Today’s primary purpose in most businesses is to maximize profits for its owners and stakeholders. However, not according to Global Business Leader, Shawn Vij and his new book, Moral Fiber – Living Our Values by Wiley Publishing.
Vij goes deep in his book and shares how millennials and gen z are re-shaping how business gets done. In a world where the richest 1 percent, those with more than $1 million USD, owns 45 percent of the world’s wealth, there is a need to pause and reflect on how businesses must start to play a greater role in elevating humanity.
Shawn shares with us his journey and how meeting the Dalai Lama changed his approach to business.
Interviewee: What inspired you to write this?
Mr. Vij: I noticed too many people suffering in the office. More than 85% of workers worldwide admit to ‘hating’ their jobs as per Gallup. This has a dramatic impact on employee health, productivity and corporate profits. We have all had that terrible boss or worked in a toxic environment filled with anger, greed and ignorance. Unfortunately, these behaviors begin to manifest and take hold thus normalizing and conditioning this corporate culture.
We need to change this and the only way is to conquer our own fears. Fear of losing our jobs. Fear of not being able to support our families. Instead, we need to embrace the fear. The truth is that most of us lack faith in ourselves to succeed. We fear to discover that we are more than we think we are.
We need to be stronger than our own fears. It’s like the proverb, ‘fear knocked at the door. faith answered. and lo, no one was there…’. Trust yourself, trust your intuition, trust your heart and doors will open. This requires us to be vulnerable and truthful – not easy to do. But when done, courage rushes in.
The Dalai Lama told me we are our own master. We all have choices both at home and at work. We are faced with compromising and toxic situations every day. I hope the book inspires people to have the courage to do the right thing always.
Interviewee: What are your thoughts on global inequality?
Mr. Vij: Simple, it is extreme. Why is it that the 10 richest billionaires own $745 billion in combined wealth, a sum greater than the total goods and services most nations produce on an annual basis. I am a pure capitalist and believe everyone deserves the opportunity to make a lot of money. The difference is on ‘how’ we do it. We all appreciate Bill & Melinda Gates’s efforts but what if the next billionaire thinks differently. Money is power and the ones who have it can influence policy which either creates an opportunity for others or barriers.
Interviewee: What is Conscious Capitalism?
What if companies just had a simple underlying mission, which was making people’s lives better around the world. Re-formulate the criteria of business success, and make it about humanity and ethics, not adjuncts to profit, but it’s very core. That is Conscious Capitalism. One company that has been a leader in this movement is the Tata Group. The company has evolved from being a family-owned business to one of the best-run and professionally-managed groups in the world. They focus on stakeholders versus shareholders. Anchoring on shareholders, employees, customers, and communities equally.
Companies have more power than you think. They have the power to influence governments and communities. In turn, be a leader in resetting our moral compass at a grand scale. It is important that the leaders of these corporations have the right intent. Just look at companies like Enron that anchored on excessive greed fueling deception for the sake of a dollar. If our only goal is to make money at no cost, then we’re bound to harm others and ourselves in pursuit of those things. When this happens, we’ve used capitalism to cripple our value system.
We have an opportunity to re-define capitalism. Conscious Capitalism is on the rise, and companies that put their values at the core will not only succeed in long term profits, but also raise the human condition.
Shawn Vij is an accomplished business leader who has over 25 years of industry and consulting experience. He has worked in various leadership positions for Ford Motor Company, Ernst & Young, VISA, Deloitte Consulting, Microsoft, and Intel Corporation. He holds an MBA from Purdue University, MS in Engineering from the University of Michigan and a BS in Mechanical Engineering from Michigan Technological University. Can be followed on Instagram @shawnvij
Shawn was raised in the US Midwest and now resides in the Pacific Northwest.
His new book is Moral Fiber – A Practical Guide to Living Our Values.
Available at all major bookstores and Amazon.in, Amazonkindle Flipkart