How to Be a Moral Modern Leader

Big Think: Do CEO's need to rebrand themselves less as leaders and more as icons?

Matt Miller: I’m not sure if I’m thinking of it so much in the sense of the superstar CEO and, you know, the brand of the company, though that’s, you know, in the media age, that seems to be, you know, a trend that continues, but I think we’re going to need, we’re certainly going to need a good list of name brand CEOs, people who are known to the public and who have clout, to step up on some of these public issues, to help say, you know, business wants to solve this. Right now business ends up, business approaches all its issues as if they were in a silo.  There’s the trade issue.  We want free trade or we want protectionism, depending on the business you’ve got.  There’s taxes and we deal with that.  There’s, you know, different state level issues, etc. 

What too many CEOs don’t understand is that all these things meld together now in an era when ordinary Americans feel tremendous anxiety about their economic future, and unless business as a constituency views these issues in an integrated way and realizes that business needs to be an advocate for changes in the social contract that we’re talking about, then the consensus for markets and capitalism, etc., is going to erode and there’ll be a real backlash against the values that most business leaders care about.

 

Right now, businesses approach all their issues as if they were in a silo. We need to see more integrated approaches that recognize the interconnectedness of the world's problems.

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