cover image Conscious Leadership: Elevating Humanity Through Business

Conscious Leadership: Elevating Humanity Through Business

John Mackey, with Steve Mcintosh and Carter Phipps. Portfolio, $27 (272p) ISBN 978-0-593-08362-8

Strong business leadership entails more than trendy buzzwords and consistent financial returns, writes Mackey (Conscious Capitalism), cofounder and CEO of Whole Foods, in his commendable but familiar guide. Urging businesspeople to “find ways to express our deepest convictions and highest calling in the actions that we take every day,” the book is half business case study, half workbook, framing its advice component with Whole Foods history. This includes the whirlwind Amazon merger and, in particular, Mackey’s own crisis of leadership after his brainchild failed in 2001. Though he survived the resulting attempt to oust him from Whole Foods, in the process Mackey did a great deal of soul-searching that he credits with making him into the leader the company needed. Aiming to help fellow founders discover their businesses’ higher purpose, Mackey delivers prompts for self-reflection (“Think of a challenge you’re facing at your company”) and discussions of “vision and virtue,” “mindset and strategy,” and “people and culture,” but the advice (nurture inner growth, practice gratitude, get sleep, release negativity) may be a shade too soft and too obvious to many. Though the presentation is earnest, there’s little new here. [em](Sept.) [/em]