April 17, 2013 - The first thought is “Joan of Arc” and the burning piles of twigs at her feet. To be honored as a “Heroine” for doing something that has been fun for 30 years has a certain, uncomfortable feeling of disconnect. My feet are not hot, or even warm.
I happen to enjoy teaching people skills that they can use to improve their lives. This makes me feel good. Some of them argue with me about some of the concepts, and the challenge of answering these people with ideas I’ve adopted is a turn-on. Also every class I teach is different, and this unknown quality makes each class an adventure. You can learn from people who disagree with you. Each class is different.
And I am not referring just to the classes I’ve taught in Budapest, in Novasibirsk, in Stavanger. I mean the classes in San Jose and
Atlanta and New Jersey. People think differently from each other, so when you are stirring up their thinking processes, all sorts of new things turn up. As an instructor of adults, you seldom, or never, receive the same question. This keeps you on your toes.
This blog is about the experience of being honored as a “Heroine” along with four other entrepreneurs in an event coordinated with the Conscious Capitalism Conference in San Francisco.
The males were designated “Heroes”, of course.
Tom Serres is CEO of Rally.org. He is a leading thinker on social giving, digital fundraising, and has helped millions of supporters connect with nonprofits and charities.
Ben Rattray is CEO of Change.org, the world’s largest petition platform, which empowers 30 million people to create the change they want to see.
Saad Khan is a Partner at CMEA Capital where he invests exclusively in bad-asses, such as people behind Zaarly, Blekko, Luminate, Jobvite, MediaSpike and Evolution Robotics.
The other Heroine, Margot Fraser, the Founder of Birkenstock USA, was comfortable in her role at the mic as she talked about giving company stock to her employees because it seemed to her to be the right thing to do.
While not officially designated a “Heroine”, Deb Nelson, Executive director of SVN.org, fit the criteria as she spoke in her role as Master of Ceremonies.
It surprised me greatly to see and hear Raj Sisoda at this evening gathering, as he had earlier given two separate speeches at the Conscious Capitalism Conference. Conscious Leaders must have reservoirs of energy. All you ordinary leaders might take note of this. Another good reason to become Conscious. Raj is one of the Founders of ConsciousCapitalism.org, which spearheaded the Conference.
As Richard Sharp, another pioneer, pointed out “The honorees were pioneers in conscious business well before the 2008 meltdown when we started to notice how vulnerable our economy is to too big to fail banks and a form of capitalism that only focuses on risk taking and bottom line profits, rather than a balanced business approach of higher purpose, contribution to people, planet and profits. These heroes and heroines focused on enabling a more human view of business practice and decisions long before it became a hot topic of debate.“
My own experience: I prefer arguing philosophy with dissenting adults to being honored as a heroine.
All five of us have been demonstrating the qualities that this group hopes to instill in business people so they become Conscious Leaders. The key concept, in my opinion, that connects my work to Conscious Capitalism is the concept of win-win + creativity. I had been teaching this to large audiences long before I heard of Conscious Capitalism.