscious Business Consultant Karen Turner of Produce Momentum. The mere name of the book immediately struck a chord with me.
In this incredible book Whole Foods Market co-founder John Mackey, and professor Raj Sisodia, call out some of today’s best-known and most successful companies to illustrate that both business and capitalism are inherently good. The book demonstrates that conscious businesses create financial, intellectual, social, cultural, emotional, spiritual, physical, and ecological prosperity for all of their stakeholders, which include employees, customers, suppliers, supportive communities, and a life-sustaining ecosystem in contrast to the norm of just funders.
I would like to note that Mackey is an impressive example of the values this book describes as demonstrated by him cutting his CEO salary to $1 in 2006 because he feels so committed to the purpose of his company. I relate to this kind of passion in my own small way. Many people have asked me how much the companies I feature pay to be highlighted in my Fearless Art Projects. They are surprised when I say, “It is an honor to be chosen to be part of the project. There is no charge for being recognized for excellence.” I, like Mackey, feel that my purpose is to shout out the good news about business and to create deep and meaningful relationships with all stakeholders. The inspired art that is created is for sale by choice, and a percentage of proceeds are always donated to charity. All the work is for auction in the AoFGB projects. Additionally, whatever the work auctions for above the value of the painting goes directly 100% to the charities. Profit is a byproduct of purpose.
Mackey and Sisodia co-founded the Conscious Capitalism Movement which now has thirty eight chapters in fourteen countries. MAC6 owner, Scott McIntosh, founded the Arizona Chapter of which I and my company Fearlessly Deliver are members of. Our chapter was the third chapter after Chicago and Australia.
We believe that business is good because it creates value, it is ethical because it is based on voluntary exchange, it is noble because it can elevate our existence, and it is heroic because it lifts people out of poverty and creates prosperity. Free enterprise capitalism is the most powerful system for social cooperation and human progress ever conceived. It is one of the most compelling ideas we humans have ever had. But we can aspire to even more.
In my research, I discovered that one of my favorite home state companies, Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream and their parent company Unilever are members of the movement. This awareness made perfect sense since Ben & Jerry’s tag line is “Love, Peace and Ice Cream.” It was reassuring to me to see that both Paul Polman, Unilever, CEO and Jostein Solheim, Ben & Jerry’s, CEO are highlighted as Heros of Conscious Capitalism along with Melissa Reiff, The Container Store, Walter Robb, Whole Foods Market and Brian Schultz, Studio Movie Grill to name a few.
Scott McIntosh and I met in the latter part of 2017 at his company MAC6 in Tempe for our interview. I am impressed with Scott as a businessman and most importantly as a human being. His awareness of the true purpose of business struck me as he described the success of his former deep underground mining company, which he successfully sold in 2008. He said, “The parking lot was filling up with new pick-up trucks.” This is a statement of a man who truly gets “IT.” On a very human level he understands that his success as a businessman is directly related to the food on his employee’s table and the trucks that they drive their children to school in. This fact is indeed very human and exemplifies being a Conscious Capitalist at its very core.
WHAT CAN WE LEARN FROM BOTH SCOTT AND CONSCIOUS CAPITALISM ABOUT BEING FEARLESS?
- Keep Reinventing How You Execute Your Purpose
When Scott sold his deep underground mining company, McIntosh Engineering, in 2008 he could have just played golf for the rest of his life with his beautiful wife of many years. Instead, the couple dreamed up a new way to give back to humanity by setting up a foundation. While Scott was setting up his new company MAC6, he discovered Conscious Capitalism and realized, as did Heidi Jannenga and I, that he had been a “Unconscious Conscious Capitalist” all along.
MAC6 is a High Performing Teams Leadership Academy operating in a 10,000 sq ft state-of-the-art Conscious Workspace, plus a 38,000 sq ft light manufacturing facility. They support early stage businesses that adopt the principles of Conscious Capitalism to achieve long-term sustainable growth.
Scott believes in heroic business at his very core and he continues to give back by founding and running Conscious Capitalism AZ.
For those of us who truly own our purpose in life, we simply reinvent the way we manifest that purpose at different stages in our lives. Our company, our job, our volunteer focus may shift but our purpose does not change. The reason we do this is because our purpose is what drives us, not the vehicle.
- Be a Business that is a Force for Good
The Conscious Capitalism tag line says it all, “Elevating Humanity through Business.” Conscious businesses help create thriving communities and in turn thriving communities support business. This is a belief similar to JFK’s quote, “A rising tide lifts all boats!”
Scott notes that “Being good” in this case is not an absolution from sins, it is just smart business. Community is a stakeholder along with employees, customers, suppliers, supportive communities, as well as funders.
