When I was growing up we were encouraged to join sporting teams and community organisations such as the boy scouts. We learnt life skills, leadership, teamwork, respect and discipline from a very young age.
In the early eighties, groups like the scouts started suffering from declining numbers and the community activities like a ‘bottle drive’ and “’bob-a-job’ week were vanishing. That was over thirty-five years ago. Those who were beneficiaries of that ‘community’ now should or could be our captains of industry. Our future should be looking bright because of the values that were instilled in them from an early age.
Regrettably…I see no reflection in today’s leadership. We have fallen into an Orwellian society where profit is the only indicator of success and is to be pursued at all costs. As evidenced by a myriad of corporate scandals from diverse industries such as media, paint, pain relief, car manufacturing, consumer electronics and even our national postal system – these leaders and their boards have exhibited the worst of ethical and immoral behaviour – playing the consumer for a fool– disrespecting their core markets and using their positions of power and privilege to erode our societal values.
Institutions that defend these actions are archaic. They do not need to change – they need to dissolve. There is no changing this deeply entrenched culture without systemic eradication and complete renewal. The gentleman’s club still reigns supreme as evidenced in the current US and Australian administrations – and the boardrooms of nearly all so called “top” 100 companies. Profit, it seems always eclipses people.
The people that dictate whether we prosper or perish are the same people that regularly drive the world into recession. They are rarely ever held accountable because our “belief” these days is that we need to drive the share price up – become (or remain) number 1 and keep the shareholders happy.
The shareholders and stakeholders of this world are you and I. We selfishly care more for our time right now with a blasé disregard for our environment and larger society. If we don’t start holding ourselves and our leaders accountable, what will be our legacy? You can make the choice with your wallet. It is our problem, we made it, so be accountable.
Choose companies that act and behave morally instead of endorsing brands that deceive the public, exploit employees, profit from deception and protect their guilty leaders. There are road signs everywhere. You just have to look.
It was over 300 years ago when Newton taught us: For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.