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How to Lead in the Stakeholder Era

The world is clearly facing multifaceted crises: a health crisis, an economic crisis, a societal crisis, a racial crisis, an environmental crisis, and rising geopolitical tensions. In the face of these challenges, there is a growing realization that business and society cannot thrive if employees, customers, and communities are not healthy; if our planet is on fire; and if our society is fractured. More and more leaders believe that creating a better and sustainable future requires corporations to serve all their stakeholders — not just their investors — in a harmonious fashion.

To make this transition, leaders need to evolve how they think about their mission and how they lead. According to Hubert Joly, the former chairman and CEO of Best Buy, we need leaders who, in both good times and bad, are keen to pursue a noble purpose, are ready to put people at the center of it, and are dedicated to creating an environment where every employee can blossom. In short, we need leaders who will embrace a declaration of interdependence. This is how we can create a more sustainable future. This is how business can be a force for good and do well by doing good.