All Conscious Capitalism businesses mirror in their own way the Four Pillars of Conscious Capitalism; Higher Purpose, Stakeholder Orientation, Conscious Leadership and Conscious Culture. This can be seen within the relationship between Web PT and MAC6.
Both WebPT and MAC6 are examples of Conscious Capitalism companies.
Web PT’s Community Outreach: Give back value mirrors MAC6 Servant Leadership Value: Give First, Help Others, Transparency and Humility.
Web PT’s Accountability: F Up;Own Up mirrors MAC6’s Speak Your Mind Value: Productive Conflict, Respect, Courage, Trust and Vulnerability.
- Be a Bright Light
The benefit of partnering with other conscious businesses and organizations is that together we can shine a bright light on stories that the community and other businesses can resonate with and be inspired by. When we are the example of the change we wish to see in the world, we let others know that it is possible to operate on a higher frequency level AND make a profit which in turn allows all stakeholders to use our profits for good.
- Be Great from the Start
Steven Covey’s second habit of highly successful people states, “Begin with the end in mind means to begin each day, task, or project with a clear vision of your desired direction and destination, and then continue by flexing your proactive muscles to make things happen.”
In his book, Good to Great, James Collins states that, “Greatness is not a function of circumstance. Greatness, it turns out, is largely a matter of conscious choice, and discipline.”
When we start with the purpose of being a Conscious Business from the very beginning, we do not have to graduate to great since we actually start with great in mind as Covey encourages. Conscious startups have the luxury of not having to back track to fill gaps in their greatness they begin with greatness in mind.
- Do Vulnerable – Admit You are Scared Sh@tless
Scott learned a very powerful lesson about vulnerability that he wisely built into his MAC6’s values. The MAC6 value says it best, “We are confident in our imperfection, letting others see our true and genuine selves, exponentially growing ourselves and others in the world. Being honest about your fears shines a light on fear.”
Over and over again in the more than fifty-two interviews I have done over the course of four fearless projects; all the leaders who have opened their heart to me have said the same thing one way or another: There is no such thing as fearlessness. For Scott, there is only standing up when you are “scared sh@tless and moving like you have no fear.” Being honest about this reality is a powerful thing for those around us who have allowed fear to paralyze them into non-action and endless mediocrity.
When we stay in motion we are the example we wish to see in the world and in that example, excellence is possible.
Thank you so much Scott for founding the Consicous Capitalism AZ Chapter and for taking time out for this interview!
In my interview with Scott I could not get away from that which came first the Chicken (Purpose) or the Egg (Profit) question. The eggs are equally in size to the flying chickens. Inside the eggs there are fully grown flying chickens to further signify their equal importance and connection. Like every acorn is a tree, every egg is a chicken. There are muted flying chickens in the background signifying possibility.
We of course cannot forget that being fearless is choosing NOT to “be chicken” even if we actually are chickens.
The light bulb is for me the universal symbol for entrepreneurs. Inside the bulb is filament shaped like a dollar sign signifying that the light that illuminates from the bulb is generated by profit. This image also ties into the concept that WebPT President and Founder Heidi Jannenga mentioned in her fearless interview that “when the tide rises all boats rise”. When a business lights up and uses its profits for good that light/revenue that is generated illuminates and lifts up all those around it.
The hands are ALL the human stake holders holding the business up to its highest ideal there by making this illumination possible. This is giving back in its purest form. Additionally, having an honest conversation about this concept is productive conflict and an example of accountability.
Michelle Micalizzi is a Social Practice Artist who merges collaboration and visual journalism to creatively connect art, business, and community by combining systems, words, video, and images to convey a concept, thought, social concern, or biographical story. Her multimedia paintings are shorthand for a snapshot in time of her subject’s work and life while conveying a universal message for all and a byproduct of deep meaningful collaboration.
Ultimately, Micalizzi is inspired to contemplate, communicate, and resolve ideas and concepts that inspire her personally and professionally as an artist, a business woman, and a philanthropist. She is driven to share what she finds in her interaction with those that inspire her and others. Micalizzi cannot ignore the story of inspired lives unfolding around her in each moment. Please contact Michelle by visiting her website at FearlesslyDeliver.com.
“Social practice is an art medium that focuses on engagement through human interaction and social discourse. Since it is people and their relationships that form the medium of such works – rather than a particular process of production – social engagement is not only a part of a work’s organization, execution or continuation, but also an aesthetic in itself: of interaction and development. Socially engaged art aims to create social and/or political change through collaboration with individuals, communities, and institutions in the creation of participatory art. The discipline value the process of a work over any finished product or object”