Conscious Capitalism’s Bay Area chapter hosted a panel discussion last night. The discussion rounded upon what it means to be a conscious leader in these turbulent times. The topic of Crony Capitalism in our work culture came up (attached to the topic of white supremacy). I made a connection between Masculine and Feminine Leadership. The constructs of scarcity and abundance, and the difference between colonized and indigenous cultures.
I use the phrase “white supremacy” to describe the set of beliefs that let to Europeans colonizing the world. I’m not talking about neo-Nazis and the hate-filled fear-mongering that’s been rising in this country for the past four years. The insidious, uninspected beliefs and behaviors that impact us, regardless of our skin color are what I’m addressing. To learn more, check out this article.
The power-hungry state of Crony Capitalism in our Culture
Crony capitalism describes a kind of extraction. Companies with a Crony Capitalist culture regard profits above all else. This is a mentality exists in so many companies today. Adam Smith did not imagine this when he wrote the Wealth of Nations. He described an economic system based on individual self-interest but led by an “invisible hand” that would create the greatest good for all.
Crony Capitalism started existing in colonized cultures. White supremacy became that “invisible hand”. The men in charge started playing God instead thereafter. I use the word God to describe the higher intelligence Smith was referring to as the “invisible hand,” not God in any religious sense. Ignoring the greatest good for ALL led to the state we are in now. Extraction policies have led to Global Warming and we have the largest disparity of wealth ever.
I don’t think many people have really considered the implications of wealth disparity. The U.S. will no longer be a majority white country sometime between 2040 and 2050. What will happen to our economy if we don’t figure out how to get more wealth in the hands of brown and black people before then?
The methods and strategies of Crony Capitalism and colonization in culture are all based on a masculine model of leadership. They are characterized by individualism, competition, perfectionism, a sense of urgency, short term gains over long term strategy, quantity over quality, hierarchical, power-over, either-or thinking, and objectivity. Note that this is not an exhaustive list, it’s just enough to paint a picture.
Conscious Capitalism is proving to be a strong force against Crony Capitalism in our culture
The masculine model of leadership operates from the assumption that there’s not enough for everyone. So the idea is to grab what we can, while we can. It’s a scarcity model.
In contrast, Conscious Capitalism, feminine leadership, and Indigenous cultures all run on a sufficiency or abundance model.
Conscious Capitalism cultures are characterized by community, collaboration, creativity, long term thinking, power-sharing, and a deep understanding of the interconnectedness of all things. They recognize when there’s an abundance of resources. These leaders they only take what they need. Feminine leadership trusts when they need more, they will be able to get more. Such cultures take heed of the “unseen hand” referenced by Smith. There is an understanding of their place in the world, and they value the place of others.
The world desperately needs more of this way of thinking. It is starting to demand it. Groups like the Pachamama Alliance are working to incorporate Indigenous wisdom with modern knowledge to build a more sustainable, socially just world. Groups like Conscious Capitalism and the B Corp movement are working to build a more sustainable, socially just form of business. Whether they realize it or not, they are bringing in the aspects of feminine leadership to do so.
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Johanna Lyman is the Founder and CEO of NextGen Orgs. She is a Leadership Consultant and Executive Coach with fifteen years of experience. She has implemented organization wide change strategies for both Fortune 500 companies and Small Business Owners.
At NextGen Orgs, we use a combination of unique delivery methods and processes. We have cracked the code on establishing lasting organizational behavior changes in a relatively short period of time. The proprietary and evolutionary system can eliminate months of frustration often associated with developing strong leadership and building a cohesive, collaborative team.
From strategic business design to culture development and leadership training, their methods can help your company become a truly great place to work. Johanna is a professional speaker, available to speak on a variety of topics related to culture, communication, innovation, and leadership skills. She is the Board President for the Bay Area Chapter of Conscious Capitalism. Johanna is deeply versed in aiding businesses to strive to become a force for good in the world.
Learn more or Contact Johanna at firstname.lastname@example.org