- On January 25, 2018
The picture above is the (Save Our) Soul box from Penzey’s Spice company. After the President’s derogatory comments on immigrants from African nations a few weeks ago, Bill Penzey, Jr., the company’s CEO, sent out a newsletter denouncing the people who continue to support racism in our country. To put ‘skin in the game’ so to speak, in honor of Martin Luther King Day, he offered this Soul box of three spices and a Soul pin, for free. To anyone. I made the trek to my local Penzey’s store. I didn’t need the spices, yet I wanted to show my support of his message.
The Soul box got me thinking about what it means to live and lead with what is important to you, from a place of openness and growth. It matters as an authentic leader.
Walter Bennis, a pioneer in the field of leadership studies, wrote “great leaders create and sell us on an alternate vision of the world, a better world of which we are an essential part.” As leaders, our main job is to make us believe that even if we are not as close to being as good as we can be, that we can still get there. To bring Soul to who we are.
There’s an increasingly popular business movement known as ‘conscious capitalism’ which seeks to balance the extreme profit focus of traditional business with bringing value to our environment, people, and social change. Bringing Soul to the bottom line.
So…it’s a box of spices. Will it change our national conversation around racism? Probably not. I applaud the courage of Penzeys to take a conscious stand for the values of diversity, inclusion, and equality that, to many of us, are what truly makes America great. A business that puts Soul on the bottom line.
In your leadership, in your organization, how are you fulfilling the vision of a better world, bringing Soul to the bottom line?
Photo credit: JMaliszewski, 2018